ANTIMICROBIAL ACTIVITY OF SOME ETHNOMEDICINAL PLANTS USED IN KASHMIR, INDIAAbstract
Antimicrobial activity of 11 ethnomedicinal plant extracts was evaluated against five bacterial strains (Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Proteus vulgaris) and one fungal strain (Candida albicans). Plants were collected from different regions of Kashmir Valley and the ethnomedicinal data were gathered from traditional healers and elders of the study area. Cold percolation method was used to obtain hexane and methanol extracts and the antimicrobial activity was found using paper disc diffusion method. The results indicated that all plants, exhibited antimicrobial activity against one or more of the tested microorganisms at three different concentrations of 1.25, 2.5 and 5 mg/disc. Among the plants tested, Nepeta cataria, Allium consangium, Artemisia biensis and Ocimum sanctum were most active. The highest antifungal activity was exhibited by hexane extract of Nepeta catariaagainst Candida albicans. Compared to hexane extract, methanol extract showed significant activity against tested organisms. This study also showed that Nepeta cataria, Allium consangium, Artemisia biensis and Ocimum sanctum could be potential sources of new antimicrobial agents. Among the tested microbial strains, bacteria were found to be more susceptible to many plant extracts than fungi.