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Ethnobotanical studies on <i>Berberis aristata</i> DC. root extracts

M Shahid
T Rahim
A Shahzad
TA Latif
T Fatma
M Rashid
A Raza
S Mustafa


The aqueous and alcoholic extract of fresh Berberis aristata DC roots, as well as aqueous extract of dried roots were compared for their antibacterial and antifungal activities by the disc diffusion method.
All three extracts showed wide antibacterial activity against Gram-positive bacteria. Among the Gramnegative bacteria tested, the antibacterial activity was limited to Escherichia coli, Salmonella
typhimurium, Shigella dysenteriae type 1 and Vibrio cholerae; with the best activity against V. cholerae. MICs of the alcoholic extracts against Gram-positive bacteria ranged between 3.8 ×10-3 to 6.1 ×10-3 mg/ml and for Gram-negative bacteria from 6.1 ×10-3 to 7.6 10-3 mg/ml. The MICs for Candida species ranged between 0.02 to 3.8 ×10-3 mg/ml and for Aspergillus species, it was 3 × 10-3 mg/ml. All three extracts also had antifungal activity against the fungal species tested, except Candida krusei. The extracts of B. aristata also demonstrated anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antipyretic activities.
Chemical analysis revealed the presence of alkaloids, amino acids, tannins, terpenes, resins, phenols and reducing sugars as major compounds. FTIR-spectral analysis of all the extracts revealed the
presence of berberine, as a major constituent, along with other chemical constituents.