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Anti-microbial properties of some commonly use spices

NM Nwinuka
GO Ibeh
GI Ekeke


The anti-microbial properties of four commonly used spices were investigated. The spices were Alium sativum (garlic). Allium cepa var.cepa (onion). Zingiber officinate (ginger) and Piper guineense (Uziza-Ibo) seeds. Phytochemical screening of the spices revealed the presence of tannins, saponins, oxalates and cyanogenic glycosides. The crude aqueous and alcoholic extracts of the spices were found to inhibit a number of test microorganisms (5 bacterial species and a fungus), except Neisseria gonorrheae. Shigella dysenteriae was found to be resistant to both aqueous and alcoholic extracts of ginger and uziza. The alcohic extracts of all the spices were found to be more effective compared to the aqueous extracts. Anti-fungal activity of the extracts of the spices was also observed. By this study, the usefulness of these spices for medicinal purposes has been verified, this being indicated by their anti-microbial activities. Also the present work supports the possible use of these spices as potential medicinal plants at least for the treatment of those diseases caused by the organisms whose growths were inhibited by the extracts.

Keywords: anti-microbial properties, spices, extracts, phytochemical screening, medicinal use

Global Journal of Pure and Applied Sciences Vol. 12(1) 2006: 73-77

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eISSN: 2992-4464
print ISSN: 1118-0579