Phytochemical, Antimicrobial and ToxIicological evaluation of the leaves of Peperomia Pellucida (L.) HBK (Piperaceae)

  • Tavs A Abere
  • Freddy O Agoreyo
  • Gerald I Eze


Peperomia pellucida is widely used in traditional medicine for the treatment of abscesses, acne, boils, arthritis, wound healing, inflammation and gout. This study was to evaluate the phytochemical composition, antimicrobial activities and toxicological profiles of the chloroform and methanol extracts of P. pellucida. Chemical and chromatographic tests were employed in phytochemical investigations. Inhibitory activities of chloroform and methanol extracts against clinical strains of Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Klebsiella pneumonia, Bacillus subtilis and Candida albicans were compared with those of gentamycin. Acute toxicological evaluation was carried out in mice while 14-day assessment was done in rats. Phytochemical studies revealed the presence of alkaloids, tannins and flavonoids. The extracts inhibited the growth of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Klebsiella pneumonia, and Bacillus subtilis to varying extents, but only the methanol extract and the positive control, gentamycin inhibited growth of Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli and Candida albicans. Oral doses as high as 5 g/kg did not cause death or toxicological symptoms in mice. Histopathological effects on the liver, spleen, heart and kidney of rats administrated the aqueous methanol extract showed mild to moderate congestions and infiltrations of chronic inflammatory cells. Peperomia pellucida showed mild toxicity in certain organs and it will be necessary to fully establish its safety profile, as this may likely unlock its mechanism of action as an anti-inflammatory agent. It also demonstrated antimicrobial activity against clinical strains of selected microorganisms, thereby justifying its usage in traditional medicine.

Keywords: Peperomia pellucida, phytochemistry, toxicology, antimicrobial activities

Journal of Pharmaceutical and Allied Sciences, Vol. 9 No. 3 (2012)

Author Biographies

Tavs A Abere
Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria
Freddy O Agoreyo
Department of Physiology, College of Medical Sciences, University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria
Gerald I Eze
Deprtment of Anatomy, College of Medical Sciences, University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1596-8499