Preliminary Phytochemical and Antimicrobial Studies of phyllantus amarus Linn (Euphorbiaceae)

  • A O Abioye
  • S B Bamiro
  • S O Adesida
  • V P Hunpatin
  • T O Adeleke


The whole plant of phyllantus amarus Linn (Euphorbiaceae) has wide traditional uses for jaundice, gonorrhoea, frequent menstruation, chronic dysentery and diabetes. Aqueous and methanol extracts were tested against 8 human pathogenic bacterial strains using agar well diffusion and tube macro-dilution techniques. Inhibitory activity was maximum in the methanol extract against S aures which is a major human pathogen both in community and nosocomially acquired infections and moderate against E. Coli, K. Pneumoniae and P. aeruginosa, which are responsible for the pathogenesis of urinary tract infections. The difference in the inhibitory activities of aqueous and methanol extracts is not statistically significant (P<0.05, n= 8). The minimum inhibited concentration (MIC) ranged between 0.5 and 64mg/ml while the minimum bacterial concentration (MBC) ranged between 0.5 and 128mg/ml. Both extracts exhibited bacteriostatic and bactericidal activity on all the tested microorganisms. phyllantus amarus is thus a potential source of potent antimicrobial agents.

NQJHM Vol. 14 (3&4) 2004: pp. 282-287

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eISSN: 0189-2657