Antimicrobial and Phytochemical Study of Vernonia glabra (Steetz) Oliv. & Hiern. in Kenya

Kiitonde C, Lukhoba CW, Dossaji SF. "Antimicrobial and Phytochemical Study of Vernonia glabra (Steetz) Oliv. & Hiern. in Kenya.". In: Botany 2011 . Healing the Planet Symposium in St. Louis, Missouri, USA.: C. Kiitonde, C.W. Lukhoba & S.F. Dossaji; 2011.


Infectious diseases are prevalent and life threatening. In Kenya, a majority of the sick are seeking herbal remedies in such for effective, safe, and affordable cure. This project aims to investigate the antimicrobial activity and phytochemical compounds present in different parts of Vernonia glabra, a plant used by herbalists in various regions of Kenya claimed to treat different microbial infections. The plant was collected in January, 2010 in Machakos, and the different plant parts ground into powder and extracted in Dichloromethane:Methanol (1:1) and water. These were tested against bacterial and fungal organisms using disc diffusion technique. It was observed that the organic crude extracts of the flower, leaf, stem, root and/or entire plant, showed activity against at least one of the four test micro-organisms and at concentrations lower than the water crude extracts. The organic crude extract of the leaf showed the highest activity against Staphylococcus aureus (Mean inhibition, 1.83) and Aspergillus niger (mean inhibition, 1.43), and also recorded higher activity those of the standard ds. Organic crude extract of flower showed significant activity against one only organism- Staphylococcus aureus. Thin Layer Chromatography-Bioautography Agar Overlay, showed that saponins were eliciting over 60% of all the antimicrobial activity. These results suggest that Vernonia glabra may contain phytochemicals of medicinal properties and also justifies the use of Vernonia glabra in herbal medicine for the treatment of microbial diseases. In particular, the V. glabra leaf may contain broad spectrum antibacterial and antifungal agents that could be useful in the development of competent antimicrobial drugs. Further investigation to isolate, determine the pure and safe antimicrobial compounds is recommended for scientific verification and validation of the drugs from Vernonia glabra.




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