Ethnobotanical Leaflets 12: 1085-89. 2008.
Antibacterial Activity of Punica granatum L. against Gastro Intestinal Tract Infection Causing Organisms
B.V. Pradeep1*, M.K. Manojbabu2 and M. Palaniswamy1
2Department of Microbiology, P. G. P. College of Arts
and Science, Namakkal – 637 206,
*Corresponding author: email@example.com
The pericarp of Punica granatum Linn. has been commonly employed as a crude drug in Indian traditional medicine for the treatment of diarrhoea as well as for use as an astringent, antihelminthic, asphrodisacs, laxative, diuretic, stomachic, cardiotonic and refrigerant. Antibacterial activity of P. granatum pericarp extracts was evaluated against ten Gastro Intestinal Tract (GIT) infection causing bacterial strains using paper disc agar diffusion method. The result indicated that the extracts obtained from P. granatum pericarp exhibited antimicrobial activity against all organisms except the crude extract used against Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The methanol extract has exhibited maximum antibacterial activity against Salmonella typhimurium, Salmonella typhi and Shigella dysenteriae Serotype 1. Methanol extract shows significant activity against tested bacterial strains when compared to other extracts used in the study. Our findings suggest that an appropriate bioactive compound(s) may be developed from P. granatum pericarp as complementary alternative medicine for the treatment of GIT infection causing bacterial strains.
Key words: Medicinal plant, Antibacterial activity; Punica granatum; Gastrointestinal Tract Infections
Ever since the dawn of
civilization man has used plants for his food, shelter, and fodder for his
animals. Plants were also identified for use to cure him from innumerable
ailments which struck his physical being. They designated these plants as ‘medicinal
Punica granatum Linn
(Pomegranate) belonging to family punicaceae, has
long been esteemed as food and medicine, and is a diet in convalescence after
2000). It is used in Siddha, Ayurvedha
and Unani medicine especially for the treatment of
Gastro-Intestinal (GI) diseases.
Pomegranate is a fruit of great antiguity
and is known to have been cultivated in the
The fresh rind of the fruit
contains: wax,0.8; resin, 4.5; mannitol, 1.8;
non-crystallized sugars, 2.7; gums, 3.2; inulin,1.0; mucilage, 0.6; tannin,
10.4; gallic acid, 4.0; and calcium oxalate, 4.0%.
Pectin occur to the extent of 2-4 % (Ram, 1998).
Pomegranate peel combined with optimum level of aromatic such as cloves is a
most useful remedy in chronic dysentery as well as diarrhoea.
The rind is an antihelmintic and an astringent and useful in treating diarrhoea, dysentry and gastralgia (Prashanth, et al., 2001). Commonly used as
febrifuge and part of the diet in convalescence after diarrhoea.
Wet and dry fruit is good for heart,
stomach and enhances the production of hemoglobin. It is a good diuretic agent and gives
strength. Pulp is a good anti-diarrhoeal agent (Chaterjee and
Pakrashi, 1991; Hussain, et
al., 1992). Duraipandiyan et al., (2006) reported that dried fruit coat
is grounded and mixed with water and taken internally to treat stomachache
and diarrhoea. Extract of different parts of the
fruit exhibited antibacterial activity.
Extracts of the whole fruit were highly active against Micrococcus
aureus, E.coli, and Pseudomonas
aeruginosa. They were also very effective
against intestinal pathogenic bacilli such as Salmonella paradysenteriae
Ingestion of pathogens can cause
many different infections. These may be confined to the GIT or initiated in
the gut before spreading to other parts of the body. A syndrome characterized by GI symptoms
including nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and abdominal
discomfort. Worldwide, diarrhoea diseases are the
second leading cause of death; about 25 million enteric infections occur each
year. These infections cause
significant morbidity and death, particularly in elderly people and children younger
than age 5. It has been estimated that
children die each year from diarrhoea, particularly
in developing countries in
This traditional treatment
approach is of much significance in the world especially in
Materials and Methods
pericarp of the ripened and unripened
fruit of P. granatum
Linn. was selected for this study based on their
traditional practices by Indians. Fresh fruits both ripened and unripened were collected from the local market, Namakkal, Tamil Nadu,
Preparation of crude extracts
Pericarp of ripened and unripened fruit was collected and washed with sterile distilled water. Samples were crushed into parts and squeezed to remove the crude extract. The crude extracts were filtered through sterile musculine cloth into vials.
Preparation of methanol and acetone extract
The pericarp of ripened fruit was dried under shade and stored into fine powder using electric blender. 50g of dried powder sample was taken and extracted by soxhlet apparatus using methanol and acetone separately. The solvents were removed under reduced pressure in a rotary evaporator until they become completely dry. The residues were stored at 4°C for further use.
crude, methanol and acetone extracts of the pericarp
of P. granatum
was screened against a total of ten bacterial strains. Staphylococcus aureus,
Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Salmonella
paratyphi A, S. paratyphi
B, S. typhimurium, Shigella dysenteriae Serotype 1, Shigella flexneri
Serotype 2 and Vibrio cholerae were obtained from the
Determination of antibacterial activity
disc diffusion method (Voraruthikunchai et al., 2005) was used to screen the
antibacterial activity. In-vitro
antibacterial assay was screened by using Mueller Hinton Agar (MHA) obtained
Results and Discussion
The development of drug resistance in human pathogens against commonly used antibiotics has necessitated a search for new antimicrobial substances from other sources including plants and microbes (Erdogrul, 2002). The results on antimicrobial screening of the crude extracts of the P.granatum are shown in table 1. The antibacterial activity of the crude extract of both ripened and unripened pericarp extracts resulted in clear inhibition zones of atleast 10mm for all the strains tested except Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain. This antibacterial activity may be indicative of the presence of metabolic toxins or broad spectrum antibiotic compounds. This is in agreement with previous reports by the several researchers (Prasanth et al., 2001; Machado et al., 2002; Voravuthikunchai et al., 2005). Methanol extracts exhibited a higher degree of antimicrobial activity as compared with acetone extracts. Both methanol and acetone extracts of P.granatum pericarp showed high degree of antibacterial activity tested against GIT infection causing bacterial species which may be due to interesting novel secondary metabolites. Prasanth et al., 2001, reported that, different extracts of P.granatum fruit showed some antibacterial activity against Proteus vulgaris and Bacillus subtilis. Voravuthikunchai et al., (2004) reported that P.granatum contains large amount of tannins (25%) and the antibacterial activity may be indicating the presence of some secondary metabolites. The ethanolic extract of P.granatum showed some antibacterial activity against E.coli (Voravuthikunchai et al., 2005) and S.aureus (Machado et al., 2002).
Table 1. Antibacterial activity of extract of P. granatum pericarp (concentration 2.5 mg / disc, inhibition zone in mm).
The antibacterial activity of crude extract of unripened fruit of P. granatum is reported for the first time. Further phytochemical elucidations are required to determine the nature of compound(s) responsible for the antibacterial effects. This study is generally considered an effective approach in the discovery of new antibacterial agents from P. granatum.
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