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Year : 2005  |  Volume : 37  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 126--127

A study of the antimicrobial activity of Elephantopus scaber

K Avani, S Neeta 
 B.V. Patel Pharmaceutical Education & Research Development Centre, Thaltej, Ahmedabad-380 054, India

Correspondence Address:
K Avani
B.V. Patel Pharmaceutical Education & Research Development Centre, Thaltej, Ahmedabad-380 054

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Avani K, Neeta S. A study of the antimicrobial activity of Elephantopus scaber.Indian J Pharmacol 2005;37:126-127

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Avani K, Neeta S. A study of the antimicrobial activity of Elephantopus scaber. Indian J Pharmacol [serial online] 2005 [cited 2022 Sep 26 ];37:126-127
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Finding healing power in plants is an ancient idea. People of all continents and civilizations used plants in one form or the other like poultice or decoction. Due to problems like adverse effects, limited lifespan and misuse of traditional antibiotics, efforts are currently underway to look for products of natural origin. Presently there is an increasing interest in the use of plant microbicides because of the necessity of finding safer microbicides and the need for preventing environmental degradation.

Elephantopus scaber Linn (Asteraceae) is a small herb, which grows in the wild throughout the hotter parts of India.[1] The major phytochemical constitutes of the plant are elephantopin, triterpenes, stigmasterol epifriedelinol and lupeol.[2],[3] The plant has been used in the Indian System of Medicine as an analgesic, diuretic, astringent and antiemetic. The leaves of the plant are used for conditions like bronchitis, small pox, diarrhea and as a brain tonic.[4] Recently it has been shown to possess antiinflammatory and antitumour activity in animal models.[2],[5] However, no scientific evidence is available regarding its antimicrobial activity. An investigation of E. scaber as an antiinfective agent is the objective of our present study.

The whole plant collected in the flowering stage was macerated overnight with solvents ethyl acetate and petroleum ether in a 1:5 drug solvent ratio X 3. Exhaustive extraction with the solvent was carried out by the cold extraction procedure. The respective extracts thus obtained were evaporated to dryness, and stored in amber-colored storage vials at 4-50C until used for the experiment.

Eleven ATCC (American Type Culture Collection) bacterial isolates were used in the present study.[6] Agar dilution method [7] with working concentration of 1, 2 and 4 mg/ml of ethyl acetate and petroleum ether extract were used for the study. Standard antibiotic ciprofloxacin (Cadila Pharmaceuticals, India) at 4 g/ml concentration was used as positive control.

Ethyl acetate extract of the plant showed growth inhibitory effect at 4 mg/ml concentration in all the bacterial isolates tested except Klebsiella pneumonia where it showed ~75% inhibition. Lower concentration of the extract showed concentration-dependent inhibition effect. At 2 mg/ml 50% inhibition in all the cultures was seen while at 1mg/ml it was completely ineffective when compared with the positive control (ciprofloxacin) and control (nutrient medium without antibiotic or plant extract) [Table:1].

Inhibitory effect of the petroleum ether extract with all the three concentrations was not found on any of the cultures used for the experiment except Micrococcus luteus where it showed 50% inhibition at 2 mg/ml and complete inhibition at 4 mg/ml of the concentration [Table:1].

The results of the study confirm the antimicrobial potential of the ethyl acetate extract of E. scaber. However, further detailed studies are required.


The authors acknowledge the Industrial Commissionerate and Gujarat Council Of Science and Technology (GUJCOST) for financial support.


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