J Crit Rev, Vol 3, Issue 2, 69-71 Review Article



1Department of Biotechnology, School of Life Sciences, Suresh Gyan Vihar University, Jaipur. India, 2Department of Biotechnology, JECRC University, Jaipur, India
Email: richatyagi31@gmail.com  

Received: 02 Feb 2016 Revised and Accepted: 01 Mar 2016


India is a great country that is recognized for its rich culture and medicinal plants. Most of the people in India are reliant on the herbal plants for their therapeutic needs. The present review will focus on Therapeutic plants from India along with its medicinal use.

Various medicinal plants have already proved their significance with curing diseases including bacteriological infections and some life threating serious diseases. Medicinal plants are rich in antioxidant and proved best as antimicrobial agents. Herbal drugs are achieving popularity as compared to allopathic drugs the reasons includes adverse effects of man-made antibiotics, the prompt surge in contagious diseases, the resistance of drug in microbes. Herbal plants show slow recovery; still a great population is using it because it showed no side effects and low resistance in microbes. Antimicrobial status of various herbal plants has been reported. Therapeutic plants work as a potent antimicrobial. Herbal plants are used for its medicinal purpose throughout the world as herbal plant provides a base material for various effective drugs. A great number of herbal plants has been used as a drug in the form of crude extracts and extensively used for their therapeutic possessions. A huge number of plants have been examined for antimicrobial possessions, but still the majority of plants have not been examined adequately. So, the present review will focus on some of the selected medicinal plants along with its antimicrobial status.

Keywords: Medicinal plants, Antimicrobial agent, Infections, Herbal drugs, Antifungal


The medical plants were in use since ages, Indian subcontinent uses plants for curing diseases, and the stream of science which deals with plants and its therapeutic effects were governed by Ayurveda. Ayurveda remains an important system of medicine and drug therapy in India. Today the pharmacologically active ingredients of many Ayurvedic medicines have been identified, and their usefulness in drug therapy is being determined. It is roughly estimated that of the discovered 17,000 species, nearly 3,000 species are used in the medicinal field.

As believed that Ayurveda exists in India for thousands of years. It employs various techniques to cure diseases. Ayurveda is totally dependent on herbal plants and its derivatives. According to World Health Organization, medicinal plants are the best source to obtain newer herbal drugs. About 80% of individuals from developed countries use traditional medicine, which has compounds derived from medicinal plants. Therefore, such plants should be investigated for a better understanding of their properties, safety, and efficacy.

The use of plant extracts and phytochemicals, both with known antimicrobial properties, can be of great significance in therapeutic treatments. In the last few years, a number of studies have been conducted in different countries to prove such efficiency. Many plants have been used because of their antimicrobial traits.

In the present review we have tried to include some of the antibacterial and antifungal effects of medicinal plants, the methanol leaf extracts of Tinospora cordifolia, Ziziphus mauritiana, Sida cordifolia, Acacia nilotica, Withania somnifer have showed potent antibacterial activity against Bacillus subtilis, E. coli, Pseudomonas fluorescens, Staphalococcus aureus and Xanthomonas axonopodis and antifungal activity against Aspergillus flavus, Dreschlera turcica, and Fusarium verticillioides. Withania somnifer is recognized as strong antibacterial, Methanol extract of Withania somnifer is effective against Candida albicans [1]. Organic extracts of Cassia fistula and Acacia aroma shows potent antibacterial and antifungal activities against various gram-positive bacteria.

Azadirachta indica popularly known as neem is effective against various infections and diseases, Neem shows antibacterial activity strongly against Vibrio cholera [2] Essential oil and organic extracts of Ziziphora clinopodioides shows antibacterial activity against a huge class of bacteria including Acidovorax facilis, Bacillus flexus, Bacillus sphaericus, Brevibacillus brevis, Corynebacterium, ammonia genes, Enterobacter sakazakii, Moraxella catarrhalis and Xanthomonas [3]. Argemone mexicana is reported to reduce bacterial infections of Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Pseudomonas aeruginosa when used as a crude extract with chloroform [4]. As reported Nephelium lappaceum methanolic extracts is effective against streptococcus epidermidis [5]. Punica granatum is used as an effective agent against various antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic reactions against Streptococcus aureus and Streptococcus epidermidis [6].

In Asia, people use plant extract of Ruta graveolens and Zingiber officinale, and it inhibits the growth of Bacillus cereus species [7]. Oil extracted from Aachillea millefolium’s leaves and stem represent higher antimicrobial activity compared to its organic extracts. Essential oil from the plant inhibits the growth of Streptococcus pneumonia, Clostridium perfringes and Candida albicans and it inhibits Mycobacterium smegmatis, Acinetobacter lwoffii and Candida krussei [8].

70% methanol extract from leaves of Mikania glomerata (“guaco”),  mguava, Baccharis trimera (carqueja), Mentha piperita(peppermint) and Cymbopogon citratus (lemongrass), and A. sativum (garlic), Syzygium aromaticum (clove) and Zingiber officinale (ginger) worked as an antimicrobial,all showed action against Staphylococcus aureus and satisfactory result in clove at the concentration of 0.36 mg/ml and guava at 0.56 mg/ml. According to a study the hydroalcoholic extracts from Vernonia polyanthes (“assa-peixe”), Aristolochia triangularis (“cipó mil-homens”),Tabebuia avellanedae (purple trumpet tree) and Stryphnodendron adstringens (“barbatimão”) shows antimycobacterial activity [9].

Vernonia Polyanthes extract shows potent inhibitory activity against Leishmania strains. In the same way, under same condition Baccharis dracunculifolia oil (“alecrim-do-campo”)at a concentration of 10-μL inhibits the microbial growth of E coli, Staphylococcus aureus and P. aeruginosa [10]. Alkaloid extract of Phyllanthus discoideus inhibits the growth of many pathogenic bacteria including E. coli, E. faecium, P. aeruginosa, S. aureus and M. smegmatis [11].

Leaves of some medicinal plants including Achyranthes aspera, Artemisia parviflora, Azadirachta indica, Calotropis gigantean, Lawsonia inermis, Mimosa pudica, Ixora coccinea, Parthenium hysterophorus and Chromolaena odorata were examined for antimicrobial activity against various bacteria in different solvents, and they show their maximum inhibition against E. coli, S. aureus, X. vesicatoria. Chloroform extract of Curcuma amada was effective against bacillus cereus and bacillus subtilis bacteria [12], a novel product named amadan numen from curcuma amada inhibits the bacterial growth. Crude methanolic extract of Mallotus peltatus is reported to be effective against the bacterial growth of Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, Bacillus species [13].

Emblica officinalis and Nymphae odorata extract together is used to suppress the bacterial growth of Staphylococcus aureus. Gallium Sativum [14], commonly known as garlicis useful against various disease; it is rich in anti-oxidant. Eucalyptus Globulus is also known as eucalyptus is used to treat disorders of the urinary and respiratory tract, it shows a high level of antibacterial and anti-fungal properties.

Bidens pilosa L extract is used as anthelmintic and protozoaide agent, used for its antiseptic properties [15]. It is rich in flavonoid[16], The ethanol leaf extract of Bixa orellana L shows antimicrobial activity against gram-positive bacteria [17] Candida albicans is also used against malaria and leishmaniasis [18], Its seed contain carotenoids [19]. The ethanol leaf extract of Cecropia peltata L was effective as anti-bilious, cardiotonic and diuretic agent [20] and leafs are valuable as medicine against lennorrhea and warts [21, 22].

Decoction of Leafs from Cinchona officinalis is found effective against amebiasis. Dried bark is used to treat diseases caused by a pathogenic strain of P. falciparum, and herpes [23]. This extract is a rich source of quinoline alkaloid [24]. Medicinal plant Gliricidia sepium is rich in antioxidant, Its branches and leafs are effective against fever, employed against infections caused by Microsporum canis, Trichophyton menta agrophytes, and Neisseria gonorrohae [25]. Aqueous extract of Jacaranda mimosifolia is effective against Pseudomonas aeruginosa; the flowers of the plant contain flavones and flavonoids [27]. The leafs of the plants are known to have triterpenes, flavones, and steroids [26].

Justicia secunda is used as a disinfectant to treat scorpion wounds [27] while Piper pulchrum is found effective against snake bite [28]. Flowers from medicinal plant Spilanthes Americana is effective against infections of mouth and variety of herpes; they possess spilantol [29].

Carbazole alkaloid extracted from the stem bark of clausena anisata contains antibacterial and antifungal properties [30]. Alcoholic and acetonic leaf extract of Cassia alata is reported with antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus, coagulase positive Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus stearothermophillus, Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhi and Salmonella dysmetriae while the alcoholic leaf extract of the same inhibits the growth of Klebsiella pneumonia and acetone extract inhibits the growth of Vibrio cholerae [31].

Dry nuts of semecarpus anacardium is effective against various bacteria including 3- gram negative bacteria (Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhi and proteus vulgeris and gram positive strain (Staphylococcus aureus and Corynebacterium diphtheriae) [32]. Medicinal plant amona glabra shows potent antibacterial, antifungal modest insecticidal, sporicidal and cytotoxic activity. The hexane extract of the plant is used for the procedure [33].

Antibacterial activity of plants like Eugenia caryophyllus, Thymus vulgaris, Cinnamonum zeylanium and Cuminum cyminum, hexane extract of these plants were examined on various gram negative and gram positive bacteria, and Thymus vulgaris shows best antibacterial activity among all [34].

Cuminum Ciminum popularly known as cumin reported showing high antibacterial and antifungal properties. Extracts from the bark of Walnut are effective against pseudomonas and candida microorganisms; it is active against all microbial infections. Thymus Vulgaris used against the antibacterial activity because it is rich in phenol, Achillea Millefolium reported to show effectiveness in healing properties against antibacterial and antifungal infections, commonly it is used to cure wound, it is used as an extract in an organic solvent. Pinus Silvestris commonly known as pine used widely for its antiseptic activities, because of the presence of turpentine it is widely used against urinary tract infections and can be used against fungal infections. Organic extract from Peumus boldus, Agathosma betulina, Echinacea angustifolia, Humulus lupulus, Glycyrrhiza glabra, Mahonia aquifolium, Usnea barbata and Anemopsis californica shown activity against various microbial and fungal infections.


The above-mentioned review clearly shows that medicinal plants are an important link between diseases and drugs; they play an active role in curing all disease and infections. Almost all plants have medicinal belongings; the main aim of the article was to consider few therapeutic plants of Indian origin.


Declared none


  1. Kambizi L, AJ Afolayan. Extracts from Aloe ferox and Withania somnifera inhibit Candida albicans and Neisseria gonorrhoea. Afr J Biotechnol 2008;7:12-5.
  2. Thakurta P, Bhowmik P, Mukherjee S, Hajra TK, Patra A, Bag PK. The antibacterial, antisecretory and antihemorrhagic activity of Azadirachta indica used to treat cholera and diarrhea in India. J Ethnopharmacol 2007;111:607-12.
  3. Ozturk S, Ercisli S. Chemical constitutions and antibacterial activity of Ziziphora clinopodioides. Food Control 2007;18:535-40.
  4. Bhattacharjee I, Chatterjee SK, Chandra G. Isolation and identification of antibacterial components in seed extracts of Argemone Mexicana L. (Papaveraceae). Asian Pac J Trop Med 2010;3:547-51.
  5. Thitilertdecha N, Teerawutgulrag A, Rakariyatham N. Antioxidant and antibacterial activities of Nephelium lappaceum L. extracts. LWT-Food Sci Technol 2008;41:2029-35.
  6. Panichayupakaranant P, Tewtrakul S, Yuenyongsawad S. Antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic activities of standardized pomegranate rind extract. Food Chem 2010;123:400-3.
  7. Alzoreky NS, Nakahara K. Antibacterial activity of extracts from some edible plants commonly consumed in Asia. Int J Food Microbiol 2003;80:223-30.
  8. Candan F, Unlu M, Tepe B, Daferera D, Polissiou M, Sokmen A. Antioxidant and antimicrobial activity of the essential oil and methanol extracts of Achillea millefolium subsp. Millefolium Afan. (Asteraceae). J Ethnopharmacol 2003;87:215-20.
  9. Oliveira DG, Prince KA, Higuchi CT, Santos ACB, Lopes LMX, Simões MJS. The anti-mycobacterial activity of some Brazilian indigenous medicinal drinks. J Basic Appl Pharm Sci 2007;28:165-9.
  10. Braga FG, Bouzada ML, Fabri RL, Matos MO, Moreira FO, Scio E. Anti-leishmanial and antifungal activity of plants used in traditional medicine in Brazil. J Ethnopharmacol 2007;111:396-402.
  11. Mensah JL, Lagarde I, Ceschin C, Michelb G, Gleye J, Fouraste I. Antibacterial activity of the leaves of Phyllanthus discoideus. J Ethnopharmacol 1990;28:129-33.
  12. K Policegoudra RS, Abiraj K, Gowda DC, Aradhya SM. Isolation and characterization of the antioxidant and antibacterial compound from the mango ginger (Curcuma amada Roxb.) rhizome. J Chromatogr B 2007;852:40-8.
  13. Chattopadhyay D, Arunachalam G, Mandal AB, Sur TK, Mandal SC, Bhattacharya SK. Antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory activity of folklore: Mallotus peltatus leaf extract. J Ethnopharmacol 2002;82:229-37.
  14. Mandal S, Mandal MD, Pal NK, Saha. Synergistic anti–staphylococcus aureus activity of amoxicillin in combination with emblica officinalis and nymphae odorata extracts. Asian Pac J Trop Med 2010;3:711-4.
  15. Bondarenko AS, Petrenko GT, Aizenman BE, Evseenko OV. Anti-microbial properties of phenylheptatriyne, a polyacetylene antibiotic. Mikrobiol Zh 1985;47:81–3.
  16. Brandao MGL, Krettli AU, Soares LSR, Nery CGC, Marinuzzi HC. Antimalarial activity of extracts and fractions from Bidens pilosa and Bidens species (Asteraceae) correlated with the presence of acetylene and flavonoid compounds. J Ethnopharmacol 1997;57:131–8.
  17. Fleischer TC, Ameade EPK, Mensah MLK, Sawer IK. Antimicrobial activity of the leaves and seeds of Bixa Orellana. Fitoterapia 2003;74:136–8.
  18. Irobi ON, Moo-Young M, Anderson WA. In vitro clonal propagation of annatto (Bixa orellana L.). Pharm Biol 1996:34:87.
  19. Kiokias S, Gordon MH. Antioxidant properties of annatto carotenoids. Food Chem 2003;83:523–9.
  20. Caceres A, Lopez BR, Giron MA, Logemann H. Plants used in Guatemala for the treatment of dermatophyte infections. 1. Screening for the antimycotic activity of 44 plant extracts. J Ethnopharmacol 1991;31:263–409.
  21. Hikawczuk J, Saad V, Guardia T, Juarez AO, Giordano OS. Anti-inflammatory activity of compounds isolated from Cecropia pachystachya. An Asoc Quim Argent 1998;86:167–70.
  22. Vásquez ML. Plantas y frutas medicinales de Colombia y América. Bogota: Climent. Cecropia; 1982. p. 134–5.
  23. Warhurst DC. Cinchona alkaloids and malaria. Lancet 1981;2:1346–7.
  24. Wijesekera OB, Rajapakse LS, Chelvarajan DW. A simple thin-layer chromatographic method for separation of cinchona alkaloids. J Chromatogr 1976;21:388–9.
  25. Gupta MP. Plantas Medicinales Iberoamericanas. Bogota: Presencia Ltda; Gliricidia sepium; 1995. p. 378–9.
  26. Gambaro V, Garbarino JA, Galeffi C, Nicoletti M, Messana I, Marini-Bettolo GB. Constituents of jacaranda mimosaefolia. Rev Latinoam Quim 1988;19:17–9.
  27. Binutu OA, Lajubutu B. Antimicrobial potentials of some plant species of the Bignoniaceae family. Afr J Med Med Sci 1994;23:269.
  28. Lans C, Harper T, Georges K, Bridgewater E. Medicinal and ethnoveterinary remedies of hunters in Trinidad. BMC Complementary Altern Med 2001;1:1–10.
  29. Ospina LS, Olarte J, Nuñez E. Phytopharmacological studies on a liposoluble fraction of spilanthes americana (Mutis) flowers. Part I. Phytochemical studies. Rev Colomb Cienc Quim Farm 1986;15:37.
  30. Chakraborty A, Chowdhury BK, Bhattacharya P. Clausenol and clause nine-two carbazole alkaloids from Clausena anisata. Phytochemistry 1995;40:295-8.
  31. Sakharkar PR, Patil AT. Antimicrobial activity of Cassia alata. Indian J Pharm Sci 1998;60:311-2.
  32. Nair A, Bhide SV. Antimicrobial properties of different parts of Semecarpus anacardium. Indian Drugs 1996;33:323-8.
  33. Padmaja V, Thankamany V, Hara N. Biological activities of Amona glabra. J Ethnopharmacol 1995;48:21-4.
  34. Agnihotri S, Vaidya AD. A novel approach to study antibacterial properties of volatile components of selected Indian medicinal herbs. Indian J Exp Biol 1996;34:712-5.

About this article





Additional Links

Manuscript Submission


Journal of Critical Reviews
Vol 3, Issue 2, 2016 Page: 69-71

Online ISSN



183 Views | Downloads

Authors & Affiliations

Richa Tyagi
Department of Biotechnology, School of Life Sciences, Suresh Gyan Vihar University, Jaipur. India

Gaurav Sharma
Department of Biotechnology, School of Life Sciences, Suresh Gyan Vihar University, Jaipur. India

Nakuleshwar Dut Jasuja
Department of Biotechnology, School of Life Sciences, Suresh Gyan Vihar University, Jaipur. India

Ekta Menghani
Department of Biotechnology, JECRC University, Jaipur, India


  • There are currently no refbacks.