Research: KELMANSON and colleagues,

Listed in Issue 54


KELMANSON and colleagues, Research Center for Plant Growth and Development, School of Botany and Zoology, University of Natal Pietermaritzburg, Scottsville, South Africa screened plants used in traditional Zulu medicine for antibacterial activity.



Aqueous, methanolic and ethyl acetate extracts of 14 plants used for the treatment of ailments of an infectious nature were screened for antibacterial activity.


Most of the activity detected was against gram-positive bacteria. Tuber bark extracts of Dioscorea sylvatica had activity against gram-negative Escherichia coli and extracts of Dioscorea dregeana, Cheilanthes viridis and Vernonia colorata were active against Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The highest antibacterial activity was found in extracts of C.viridis, D. dregeana, D. silvatica, Melianthus comosus and V. colorata. Generally, methanolic extracts showed higher antibacterial activity then aqueous and ethyl acetate extracts.


South African plants used in traditional Zulu medicine showed antibacterial activity against gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria.


Kelmanson JE et al. Zulu medicinal plants with antibacterial activity. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 69(3): 241-6. Mar 2000.

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