Plants produce a diverse range of bioactive molecules, making them rich source of different types of
medicines. The medicinal value of plants lies in some chemical substances that produce a definite
physiological action on the human body. In this study, we explored the efficacy of methanol,
chloroform and petroleum ether extracts of two traditionally used medicinal plants Gnidia glauca
(Fresen) Gilg. and Pothos scandens L. against human pathogenic fungi and bacteria. The powdered
plant materials were subjected to soxhlet extraction and the concentrated extracts were tested for
antifungal activity by Agar well diffusion method. The zone of growth inhibition was recorded. The
presence of various phytoconstituents was observed in the methanol extract. Among the plants, G.
glauca exhibited potent antifungal activity than P. scandens. Methanol extract was found to inhibit test
fungi to more extent than chloroform and petroleum ether extracts. From the results, it is suggestive
that the plants selected for the study contain constituents possessing antifungal activity. All the
extracts except petroleum ether extract of P. scandens have shown antibacterial activity against gram
positive and gram negative bacteria. The minimum inhibitory concentration was determined for each
of the extract against test bacteria. It was found that the methanol extract was found to inhibit test
bacteria in a low concentration followed by chloroform and petroleum ether in most cases. The results
of the study justified the folkloric importance of the plants tested.
K. S. Vinayaka
Department of Botany, Plant Biology Lab., Sri Venkataramana Swamy College, Vidyagiri, Bantwal-574211, Dakshina Kannada, Karnataka, India.
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