Inhibitory properties of selected South African medicinal plants against Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Ezekiel Green, Amidou Samie, Chikwelu L. Obi, Pascal O. Bessong, Roland N. Ndip*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Citations (Scopus)


Ethnopharmacological relevance: Tuberculosis (TB), caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) is the most commonly notified disease and the fifth largest cause of mortality. One in 10 cases is resistant to treatment in some areas. Several plants are used locally to treat TB-related disease. Aims of the study: The aim was to screen selected South African medicinal plants used to treat TB and related symptoms by traditional healers for antimycobacterial activity. Materials and methods: Ethnobotanical information on these plants was obtained. Crude acetone, methanol, hexane and ethanol extracts of 21 selected medicinal plants obtained in Venda, South Africa were screened for their ability to inhibit MTB H37Ra and a clinical strain resistant to first-line drugs and one second-line drug using tetrazolium microplate assay to determine the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC). Results were analyzed using Microsoft Excel 2007 and One way ANOVA; p<0.05 was considered for statistical significance. Results: Few acetone extracts were active against MTB with MIC under 100μg/mL. Four plants showed lower MIC values; Berchemia discolor Klotzsch Hemsl 12, 5μg/mL on H37Ra and 10.5μg/mL on the clinical isolate, Bridelia micrantha Hochst. Baill (25μg/mL), Warbugia salutaris Bertol. F Chiov (25μg/mL), and Terminalia sericea Burch ex D. F (25μg/mL) on both H37Ra and clinical isolate. However, the roots of Ximenia caffra Sond. Var. caffra, barks of Sclerocarya birrea (A Rich) Hochst, Asclepias fruticosa L, tubers of Allium sativum L, leaves of Carica papaya L, Solanum panduriforme E. Mey C, and roots of Securidaca longepedunculata Fresen gave MIC greater than 100μg/mL. Conclusion: The acetone extracts of Berchemia discolor, Bridelia micrantha, Terminalia sericea and Warbugia salutaris could be important sources of mycobactericidal compounds against multidrug-resistant MTB.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-157
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Ethnopharmacology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Drug resistance
  • Medicinal plants
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis
  • South Africa
  • Tuberculosis


Dive into the research topics of 'Inhibitory properties of selected South African medicinal plants against Mycobacterium tuberculosis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this