Screening tests for antibacterial substances in plant extracts
Abstract: Techniques of screening plant extracts for antibacterial activity are presented. These techniques have been applied to the study of 742 'mother tinctures' (i. e. ethanolic extracts of plants used to prepare homoeopathic remedies) prepared from 466 different plant species. 48 plants inhibited a wide range of pathogenic bacteria at a dilution of 1 in 20 and a further 25 had activity more specifically against Staphylococcus aureus, including multi-drug resistant strains. Tube dilution studies showed that some compounds killed staphylococci at dilutions of up to 1 in 640 and that there were variations in bactericidal activity in preparations from different manufacturers. Tests for synergy and antagonism between plant extracts are also described and examples are given.
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