Antimicrobial activities and microorganisms associated with herbal remedies sold in Ebonyi State, Nigeria


O.C Ugbogu, F.S Bigah and A.C.Ogodo

This study investigated the phytochemical content, physicochemical parameters, microbial quality and antimicrobial activities of the herbal remedies sold in Ebonyi State, Nigeria. Twenty commercially sold samples were purchased randomly from retail outlets and herbalist shops in nine local government areas of Ebonyi State. The phytochemical analysis revealed the presence of saponins, tannins, alkaloids, flavonoids, glycosides and steroids. The range of the different physicochemical parameters were; carbohydrate (28.00±0.00 to 62.52±0.01%), total solid (1-43%), protein (23.72±0.03 to 88±0.02%), moisture content (3.21±0.02 to 19.98±.02%), ash (5.00±0.10 to 31.09±0.01%), crude fat (2.33± 0.02 to 17.99± 0.00%), crude fibre (5.60± 0.03 to 21.52± 0.11%) and pH (4.20-8.30). The distribution of the biomolecules across the different local governments did not differ significantly (P�?�?0.05). The total viable count of the samples ranged from 1.6×107 - 11.3×107 cfu/ml, total bacterial count ranged from 6.0×106 –6.07×107 cfu/ml while total fungal count ranged from 1.0×106 – 3.5×107 cfu/ml. The microorganisms isolated are Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Escherichia coli, Salmonella enteritidis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Shigella species, Enterobacter species, Candida albicans, Rhodotorula rubra, Candida tropicalis, Fusarium species, and Penicillium species. The antimicrobial susceptibility test revealed that most of the herbal remedies were not active against the clinical isolates (Salmonella typhi, E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae and Candida albicans) except sample 8 which was active with zone of inhibition of 15 to 22mm. There was a significant difference between the different samples in terms of their activities against the isolates (P<0.05). This study revealed that herbal remedies in retail outlets of Ebonyi State were contaminated

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