KS Vinayaka, D Swathi, TR Prashith Kekuda, K Bhagath, N Mallikarjun

Journal of Natural Pharmaceuticals 2010 1(1):46-50

Background: Croton gibsonianus Nimm. Grah is a shrub belonging to the family Euphorbiaceae and grows in the under-story of the evergreen forests of the Western Ghats. The present study was performed to investigate the antibacterial, antifungal and free radical scavenging potentials of the methanol extract of C. gibsonianus leaves. Materials and Methods: The powdered leaf material was subjected to soxhlet extraction using methanol. The antibacterial and antifungal activities of the methanolic extract were determined by the agar well diffusion method. The free radical scavenging activity was performed using the DPPH free radical scavenging assay. Results: The extract was found to cause marked inhibition of Pseudomonas aeruginosa followed by Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus. Among fungi, Aspergillus niger was inhibited to a greater extent, followed by Chrysosporium indicum, Candida albicans and Trichophyton rubrum. The inhibition of test fungi was dose-dependent. The radical scavenging activity was found to be concentration dependent and the IC 50 value for the extract was found to be 43.78 μg/ml. A phytochemical analysis of the extract showed the presence of saponins, tannins, glycosides and terpenoids. Conclusion: The methanolic extract of C. gibsonianus leaves could be used in the treatment of bacterial and fungal infections and damage caused by free radicals. The presence of various phytochemicals might be responsible for these activities of the extract. Further studies on isolation of constituents from the extract and their biological activities are under investigation.