Many Phyllanthus species are indigenous to South Africa but its chemistry or biological activity has not been reported despite it use in ethnomedicine. Leaves extracts of Phyllanthus parvulus sond var. garipensis and Phyllanthus burchelliiwere screened phytochemically for the presence of secondary metabolites and in vitro antibacterial properties. Tannin, alkaloid, saponin, anthraquinone and flavonoid were the secondary metabolites present. A higher percentage of alkaloid, saponin and flavonoid were observed in the quantitative analyses of P. parvulus sond var.garipensis plant when compared to P. burchellii. The acetone, methanol and aqueous solvent extracts of the two plants show good inhibitory effect against most bacteria even at very low concentration of 0.16 mg/ml. However, the aqueous extract of P. parvulus var. garipensis was most active.
Key words: Phyllanthus parvulus var. garipensis, P. burchellii, quantitative and qualitative phytochemical screening, antibacterial.
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