The antioxidant properties and antimicrobial potential of three ethnomedicinal plants, (Momordica charanta, Senna alata and Nauclea lafifolia) extracted with acetone were investigated. Polyphenols from the medicinal plants were screened for their antioxidant and antimicrobial activities against pathogenic micro organisms (Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pyogenes, Esherichia coli and Candida albicans). The medicinal plants displayed different polyphenols contents and antioxidant activities. In addition, varying antimicrobial susceptibility patterns were exhibited. The highest amount of total phenolic compounds was shown by S. alataand the lowest one was M. charanta. The extract of S. alata showed the highest antioxidant activity. Some micro organisms (S. aureus and C. albicans) were susceptible to the polyphenol extracts with minimum inhibitory concentration values between 1.25 to 5.00 mg/ml while other microorganisms (S. pyogenes and E. coli) appeared to be resistant to the extracts. The results suggested that these plants are not only potential sources of phenolic antioxidants but also potentially, good source of antimicrobial agents.
Key words: Antimicrobials, antioxidants, ethnomedicinal plants, polyphenols.
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