Antimicrobial activity of distilled water (DE), methanol (ME), ethanol (EE) and ethyl acetate (EAE) extracts of Samanea saman pods was investigated by well-diffusion method against five pathogenic organisms: Bacillus subtilis (B. subtilis), Staphylococsus aureus (S. aureus), Escherichia coli (E. coli), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P. aeruginosa) and Candida albicans (C. albicans). Only ME showed measurable inhibitory activity against both B. subtilis and S. aureus and at concentrations of 20 and 10 mg/ml whereas EAE inhibited only S. aureus at a concentration of 20 mg/ml. Qualitative phytochemical screening of the different solvent extracts of the S. saman pods indicated varied presence of the phytochemicals. However, acidic compounds, proteins and fats/oils were absent, but all the tested solvent extracts except DE showed moderate presence of reducing sugars. Furthermore, while ME and EAE indicated high presence of carbohydrates, DE and EE showed only moderate presence of carbohydrates. On comparison, ME has more of the secondary metabolites followed by EE and EAE and then, DE. The study apparently highlights the biochemical basis for possible use of the S. saman pods (especially the methanol extract) in ethno-medication.
Key words: Samanea saman, fabeaceae, phytochemical, antimicrobial, ethno-medication, narrow spectrum.
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