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Research Journal of Pharmacology
Year: 2011  |  Volume: 5  |  Issue: 5  |  Page No.: 68 - 76

Anti-Microbial and Phyto-Chemical Properties of Crude Extracts of Garcinia kola Heckel Stems Used for Oral Health

C. Antwi-Boasiako and A. Abubakari    

Abstract: Garcinia kola Heckel is conventionally used for oral cleanliness. Anti-bacterial properties of aqueous extracts from its stem-wood and bark were investigated against Bacillus subtilis and Escherichia coli (gram +ve and -ve bacteria, respectively) using Agar-diffusion assay and measured in mean±standard deviation. Notable toothpaste (Pepsodent) was the standard/positive control. Its Inhibition Zone (IZ) against each isolate was compared with those of the extracts and sterile distilled water and the Activity Indices (AI) for each extract established. Phyto-chemical composition of the extracts was also determined. The extracts showed considerable inhibitory activities against the isolates. Their inhibition zones (4.50-10.50 mm) compare well with that for the standard against E. coli (3.00 mm) and B. subtilis (16.50 mm). Inhibition zone (6.00-10.50 mm) and activity index (0.36-0.64) for B. subtilis show it is more susceptible than E. coli (IZ = 0.00-7.50 mm; AI = 0.00-2.50). Stem-position influenced its anti-bacterial characteristics; the bark was more effective and exhibited greater IZ range (4.50-10.50 mm) with AI (0.64-2.00) than the wood (IZ = 0-7.50 mm; AI = 0.00-2.50). B. subtilis was more susceptible and showed less resistance to the extracts (AI = 0.36-0.64) than E. coli (AI = 0.00-2.00) which exhibited significant antibacterial activity. Phyto-chemical screening revealed G. kola contains saponins, tannins, alkaloids and flavonoids which also indicate its anti-microbial and therapeutic capabilities. This supports folkloric claim that its chewing-sticks are an effective tool for oral cleanliness alongside conventional toothpastes; their purified extracts could be employed in pharmaceutical formulations.

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