A Review on Medicinal Plants Against Some Human Pathogenic Bacteria (E. coli, S.dysentery, S.typhi, P.aeruginosa and S. aureus) in South East Ethiopia

Shiferaw Belay


DOI: 10.7176/JBAH/9-19-03

Publication date:October 31st 2019


INTRODUCTION 1.1.    Historical use of medicinal plants as medicine

In many parts of the world, medicinal plants have been used as traditional treatments for various human ailments for thousands of years. The use of plant and its products has a long history in maintaining human health that began with folk medicine and through the years has been incorporated into traditional and allopathic medicine (Gislene et al., 2000; Dubey et al., 2011). Plants have a long history of use in treatment and management of different diseases all over the world since ancient times and about 25% of current drugs are derived from plants (Wanyoike et al., 2004). In certain African countries up to 90% of the population relies exclusively on plants as sources of medicines (Hostetman et al., 2000).

Medicinal plants have been recognized as potential sources of new compounds for therapeutic use. Findings from researchers and pharmaceutical entrepreneurs have pointed out that ethno botanically derived compounds have greater activity than compounds derived from random screening and thus a greater potential for novel products developed (Njoroge and Bussmann, 2006). Natural products as pure compounds or standardized plant extracts provide an unlimited opportunities for new drug leads due to their unmatched availability of chemical diversity (Parekh and Chanda, 2007). Natural products have been used in traditional medicine all over the world for thousands of years and they predate the introduction of antibiotics and other modern drugs (Balunas and Kinghorn, 2005, Parekh and Chanda, 2007). Plants are rich in a wide variety of secondary metabolites called phytochemicals such as tannins, alkaloids, and flavonoids that have been found to have antimicrobial properties. For example, the essential oil and eugenol purified from Ocimum gratissimum has been reported to treat pneumonia, diarrhea and conjunctivitis (Nakamura et al., 1999). These evidences contribute to support and quantify the importance of screening natural products.

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