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Antibacterial Effect of Herbs and Spices Extract on Escherichia coli

Escherichia coli are the most commonly present bacterium in the human intestine, which helps in preventing the entry of pathogenic microorganisms. E. coli are non-pathogenic in normal conditions, but if present in excess, will become causative agent of various diseases like urinary tract infection, diarrhoea, vomiting etc. With increasing resistance of microorganisms to antibiotics, there is a shift of choice from allopathic to ayurvedic and naturopathy, where herbs and spices are very common ingredients of medicines. Herbs and spices are used in Indian recipes as they impart aroma and flavour to it. Most of the studies performed to check sensitivity of microorganisms for various herbs and spices involve extraction of the active component(s) with some organic solvents. However, when these plant products are used as ingredients of food, the effectiveness of extracts using organic solvents should not be a criterion. In the present study, frequently used herbs and spices are selected, their extracts are made using distilled water and tested for its antimicrobial effect against E. coli the most common intestinal non pathogenic organism. The antibacterial effect of various herbs and spices were evaluated using various methods. All the herbs and spices tested were able to inhibit E. coli growth, but Thyme (herb) and Turmeric (spice) were found to be most effective against E. coli.

Author(s): Venugopal Amrita, Dasani Sonal, Rai Shalini

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