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Int J Antimicrob Agents. 1999 Aug;12(3):257-62.

Antimicrobial activity of spices.

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Department of Microbiology, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, India.


Spices have been shown to possess medicinal value, in particular, antimicrobial activity. This study compares the sensitivity of some human pathogenic bacteria and yeasts to various spice extracts and commonly employed chemotherapeutic substances. Of the different spices tested only garlic and clove were found to possess antimicrobial activity. The bactericidal effect of garlic extract was apparent within 1 h of incubation and 93% killing of Staphylococcus epidermidis and Salmonella typhi was achieved within 3 h. Yeasts were totally killed in 1 h by garlic extract but in 5 h with clove. Some bacteria showing resistance to certain antibiotics were sensitive to extracts of both garlic and clove. Greater anti-candidal activity was shown by garlic than by nystatin. Spices might have a great potential to be used as antimicrobial agents.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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