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West Afr J Med. 2008 Oct;27(4):230-3.

Susceptibility of cariogenic Streptococcus mutans to extracts of Garcinia kola, Hibiscus sabdariffa, and Solanum americanum.

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School of Dentistry, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Nigeria.



The elimination of cariogenic bacteria from the oral cavity using antibacterial agents is one of the primary strategies for the prevention of dental caries. Avariety of plants with potent activity are known to be used in indigenous communities for dental hygiene worldwide.


To determine if Hibiscus sabdariffa, Solanum americanum and Garcinia kola can inhibit the growth of cariogenic bacteria in the mouth.


Methanol and aqueous extracts obtained from three plants, Hibiscus sabdariffa, Solanum americanum and Garcinia kola were studied for their antibacterial activity against cariogenic Streptococcus mutans obtained from patients with clinically identified carious lesions, using the agar dilution method. The sources of extracts for Garcinia, Hibiscus and Solanum were respectively fruits and leaves for the latter two.


The extracts (both methanol and aqueous) from Garcinia kola showed the most intensive activity and completely inhibited the growth of the primary cariogenic Streptococcus mutans at 1.25 mg/ml. Hibiscus sabdariffa was also active at a minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of 2.5mg/ml while Solanum americanum did not show any direct effect on S. mutans.


The result of this study showed that G. kola and H. sabdariffa have direct antibacterial effect on Streptococcus mutans.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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