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BMC Complement Altern Med. 2014 Sep 20;14:343. doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-14-343.

Antibacterial effect of crude extract and metabolites of Phytolacca americana on pathogens responsible for periodontal inflammatory diseases and dental caries.

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School of Biotechnology, Yeungnam University, Gyeongsan, Gyeongbuk 712-749, Republic of Korea.



The oral cavity is the store house of different species of microorganisms that are continuously engaged in causing diseases in the mouth. The present study was conducted to evaluate the antibacterial potential of crude extracts of the aerial parts of Phytolacca americana and its natural compounds against two oral pathogens, Porphyromonas gingivalis and Streptococcus mutans, which are primarily responsible for periodontal inflammatory diseases and dental caries, as well as a nonpathogenic Escherichia coli.


Crude extract and fractions from the aerial parts of P. americana (0.008-1.8 mg/mL) were evaluated for their potential antibacterial activity against two oral disease causing microorganisms by micro-assays. The standard natural compounds present in P. americana, kaempferol, quercetin, quercetin 3-glucoside, isoqueritrin and ferulic acid, were also tested for their antibacterial activity against the pathogens at 1-8 μg/mL.


The crude extract was highly active against P. gingivalis (100% growth inhibition) and moderately active against S. mutans (44% growth inhibition) at 1.8 mg/mL. The chloroform and hexane fraction controlled the growth of P. gingivalis with 91% and 92% growth inhibition at a concentration of 0.2 mg/mL, respectively. Kaempferol exerted antibacterial activity against both the pathogens, whereas quercetin showed potent growth inhibition activity against only S. mutans in a concentration dependent manner.


The crude extract, chloroform fraction, and hexane fraction of P. americana possesses active natural compounds that can inhibit the growth of oral disease causing bacteria. Thus, these extracts have the potential for use in the preparation of toothpaste and other drugs related to various oral diseases.

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