M. Aparna1 and V. Gayathri2*

1Department of Microbiology, Ethiraj College for Women, Chennai – 600 008, Tamil Nadu, India.
2Associate Professor, Department of Microbiology, Ethiraj College for Women, Chennai – 600 008, Tamil Nadu, India.

Abstract

The present study aimed to formulate a natural medicine based upon the activity of three culinary herbs, namely, Plectranthus amboinicus, Mentha piperita and Ocimum basilicum combined with natural Aloe vera gel against common bacterial skin infections. Different isolates were obtained from skin infections such as boils, folliculitis, acne, papules, rashes, pustules etc. Gram positive cocci such as Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis and Streptococcus pyogenes were isolated from the samples and were identified based on preliminary tests, cultural characteristics and biochemical tests. A decoction of all the three herbs at a concentration of 100 mg/ml was prepared using three different solvents, namely, methane, acetone and water and tested against the pathogens using agar well diffusion method. Aloe vera gel was prepared and tested in combination with the three extracts to test for synergism. Results indicated that methanolic extract showed more inhibitory activity and Staphylococcus epidermidis was found to be more sensitive to the herbal extracts than the other two organisms. Thus, an effective natural medicine was prepared.

Keywords: Plectranthus amboinicus (Ajwain plant/ Mexican mint/ Indian borage/ Karpooravalli), Mentha piperita (Peppermint/ Pudina), Ocimum basilicum (Sweet Tulsi/ Thiruneetru pachilai), Aloe vera, skin infections, antimicrobial activity, Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Streptococcus pneumoniae.