Antimicrobial Studies of Stem of Different Berberis Species

  • Singh, Meenakshi (Pharmacognosy & Ethnopharmacology Division, National Botanical Research Institute) ;
  • Srivastava, Sharad (Pharmacognosy & Ethnopharmacology Division, National Botanical Research Institute) ;
  • Rawat, Aks (Pharmacognosy & Ethnopharmacology Division, National Botanical Research Institute)
  • Published : 2009.06.30


Berberis is an important medicinal plant, of the family Berberidaceae. Different Berberis species and their parts are very common in herbal drug markets of India and world over as an adulterant/substitute to 'Daruharidra' i.e. B. aristata DC. Antimicrobial activity of 50% hydroalcoholic extracts of stem of four Berberis species viz. B. aristata DC., B. asiatica Roxb. ex DC., B. chitria Lindl. and B. lycium Royle and the isolated alkaloid berberine were tested against eleven bacterial and eight fungal strains. The extracts with the strongest antibacterial activity was obtained from B. lycium followed by B. aristata, B. asiatica and B. chitria. Based on these results it is possible to conclude that the hydroalcoholic extract and alkaloid (berberine) has stronger and broader spectrum against bacterial strains as compared to fungal strains. The result obtained in the present study authenticates and support the use of these plants in folklore medicine for treatment of various infectious diseases caused by the bacterial pathogens. However, an attempt has been made to explore the possibilities of utilizing stem part rather than roots of these species with the aim to conserve this species which is over exploited due to diverse use of its root. These findings will stimulate the search for novel, natural products as new antibacterial/antifungal agents which may be useful to pharmaceutical industries.


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