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Ethnobotanical and antimicrobial study of some selected medicinal plants used in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) as a potential source to cure infectious diseases

Nadeem Khan1*, Arshad Mehmood Abbasi1, Ghulam Dastagir2, Abdul Nazir1, Ghulam Mujtaba Shah3, Mohammad Maroof Shah1 and Munir H Shah4

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Environmental Sciences, COMSTAS Institute of Information Technology, 22060 Abbottabad, Pakistan

2 Department of Botany, University of Peshawar, 25120 Peshawar, Pakistan

3 Department of Botany, Hazara University Mansehra, 21300 KPK, Mansehra, Pakistan

4 Department of Chemistry, Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad, 45320 Islamabad, Pakistan

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BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2014, 14:122  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-14-122

Published: 4 April 2014



Present investigation deals with antimicrobial screening of ten medicinally important plants used by the inhabitants of district Haripur, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) for different infectious diseases.


Aqueous, n-hexane and ethanolic extracts of each plant were tested for their antimicrobial activity against both Gram positive and Gram negative strains of bacteria, as well as strain of yeast. Agar well diffusion and broth dilution methods were used to determine the antimicrobial activity of different plant extracts.


The results indicated that all plants exhibited antimicrobial activity against one or more test pathogens. Interestingly, extracts of three plants showed strong and broad spectrum activity as compared to rest of the extracts which demonstrated the moderate activity. On the whole ethanolic extracts exhibited maximum antimicrobial effect than their corresponding aqueous and n-hexane extracts, when compared with standard antibiotics i.e., Streptomycin and Tetracycline. Among various extracts, only ethanloic extract of Azadirachta indica and aqueous and ethanolic extracts of Eucalyptus globulus and Bergenia ciliata and ethanolic extract of Punica granatum were found to have potentially promising activity against test microorganisms.


Different plant extracts show promising antimicrobial activity justifying their usage in traditional medicines. This study will be continued to identify more plants with potential antimicrobial components.

Ethnobotanical; Antimicrobial; Medicinal plants; Infectious diseases; Pakistan