Testing Efficacy of Antimicrobial Activity in Tradition Medicinal Plants

Holcomb, Ella
Hanson, Laura
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The aim of this study is to find antimicrobial treatments from traditional medicinal plants that would help combat the growing number of antimicrobial resistant microorganisms, with special interest in STI’s. We also plan to test for lack of spermicidal activity, as many women cannot use protections that interfere with fertility. Air dried samples were rehydrated in cold water (4:1 volume to grams), twice, and filter sterilized. The samples were used with representative Gram – and + bacteria to measure growth inhibition in a microplate inhibition assay. We found for both bacterial species tested complete growth inhibition by Euphorbia serpens (creeping spurge) extracts and partial inhibition by Maclura pomifera (osage orange) and Callicarpa americana (beauty berry). Further study into mammalian cell toxicity and viral growth inhibition is ongoing. Humans have used plants to treat illness for hundreds of years, but scientific research could help standardize treatments that are accessible and easily produced. (Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Laura Hanson)