Antibacterial activity of medicinal plant extracts against periodontopathic bacteria

Phytother Res. 2003 Jun;17(6):599-604. doi: 10.1002/ptr.1188.


This study was performed to evaluate the antibacterial activity of Althaea officinalis L. roots, Arnica montana L. flowers, Calendula officinalis L. flowers, Hamamelis virginiana L. leaves, Illicium verum Hook. fruits and Melissa officinalis L. leaves, against anaerobic and facultative aerobic periodontal bacteria: Porphyromonas gingivalis, Prevotella spp., Fusobacterium nucleatum, Capnocytophaga gingivalis, Veilonella parvula, Eikenella corrodens, Peptostreptococcus micros and Actinomyces odontolyticus. The methanol extracts of H. virginiana and A. montana and, to a lesser extent, A. officinalis were shown to possess an inhibiting activity (MIC < or = 2048 mg/L) against many of the species tested. In comparison, M. officinalis and C. officinalis extracts had a lower inhibiting activity (MIC > or = 2048 mg/L) against all the tested species with the exception of Prevotella sp. Illicium verum methanol extract was not very active though it had a particular good activity against E. corrodens. The results suggest the use of the alcohol extracts of H. virginiana, A. montana and A. officinalis for topical medications in periodontal prophylactics.

MeSH terms

  • Althaea
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Arnica
  • Bacteria / drug effects*
  • Flowers
  • Hamamelis
  • Humans
  • Melissa
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Periodontal Diseases / microbiology
  • Periodontal Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use
  • Plant Leaves
  • Plant Roots
  • Plants, Medicinal*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Plant Extracts