Antimicrobial activity of extracts of local cough mixtures on upper respiratory tract bacterial pathogens

West Indian Med J. 2003 Sep;52(3):188-90.


The punched-hole and the paper disc diffusion methods were used in screening for the antimicrobial activity of six common ingredients used locally in cough mixtures, against the following bacteria: Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus. Enterococcus faecalis, Escherichia coli, Salmonella spp, Salmonella paratyphi, Shigella dysenteria, Shigella sonnei and Candida albicans. The results, evaluated as the diameter of zone of inhibition of microbial growth, showed that lime, garlic onion, onion and honey were active against Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus faecalis, Candida albicans, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli, Salmonella spp and Shigella dysenteriae. Bitter-kola nut extract and palm kernel oil showed no antimicrobial activities against any of the tested organisms. None of the extracts inhibited the growth of Salmonella paratyphi and Shigella sonnei and the most susceptible organisms were Escherichia coli and Salmonella spp.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Infective Agents / pharmacology*
  • Citrus aurantiifolia
  • Cough / drug therapy*
  • Cough / microbiology*
  • Garlic
  • Honey
  • Humans
  • Medicine, African Traditional*
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Nigeria
  • Onions
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*


  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Plant Extracts