Antibacterial, antisecretory and antihemorrhagic activity of Azadirachta indica used to treat cholera and diarrhea in India

J Ethnopharmacol. 2007 May 22;111(3):607-12. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2007.01.022. Epub 2007 Jan 21.


Indigenous uses of Azadirachta indica A. juss (Maliaceae) (locally known as neem) leaves in different parts of India for curing gastrointestinal disorder such as diarrhea and cholera is wide spread. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the antibacterial and antisecretory activity of neem extract against Vibrio cholerae, a causative agent of watery diarrhea such as cholera. The methanol extract of neem leaf was tested for its antibacterial, antisecretory and antihemorrhagic activity against Vibrio cholerae. Azadirachta indica extract had significant antibacterial activity against the multi-drug-resistant Vibrio cholerae of serotypes O1, O139 and non-O1, non-O139. The minimum inhibitory concentration reached by 50% (MIC50) and 90% (MIC90), and minimum bactericidal concentration for the extract were 2.5, > 5, and 10 mg/ml, respectively. Neem extract showed antisecretory activity on Vibrio cholerae induced fluid secretion in mouse intestine with inhibition values of 27.7%, 41.1%, 43.3%, 57.0%, and 77.9% at doses of 100, 200, 300, 450 and 1800 mg/kg, respectively. Oral administration of the extract inhibited hemorrhage induced by Vibrio cholerae in mouse intestine at a dose > or = 300 mg/kg. The results obtained in this study give some scientific support to the uses of neem employed by the indigenous people in India employed for the treatment of diarrhea and dreadful disease cholera.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Azadirachta*
  • Cholera / drug therapy*
  • Diarrhea / drug therapy
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Resistance, Multiple, Bacterial
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / drug therapy
  • India
  • Intestinal Secretions / drug effects
  • Medicine, Ayurvedic
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Phytotherapy
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plant Leaves
  • Plants, Medicinal
  • Vibrio cholerae / drug effects*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Plant Extracts