Investigations into the antibacterial activities of phytotherapeutics against Helicobacter pylori and Campylobacter jejuni

Phytother Res. 2010 May;24(5):649-56. doi: 10.1002/ptr.2933.


The prevalence of gastric diseases is increasing with H. pylori, the causative agent of acute and chronic gastritis, being a major predisposing factor for peptic ulcer disease and gastric carcinoma. C. jejuni is the most common cause of enteric infections, particularly among children, resulting in severe diarrhoea. Increasing drug resistance of these bacteria against standard antibiotics, and the more widespread use of herbal medicines, favours investigations into additional anti-Helicobacter and anti-Campylobacter effects of phytotherapeutics that are already used for their beneficial effects on bowel and digestive functions. Twenty-one hydroethanol herbal extracts and four essential oils were screened for antibacterial activity using a modification of a previously described micro-dilution assay and compared with the inhibitory effects of antibiotics. The herbal extracts showing the highest growth inhibition of C. jejuni were Calendula officinalis, Matricaria recutita, Zingiber officinale, Salvia officinalis, Foeniculum vulgare and Silybum marianum. Agrimonia eupatoria, Hydrastis canadensis, Filipendula ulmaria and Salvia officinalis were the most active herbal extracts in inhibiting the growth of H. pylori. This study provides evidence for additional beneficial effects of phytotherapeutics marketed for their gastrointestinal effects and identifies new beneficial antibacterial effects for some herbal medicines not currently recommended for gastrointestinal problems.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Campylobacter jejuni / drug effects*
  • Campylobacter jejuni / growth & development
  • Helicobacter pylori / drug effects*
  • Helicobacter pylori / growth & development
  • Magnoliopsida / chemistry*
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Oils, Volatile / pharmacology
  • Phytotherapy
  • Plant Oils / pharmacology*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Oils, Volatile
  • Plant Oils