Cytotoxic, antioxidant, tyrosinase inhibitory, antimicrobial activities of the crude ethanol extract of dry powdered roots of Asparagus racemosus (Liliaceae) were investigated. The LC(50) to brine shrimp was 2189.49 microg/ml; the EC(50) for DPPH radical scavenging was 381.91 microg/ml; the IC(50) for tyrosinase inhibition was 7.98 mg/ml. The extract was active at 5-20 mg/ml against various pathogenic microbial (16 species, 18 strains) using the agar dilution assay, with the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) between 10-20 mg/ml for enteropathogens, the MIC between 5-20 mg/ml for dermatopathogens, and MIC = 10 mg/ml for a pneumonia causing bacteria Klebsiella pneumoniae. TLC and HPLC finger printing showed the presence of steroids-terpenes, alkaloids and flavonoids.
Keywords: Antimicrobial; Antioxidant; Antityrosinase; Asparagus racemosus; Phytochemistry.