In vitro antimicrobial activity of phytotherapic Uncaria tomentosa against endodontic pathogens

J Oral Sci. 2010 Sep;52(3):473-6. doi: 10.2334/josnusd.52.473.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the antimicrobial activity of Uncaria tomentosa (Willd.) DC (cat's claw) against Enterococcus faecalis, Staphylococcus aureus, and Candida albicans. Suspensions with 10(8) cells/ml of each microorganism were plated in triplicate on Mueller-Hinton agar. Wells in the agar were made and filled with 2% chlorhexidine (CHX) gel, 2% cat's claw (CC) gel, 2% CHX+CC, and 1% hydroxyethylcellulose (NAT) gel. Inhibition halos were measured after 24 h at 37°C and differences were analyzed using one-way ANOVA. The mean diameter of the microbial growth inhibition zones of 2% CHX+CC against the tested microbial strains ranged from 21.7 to 33.5 mm. This was the most effective substance against E. faecalis and C. albicans, followed by CHX and CC. Against S. aureus, CHX+CC, CHX, and CC showed similar antimicrobial activity (P > 0.05). The results indicate that all the investigated compounds had antimicrobial activity against microorganisms frequently found in infected root-filled teeth.

MeSH terms

  • Alkaloids / pharmacology
  • Candida albicans / drug effects
  • Cat's Claw*
  • Chlorhexidine / pharmacology
  • Dental Pulp Necrosis / microbiology*
  • Drug Combinations
  • Enterococcus faecalis / drug effects
  • Glycosides / pharmacology
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Root Canal Irrigants / pharmacology*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects


  • Alkaloids
  • Drug Combinations
  • Glycosides
  • Plant Extracts
  • Root Canal Irrigants
  • Chlorhexidine