Anti-mycobacterial screening of five Indian medicinal plants and partial purification of active extracts of Cassia sophera and Urtica dioica

Asian Pac J Trop Med. 2013 May 13;6(5):366-71. doi: 10.1016/S1995-7645(13)60040-1.


Objective: To find out the anti-mycobacterial potential of Cassia sophera (C. sophera), Urtica dioica (U. dioica), Momordica dioica, Tribulus terrestris and Coccinia indica plants against multi-drug resistant (MDR) strain of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tuberculosis).

Methods: Plant materials were extracted successively with solvents of increasing polarity. Solvent extracts were screened for anti-mycobacterial activity against fast growing, non-pathogenic mycobacterium strain, Mycobacterium semegmatis, by disk diffusion method. The active extracts were tested against MDR and clinical isolates of M. tuberculosis by absolute concentration and proportion methods. The active extracts were subjected to bio-autoassay on TLC followed by silica column chromatography for isolation of potential drug leads.

Results: Hexane extract of U. dioica (HEUD) and methanol extract of C. sophera (MECS) produced inhibition zone of 20 mm in disc diffusion assay and MIC of 250 and 125 μ g/mL respectively in broth dilution assay against Mycobacterium semegmatis. Semipurified fraction F2 from MECS produced 86% inhibition against clinical isolate and 60% inhibition against MDR strain of M. tuberculosis. F18 from HEUD produced 81% inhibition against clinical isolate and 60% inhibition against MDR strain of M. tuberculosis. Phytochemical analysis indicated that anti-mycobacterial activity of MECS may be due to presence of alkaloids or flavonoids and that of HEUD due to terpenoids.

Conclusions: C. sophera and U. dioica plant extracts exhibited promising anti-mycobacterial activity against MDR strain of M. tuberculosis. This is the first report of anti-mycobacterial activity form C. sophera. This study showed possibility of purifying novel anti-mycobacterial compound(s) from C. sophera and U. dioica.

MeSH terms

  • Antitubercular Agents / chemistry
  • Antitubercular Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cassia / chemistry*
  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • Humans
  • Medicine, Traditional
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / drug effects
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Tuberculosis / drug therapy
  • Tuberculosis / microbiology
  • Urtica dioica / chemistry*


  • Antitubercular Agents
  • Plant Extracts