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. 1996 Jun;52(2):61-70.
doi: 10.1016/0378-8741(96)01384-0.

The Antimicrobial Properties of Chile Peppers (Capsicum Species) and Their Uses in Mayan Medicine

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The Antimicrobial Properties of Chile Peppers (Capsicum Species) and Their Uses in Mayan Medicine

R H Cichewicz et al. J Ethnopharmacol. .

Abstract

A survey of the Mayan pharmacopoeia revealed that tissues of Capsicum species (Solanaceae) are included in a number of herbal remedies for a variety of ailments of probable microbial origin. Using a filter disk assay, plain and heated aqueous extracts from fresh Capsicum annuum, Capsicum baccatum, Capsicum chinese, Capsicum frutescens, and Capsicum pubescens varieties were tested for their antimicrobial effects with fifteen bacterial species and one yeast species. Two pungent compounds found in Capsicum species (capsaicin and dihydrocapsaicin) were also tested for their anti-microbial effects. The plain and heated extracts were found to exhibit varying degrees of inhibition against Bacillus cereus, Bacillus subtilis, Clostridium sporogenes, Clostridium tetani, and Streptococcus pyogenes.

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