Author(s): Caceres A, Cano O, Samayoa B, Aguilar L
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Abstract Gastrointestinal disorders are important causes of morbidity in developing countries. Natural healing is the traditional way of treating these diseases in Guatemala. Ethnobotanical surveys and literature reviews showed that 385 plants from 95 families are used in Guatemala for the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders. The activity of 84 of the most commonly used plants was screened in vitro against five enterobacteria pathogenic to man (enteropathogenic Escherichia coli, Salmonella enteritidis, Salmonella typhi, Shigella dysenteriae and Shigella flexneri). Results indicate that 34 (40.48\%) plants inhibit one or more of the enterobacteria tested. The most commonly inhibited bacterium was S. typhi (33.73\%) and the most resistant was E. coli (7.35\%). The plants of American origin which exhibited the best antibacterial activity were: Byrsonima crassifolia, Diphysa robinioides, Gnaphalium stramineum, Guazuma ulmifolia, Psidium guajava, Sambucus mexicana, Simarouba glauca, Smilax lundelii, Spondias purpurea and Tagetes lucida. These results indicate a scientific basis for use of these medicinal plants for attacking enterobacterial infections in man.
This article was published in J Ethnopharmacol
and referenced in Biochemistry & Physiology: Open Access