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In this study, the antibacterial potency of herbal ointments formulated with methanolic extract of Cassia alata was evaluated. The preliminary in vitro antibacterial activity of the methanolic extracts of sun-dried leaves of Cassia alata was determined against Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa using the Agar cup plate method. The antibacterial activity of the extract was predominantly against Gram-positive organisms. Herbal ointments were prepared by incorporating the methanolic extract of Cassia alata (10 % w/w) into aqueous cream, emulsifying ointment and simple ointment bases and evaluated for their in vitro antibacterial efficacy. The formulation containing Cassia alata extract in aqueous cream showed comparatively better antibacterial activity than the other formulations in the following order: aqueous cream > emulsifying ointment > simple ointment > crude extract. The herbal ointment also compared favourably with a commercial brand of Gentamicin ointment. This study shows that Cassia alata has antibacterial activity and also has high potential as antibacterial agent when formulated as ointment for topical use and could therefore explain the successes claimed in the folk use of the plant in the treatment of common skin conditions.
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Author(s): Chris A Alalor Cecilia I Igwilo Chukwuemeka P Azubuike
Cassia alata, antibacterial properties, Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, herbal ointments.