DISCOVERING ANTIMICROBIAL POWERS OF SOME HERBS USED BY BEDOUIN IN THE JORDANIAN PETRATamadour Said Al-Qudah
Bedouin of Petra-Jordan have been using herbs in their foods and folk medicine since ages. Although phytochemical properties of many of these plants were investigated in some neighboring countries; many of these herbs are still veiled. In this study; antimicrobial activity of three herbs (Origanum jordanicum Danin and Kuenne, Plantago afra L. and Equisetum ramosissimum Desf.); which are endemic to the historical city of Petra were investigated. Three types of extracts (methanol; ethanol or water) were prepared from each plant to investigate their effect against seven bacterial strains (Bacillus subtilis ATCC 6633, Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 25923, Staphylococcus epidermidis ATCC 12228, Klebsiella pneumoniae ATCC 31488, Escherichia coli, Salmonella sp., and Erwinia carotovora) in addition to one yeast strain; Candida albicans ATCC 10231 using both disk diffusion and micro dilution (MIC) assays. Promising antimicrobial reactions were obtained from the experimented plant extracts from each plant type. In disk diffusion assay, the most inhibited bacteria species was Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 25923 exposed to ethanol extract of Origanum jordanicum Danin and Kuenne, and, Plantago afra L., with inhibition zones of (30Â±0.71 and 24.9Â±0.81 mm; respectively). On the other hand; the ethanol extract of Equisetum ramosissimum Desf. had strongly prohibited growth of Bacillus subtilis ATCC 6633 with inhibition zone of (25.0Â±0.84 mm). For MIC method; ethanol extract of Plantago afra L. and methanol extract of Equisetum ramosissimum Desf., were most effective against Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 25923 at MIC value of 0.391 mg/mL. Origanum jordanicum Danin and Kuenne methanol extract gave the best result against Staphylococcus epidermidis ATCC 12228 at 0.781 mg/mL MIC., while it was effective in both assays against Candida albicans ATCC 10231. Our data represent the first report for the antimicrobial activities of three plants had been used for ages by Bedouin of Petra for food and medicine. Furthermore; Origanum jordanicum Danin and Kuenne an endemic species to Petra was screened against different microbes for the first time. However, more research must be done to ensure the safety of those herbs and the possibility of being introduced to phytondustry.