Phytochemical characterization of fresh bidens pilosa extracts and evaluation of its antimicrobial properties.
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Human health greatly depend on the use of plants; which serve as sources of food and medicine. The medicinal application of natural products has been found useful since these products were discovered to have therapeutic and healing properties. The potency of B. pilosa is thought to result from its phytochemicals/bioactive components. Despite the fact that endogenous bacteria are beneficial to the host in their natural habitat many of these micro-organisms are potentially pathogenic. Wound contamination may involve micro-organisms derived from several sources, and therefore are mainly involved in slow or failed wound healing. For a healthy population, emergency, affordable medical responses are required, although accessibility is a challenge, given the low outreach especially in rural areas. Adverse effects of some pharmaceutical drugs like immune rejection, weakness, drowsiness, vomiting, resistance and others discourage their use by patients. Plant extracts and herbs always come in as viable options for the treatment of various infections. This study is aimed at evaluating the medicinal properties of B. pilosa; to test the phytochemicals in aqueous plant extracts against some medically important bacteria, and determination of minimum inhibitory concentrations, comparing leaf and flower extracts. A positive control i.e. gentamycin was used against the test samples, and distilled water as a negative control. The test strains used in antimicrobial activity included Staphylococcus aureus and Klebsiella pneumoniae. Phytochemical composition of flowers is generally lower than that in leaves, except for flavonoids, that are present in flowers but absent in leaves. The leaf extract had a higher antimicrobial activity than the flower extract, and the pharmaceutical drug, gentamycin, had the highest antimicrobial activity compared to all. Distilled water does not possess antimicrobial activity. A lower concentration of flower extract is required to cause antimicrobial activity as compared to the leaf extract, since the flower extract generally has a lower minimum inhibitory concentration. Also, it can be concluded that Staphylococcus aureus has a higher growth rate than Klebsiella pneumoniae, and is more resistant to antimicrobial activity.