Evaluation of antimicrobial activity and phytochemical qualitative analysis of Ephedra foliata Boiss. ex C.A. Mey.
Introduction: Ephedra foliata Boiss. ex C.A. Mey of the Ephedraceae family is an evergreen shrub distributed throughout North Africa and Southwest Asia. It has been a characteristic source of alkaloids like ephedrine, pseudoephedrine and other related mixes, which are of great importance for their biological and pharmacological potential. Objective: This study is aimed to evaluate the antimicrobial potential and phytochemical constituents studies on stem, leaves and flowers extracts of E. foliata. Method: The air-dried plant sample was powdered with an electric grinder, then extracted successively with solvents, namely petroleum ether, petroleum benzene, ethyl acetate, methanol, and aqueous using Soxhlet apparatus for 72 hours. The solid matter was separated by filtration and then solvents were evaporated with a vacuum rotary evaporator to obtain the crude extracts. Freshly prepared crude extracts were subjected to the standard procedures of preliminary phytochemical screening for the investigation of the presence or absence of different phytoconstituents. The result showed the presence of reducing sugars, flavonoids, and cardiac glycosides. Antimicrobial activity of the crude extract was determined by agar well diffusion method. Results: Ethyl acetate extract showed the highest antimicrobial activity against all the tested pathogens (Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Yersinia enterocolitica, Streptococcus pneumonia, Aspergillus terreus, Cladosporium herbarum and Candida tropicalis). All five extracts inhibited the growth of Y. enterocolitica. Conclusion: The antimicrobial properties of E. foliata extracts are of great interest in light of the ongoing threat of microbial resistance to conventional antibiotics. Phytoconstituents present in the E. foliata extracts might be a good alternative to modern antimicrobials as a natural compound.