Cassia alata Linn is an important medicinal plant as well as ornamental flowering plant. The leaf decoction of Cassia alata has been used to treat infectious diseases in north eastern Nigeria. This study was embarked upon so as to evaluate the safety and efficacy of Cassia alata in the management of fungal infectious diseases. The leaves of the plant were collected, dried and extracted using water and 95% ethanol. The extracts were used for evaluating antifungal activity against five clinical isolates of pathogenic fungi. The result of this study showed a dose dependent antifungal activity of both aqueous and ethanolic leaf extracts on the five selected clinical isolates of pathogenic fungi. The extracts inhibited the growth of Candida albicans, Microsporum canis and Trichophyton mentagrophyte better than the ketoconazole 200 mg used as a positive control (p<0.05). The minimum inhibitory concentration of the water leaf extract of Cassia alata for Candida albicans, Aspergillus niger, Penicillium notatum, Microsporium canis and Trichophyton mentagrophytes were 26.90 mg, 32.40 mg, 29.50 mg, 30.30 mg and 27.80 mg respectively, while that of ethanol leaf extract of Cassia alata for Candida albicans, Aspergillus niger, Penicillium notatum, Microsporium canis and Trichophyton mentagrophytes were 5.60 mg, 3.50 mg, 4.90 mg, 12.60 mg and 9.80 mg respectively. Cassia alata has been found to exhibit a greater antifungal activity against some human pathogenic fungi in this study and this has justified the traditional use of this plant in managing fungal diseases.
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