An ethnomedicinal plant, Memecylon umbellatum Burm. f., was investigated for preliminary phytochemical screening and antimicrobial activity. Preliminary phytochemical screening of various extracts of the leaves revealed the presence of various classes of compounds such as amino acids, carbohydrates, flavonoids, gum, oil & resins, proteins, phenolic groups, saponins,steroids, tannins and terpenoids. Bioassay of antimicrobial activity of leaves of petroleum ether, chloroform and ethanol extracts showed significant activity against the human pathogens such as Streptococcus pneumoniae causing brain abscesses, pneumonia and septic arthritis, Proteus vulgaris, Pseudomonas aeruginosa causing urinary tract infections and septicaemia, Salmonella typhi causing typhoid fever, Vibrio species causing diarrheal infections and the fungus Candida albicans. The antimicrobial activity of the petroleum ether, chloroform and ethanolic leaf extract showed concentration-dependent activity against all the tested bacteria with the zone of inhibition at various concentrations. Thus the findings revealed the medicinal potential of Memecylon umbellatum against various infectious diseases to develop a drug.
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