Background: Herbal drugs are gaining exponential scientific recognition due to their distinct
advantages. In the last 2-3 decades, a gradual increase in worldwide patents on herbal nanoformulations
has been noted to address the solubility and bioavailability issues of phytoceuticals.
Struvite or ammonium magnesium phosphate hexahydrate (NH4MgPO4.6H2O) is among the important
urinary infection stones causing painful urological ailment. These smaller stones may bind together to
form bigger staghorn calculus. Urinary tract infections caused by some gram positive and gram negative
bacteria further enhance the chance of formation of such stones. Oxalis corniculata Linn. is an
edible plant, traditionally used in the treatment of bacterial infections and kidney stones. However,
there is no scientific evidence to relate the use of O. corniculata against struvite kidney stones. Hence,
the antibacterial and struvite stones inhibition activity of the aqueous extract of Oxalis corniculata
Linn. leaves and its biofabricated silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) was studied.
Methods: The aqueous extract of O. corniculata was prepared by Soxhlet extraction. AgNPs were
synthesized using green technique and were characterized using UV and IR spectroscopy, XRD,
TEM, DLS and zeta potential studies. Antibacterial activity of the aqueous extract and the silver nanoparticles
was tested against E. coli (gram negative) and S. aureus (gram positive) species. Struvite
stones were grown in a gel medium by in vitro single diffusion gel growth technique and its inhibition
study was carried out using the extract and its biofabricated nanoparticles.
Results: The aqueous extract and its biofabricated AgNPs exhibited potent antibacterial activity
against both gram positive and gram negative strains of bacteria. The aqueous extract also effectively
repressed the growth of struvite stones and led to the dissolution of stones, but the inhibitory effect
was further enhanced by its biofabricated AgNPs.
Conclusion: The present work confirms the inhibitory activity of the aqueous extract of edible O.
corniculata and its biofabricated silver nanoparticles against urinary tract infection (UTI) causing bacteria
and urolithiasis. Therefore, the consumption of O. corniculata in our daily diet may reduce the
risk of UTI and urolithiasis.