Antimicrobial Potential of Botanicals and Disease Control
Since most of the pathogenic microbes have developed resistance against chemical drug derivatives therefore need of the hour is to formulate plant based natural medicines. These formulations with no or least toxicity can prove better alternative of synthetic drugs. Ethnopharmacologists, botanists, microbiologists, and natural-products chemists are combing the earth for phytochemicals and “leads” which could be developed for the treatment of infectious diseases. While, 25 to 50% of current pharmaceuticals are derived from plants, none are used as antimicrobials. Traditional healers have long used plants to prevent or cure infectious conditions; western medicine is trying to duplicate their successes. Plants are rich in a wide variety of secondary metabolites, such as tannins, terpenoids, alkaloids, and flavonoids, which have been found in vitro to have antimicrobial properties. The present review mainly discusses exploitation of plant secondary compounds as antimicrobial agents. Mode of action of some agents was also addressed. Since many of these compounds are currently available as unregulated botanical preparations and their use by the public is increasing rapidly, clinicians need to consider the consequences of patients self-medicating with these preparations.
Keywords: Natural Drugs, Secondary metabolites, Antimicrobial agents, Botanical preparations, Pharmaceuticals, Plant, Natural product, Phytochemicals, Microbiologists, Synthetic drugs
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