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BioMed Research International
Volume 2016, Article ID 9392716, 9 pages
Research Article

Antibacterial and Antioxidant Properties of the Leaves and Stem Essential Oils of Jatropha gossypifolia L.

1SAMRC Microbial Water Quality Monitoring Centre, University of Fort Hare, Alice 5700, South Africa
2Applied and Environmental Microbiology Research Group (AEMREG), Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, University of Fort Hare, Alice 5700, South Africa
3Department of Pure and Applied Chemistry, University of Fort Hare, Alice 5700, South Africa

Received 6 April 2016; Revised 7 June 2016; Accepted 12 July 2016

Academic Editor: Cristina Martínez-Villaluenga

Copyright © 2016 Sunday O. Okoh et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Antibacterial and antioxidant properties of the leaves and stem essential oils (EOs) of Jatropha gossypifolia and their efficacies against infectious and oxidative stress diseases were studied in vitro. The EOs obtained using Clevenger modified apparatus were characterized by high resolution GC-MS, while their antioxidant and antibacterial properties were examined by spectrophotometric and agar diffusion techniques, respectively. The EOs exhibited strong antibacterial activity against Escherichia coli, Enterococcus faecium, and Staphylococcus aureus. The stem essential oil (SEO) was more active than the leaf essential oil (LEO) against test bacteria with minimum inhibition concentration (MIC) ranging from 0.025 to 0.05 mg/mL and the LEO from 0.05 to 0.10 mg/mL. The SEO was bactericidal at 0.025 and 0.05 mg/mL against S. aureus and E. faecium, respectively, and the LEO was bacteriostatic against the three bacteria at 0.05 and 0.10 mg/mL. The SEO IC50 (0.07 mg/mL) showed that the antiradical strength was superior to LEO (0.32 mg/mL) and β-carotene (1.62 mg/mL) in scavenging 2, 2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl radicals (DPPH). The oils effectively reduced three other oxidants to neutral molecules in concentration dependent manner. Findings from this study suggest that, apart from the traditional uses of the plant extracts, the EOs have strong bioactive compounds with noteworthy antibacterial and antiradical properties and may be good candidates in the search for lead compounds for the synthesis of novel potent antibiotics.