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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 7 (2010), Issue 3, Pages 323-330
Original Article

Antimicrobial, Antioxidant and Cytotoxic Activities and Phytochemical Screening of Some Yemeni Medicinal Plants

1Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Sana’a-University, PO Box 33039, Sana’a, Yemen
2Institute of Pharmacy, College of Medical science, University of Science and Technology, Sana’a, Yemen
3Department of Pharmaceutical Biology, Institute of Pharmacy, Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-University, Greifswald, F-L-Jahn Str. 15a, D-17487 Greifswald, Germany

Received 24 August 2007; Accepted 4 January 2008

Copyright © 2010 Ramzi A. A. Mothana 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.


The traditional medicine still plays an important role in the primary health care in Yemen. The current study represents the investigation of 16 selected plants, which were collected from different localities of Yemen. The plants were dried and extracted with two different solvents (methanol and hot water) to yield 34 crude extracts. The obtained extracts were tested for their antimicrobial activity against three Gram-positive bacteria, two Gram-negative bacteria, one yeast species and three multiresistant Staphylococcus strains using agar diffusion method, for their antioxidant activity using scavenging activity of DPPH radical method and for their cytotoxic activity using the neutral red uptake assay. In addition, a phytochemical screening of the methanolic extracts was done. Antibacterial activity was shown only against Gram-positive bacteria, among them multiresistant bacteria. The highest antimicrobial activity was exhibited by the methanolic extracts of Acalypha fruticosa, Centaurea pseudosinaica, Dodonaea viscosa, Jatropha variegata, Lippia citriodora, Plectranthus hadiensis, Tragia pungens and Verbascum bottae. Six methanolic extracts especially those of A. fruticosa, Actiniopteris semiflabellata, D. viscosa, P. hadiensis, T. pungens and V. bottae showed high free radical scavenging activity. Moreover, remarkable cytotoxic activity against FL-cells was found for the methanolic extracts of A. fruticosa, Iris albicans, L. citriodora and T. pungens. The phytochemical screening demonstrated the presence of different types of compounds like flavonoids, terpenoids and others, which could be responsible for the obtained activities.