Phytochemical, antimicrobial and toxicity studies on Phyllanthus amarus whole plant extract

Oyewole O. I*, Oyedara O. O., Olabiyi B. F., Fasanya T. S.


This study investigated the phytochemical composition, antimicrobial activities and toxicological properties of methanolic whole plant extract of Phyllanthus amarus. Phytochemical analysis revealed the presence of saponins, tannins, flavonoids, terpenoids and cardiac glycosides. Antimicrobial sensitivity test using fourteen human pathogenic microorganisms showed that Phyllanthus amarus has bactericidal effect on four pathogens namely Proteus vulgaris, Micrococcus luteus, Bacillus polymyxa and Escherichia coli. The extract also demonstrated significant inhibitory effect on Corynebacterium pyrogenes, Bacillus subtilis, Clostridium sporogenes, Klebsiella pneumonia and Staphylococcus aureus but the microbes were able to recover after a few hours. Administration of Phyllanthus amarus extract to rats for 14 days caused growth depression with no significant change (P< 0.05) in serum concentrations of urea, creatinine, bilirubin and aminotransferases (ALT and AST) compared to untreated group. Measurement of organ: body weight index did not show any indication of kidney or liver enlargement. These result shows that Phyllanthus amarus leaf contains active phytochemicals which are inhibitory to bacteria and might be useful in the treatment of microbial infections in man. It also indicates that the extract might not be toxic to the kidney and the liver.


Phyllanthus amarus; Antimicrobial; Phytochemicals; Kidney Function; Liver Function

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