C Esimone, C Nworu, U Ekong, B Okereke
antiseptic soap, herbal soap, soap
C Esimone, C Nworu, U Ekong, B Okereke. Evaluation of the antiseptic properties of Cassia alata-based herbal soap. The Internet Journal of Alternative Medicine. 2007 Volume 6 Number 1.
In this study, we evaluated the antimicrobial potency of a herbal soap formulated with ethanol extract of
Plants with different medicinal properties have been employed by traditional medical practice for the treatment of different disease conditions. In eastern Nigeria, some plants which have frothing or foaming ability have been employed as soap for bathing and for treatment of skin and wound infections. Ethnomediacally, juice and extracts from leaves of the plant are topically applied as anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial agents, especially in the treatment of skin diseases including eczemas, ring-worms and pruritus (Benjamin, 1980; Benjamin and Lamikanra, 1981; Oliver, 1986; Ayim, 1987; Akinde
Soaps act as emulsifiers or surfactants, softening the horny-layer of the epidermis and acts as a germicide by enhancing the permeability of microbial envelope thereby disrupting the integrity of microbial cells. Antimicrobial activity of soaps make them useful agent for bathing, laundry, washing, and cleansing of surfaces (Fuerst, 1978; Hugo and Russel, 1983).
The cleansing and germicidal properties of the soapy-plants are comparable to those of the standard soaps, which are salts of higher fatty acids. Crude preparations of soapy plants are able to soften the skin epidermis, enhance greater penetration and cleansing of sores and acne and thereby promote rapid healing and resolution of blemishes.
In this study we evaluated the antiseptic potentials of
Materials and Methods
Clinical Isolates of
Chemicals and Reagents
Culture media used were nutrient agar, NA (Oxoid, England) and Sabouraud dextrose agar, SDA (Oxoid, England). Chemicals used include caustic soda (Stratech Chemicals Industry, Nigeria), ethanol (Wamco Chemical Industry, Nigeria); palm-kernel oil, antiseptic soap® (Jumbo Chemicals, Nigeria).
Collection, Identification and Processing of Plant
The leaves of
Formulation of Herbal Soap
The ethanol extract of
Antimicrobial Evaluation of the Herbal Soap
The agar-dilution method (Tilton and Howard, 1987; Baron and Finegold 1990) was employed in the
The effect of the soap on the human skin surfaces was evaluated on the outer palms of the healthy volunteers. Four healthy undergraduates (two males and two females) of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka provided informed consent and were used for the topical test according to our institutional ethical protocol. The skin of the palm was swabbed into sterile normal saline in Bijou bottles before washing with the soap. After washing with the test and standard soaps, the outer-palms were flooded with 1ml of standard inoculum of
Results and Discussion
In the preliminary antimicrobial sensitivity screening, the ethanol extract of
The herbal soap was not tested against Gram-negative bacteria, since they are not auchthchonous skin flora. However, they are only encountered when the normal Gram-positive bacteria are depleted by antibiotic application, other non-physiological conditions such as the spillage from the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) onto the skin around the anal and genital regions as well as on soles of the feet (Rosenberg and Cohen, 1983). The herbal soap was active against the spore-forming
The activity of the herbal soap against
Even though the human skin cannot be made absolutely free of bacteria, the