Many South Africans continue to use traditional medicine in their daily lives as an alternative form of health care, also as part of their cultural heritage. Medicinal plants are proving to be an important source of novel drugs, and the knowledge provided by traditional healers is a useful tool in the search for antimicrobials. The antimicrobial activity of <M. villosus was investigated against ten bacteria and six fungi. The antibacterial assay showed that the root extract had the highest inhibition against the Gram-positive bacteria at the minimum inhibition concentration of o.1 mg/ml, as well as against the Gram-negative, E. coli, at the MIC of 1.0 mg/ml. Antifungal activity was witnessed against Cladosporium cladosporoide, C. cucumerinum&C sphaerosperum all at the minimum inhibitory concentration of 1.0 mg/ml. An attempt was made to isolate and identify the active antimicrobial compounds. A flavonol, quercetin was isolated and identified by means of UV spectral graphs, and TLC comparison of the plant extract and standard. However, a second isolated antibacterial compound could not be identified fully but it can be said that it is a triterpenoid.
Dissertation (MSc (Botany))--University of Pretoria, 2006.