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Antimicrobial assay of Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni leaf extracts against 10 pathogens


Stevia rebaudiana, a natural alternative to artificial sweetener found to contain over 100 phytochemicals including well characterized stevioside and rebaudioside A. Besides, it is well known for its application in treatment of many diseases like diabetes, candidacies, high blood pressure and weight loss in various traditional systems of medicine. In recent times, the extract has been subjected to rigorous chemical, bio-chemical, pharmacological, clinical and toxicological investigations and many new therapeutic applications have been emerged out. Thus with time traditional uses have been rationalized on the basis of modern scientific approaches. In addition, there has been a great interest in exploration and use of natural antimicrobial compounds of plant origin to treat diseases because of development of resistance by pathogens, expensive treatment regimen of synthetic drugs already in practice and their gross side effects due to indiscriminate use. Microbiological investigation of stevia plant extract against pathogenic species using an array of solvents has neither been attempted earlier by many workers seriously nor reported much. Therefore, efforts are taken in this present investigation on antimicrobial assay of a range of six solvents by using Stevia rebaudiana leaves against a host of 10 selected disease causing and food spoiling test organisms. The present work exclusively deals with a greater scope of analysis using four more solvents; acetone, chloroform, cyclohexane and petroleum ether which was not being undertaken by earlier workers.