Antimicrobial effects of Euphorbia hirta against medically significant microorganisms: A narrative review

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Research Paper 06/03/2024
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Antimicrobial effects of Euphorbia hirta against medically significant microorganisms: A narrative review

Earl Adriane Cano, Riah Elisha Afloro, Christen Ancheta, Edleen Winzle Angeles, Marionne Abbygail Barrion, Norman Anthony Bico, Beatrice Ann Calabon, Patrick David Cantor
Int. J. Biosci.24( 3), 76-92, March 2024.
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Abstract

Euphorbia hirta, commonly known as asthma wood or tawa-tawa, has been widely used as a traditional medicine to treat cough, indigestion, and dengue fever. Recent studies have focused on exploring its antimicrobial properties, positioning E. hirta as a potential natural source against medically significant microorganisms. This narrative review analyzed publications exploring the antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral activities of E. hirta in different concentrations and extraction forms. Spanning from 2009 to 2023, the review compiled 39 relevant studies from sources such as Google Scholar and ResearchGate. The results showed that E. hirta’s antimicrobial activities were linked with quercetin (flavonoid), gallic acid (phenol), and tannins. In terms of antibacterial activity, E. hirta demonstrated efficacy against a spectrum of gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria. Methanolic extracts exhibited high efficiency, showcasing its potential in addressing conditions such as urinary tract infections, pneumonia, and infections caused by Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae. Using similar phytochemical properties, E. hirta demonstrated substantial inhibition of certain fungal species by changing their cell growth and morphology, showing the highest efficiency of ethanolic leaf extracts. This suggests potential use in treating localized fungal infections. Additionally, the plant exhibited antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2 and other viruses by inhibiting the main protease (Mpro), with leaf methanolic extracts displaying the greatest potency. Such results revealed the promising qualities of E. hirta as a natural solution against a wide array of clinically significant microorganisms. Further studies can, therefore, be undertaken to examine other medicinal properties of E. hirta with this article serving as a foundation.

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