Middle-East Journal of Scientific Research 14 (5): 650-655, 2013
© IDOSI Publications, 2013
Corresponding Author: Wan mohdAzizi wan Sulaiman, Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Faculty of Pharmacy,
International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah, Bandar Indera Mahkota,
25200 Kuantan, Pahang, Malaysia. Tel: +60179363729.
An Overview on Phytochemical, Anti-Inflammatory and
Anti-Bacterial Activity of Basella alba Leaves Extract
A.K. Azad, W.S. Wan Azizi, Z.M. Babar, Zubair Khalid Labu and S. Zabin
11 1 2 3
Department of Basic Medical Science, Faculty of Pharmacy,
International Islamic University Malaysia, Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah,
Bandar Indera Mahkota 25200 Kuantan, Pahang, Malaysia
Department of Pharmacy, World University of Bangladesh, 3/A,
Road # 4, Dhanmondi, Dhaka 1205, Bangladesh
Department of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology,
University of Rajshahi, Rajshahi, Bangladesh
Abastract: Inflammation is the complex biological response of vascular tissue to harmful stimuli such as
pathogens, damaged cells, or irritants. In the present investigation an attempt was made to screen the
anti-inflammatory activity of Basellaalba leaf. From this study, it can be concluded that, Basellaalba
possesses a good anti-inflammatory activity. In the cotton pellet induced inflammation and In the carrageenan
induced inflammation the animals treated with the plant extract have been shown a significant activity at 500
mg/kg dose (p<0.001) which was comparable with the standard drug. In view of the percentage inhibition also
the plant was studied, in which the plant extract was found effective. The antibacterial activity was carried out
using different dilutions of methanolic extract against gram positive strains (Staphylococcus aureus,
Micrococcus luteus, Bacillus subtilus) and gram negative ones (Pseudomonas aeruginosa) by the cup-plate
assay method and minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs). The different concentrations of extract showed
moderate activity against Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Bacillus subtiliswhile weak response against
Staphylococcus aureus, Micrococcus luteus and Escherichiacoli. The minimum inhibitory concentration of
methanolic extract was 6.25µg/ml against Staphylococcus aureus, Micrococcus luteus, Pseudomonas
aeruginosa and Bacillussubtilus and 12.5 µg/ml against Escherichia coli. The overall result of this study
indicates that the methanolic extract of Basellaalba have interesting anti-inflammatory and antibacterial
Key words: Antibacterial Activity Inflammation Basellaalba Cotton Pellet Granuloma
Carrageenan Phenyl Butazone
INTRODUCTION commonly has known as “Poi (Hindi), Potaki (Sanskrit)
Medicinal plant is defined as any substance with one cultivated, cool season vegetable with climbing growth
or more of its organ containing properties that can be habit. It is a succulent, branched, smooth, twining
used for therapeutic purposes or which can be used as herbaceous vine, several meters in length. Stems are
precursors for the synthesis of various drugs . purplish or green. Leaves are fleshy, ovate or
Medicinal plants contain numerous biologically heart-shaped, 5 to 12 cm long, stalked, tapering to a
active compounds such as carbohydrates, proteins, pointed tip with a cordate base. Spikes are axillary,
enzymes, fats and oils, minerals, vitamins, alkaloids, solitary, 5-29 cm long. Fruit is fleshy, stalk less, ovoid or
quinones, terpenoids, flavonoids, carotenoids, sterols, spherical, 5-6 mm long and purple when mature. Mainly
simple phenolic glycosides, tannins, saponins, leaves and stems are used for the medicinal purpose .
polyphenols etc. Basellaalba L., (Basellaceae) Taxonomy of the plant is.
and poi shak (Bengali) . Basellaalbais a wildly
Middle-East J. Sci. Res., 14 (5): 650-655, 2013
Kingdom: Plantae used as a coloring agent in pasteries and sweets 
Phylum: Magnoliophyta women, coughs, cold (leaf with stem), cold related
Class: Magnoliopsida pelvic inflammatory disease, orchitis, epididymytis,
Order: Caryophyllales in constipation, poultice for sores, urticaria and
Family: Basellaceae intestinal complaints etc . The mucilaginous liquid
Genus: Basella popular remedyfor headaches . In the present
Species: Alba inflammatory activity of Basella alba leaf in
The present study is focused towards compiling the
ethanobotanical and scientific importance of above MATERIALS AND METHODS
mentioned plant. India, due to its geographical and
environmental positioning has traditionally been a good Preparation of Extract: The dried and ground plant
source for such products among the Asian countries. material (1.0 kg) was first defatted with petroleum ether
In Ayurveda, it is used for hemorrhages, skin diseases, and then successively extracted with methanol using
sexual weakness and ulcers and as laxative in childrenand Soxhlet apparatus for 12 hours and filtered to yield the
pregnant women. The plant is febrifuge, its juice is a safe extract [1, 2, 6]. The extract was then concentrated in
aperient for pregnant women and a decoction has been Rotavapour and finally dried to a constant weight.
used to alleviate labour. It is also an astringent and The extract obtained was stored in a refrigerator at 4°C
the cooked roots are used in the treatment of diarrhea. until use. The dried extract was used for the evaluation of
The leaf juice is a demulcent, used in cases of dysentery cytotoxic and antibacterial activity [5, 9, 12, 14].
. This plant serves as a Thai traditional vegetable.
The fruit provides dark violet color for food colorant. Phytochemical Screening: The phytochemical screening
Basellamucilage has been used in Thai traditional of the prepared plant extract was carried out by chemical,
medicine as topical application for irritant, bruise, thin-layer chromatography and spectroscopic methods.
ringworm and laboring. Stem and leaves are used as mild The Phytochemical examination of the both extracts was
laxative, diuretic and antipyretic . In India, it has been performed by the standard methods  and shows the
used for antipruritic and burn  and has been used presence of various phytochemical constituents tabulated
in Bangladesh for acne and freckle treatment . in Table-2.
The tracking of phyto constituents is important step
which lead to isolation of biologically active compounds Phytochemical Group Analysis: The testing of different
. The Ayurveda treatment in India has been used chemical groups present in extract represents the
B. albaleaves and stem for anticancer such as melanoma, preliminary phytochemical studies. The chemical group
leukemia and oral cancer . Root and leaves has been test which are perform as follows. In each test 10% (w/v)
used for the removal of after birth, stomach pains and solution of extract in methanol was taken unless otherwise
increase milk production . Basellaalba is administered mentioned in individual test. The following tests were
orally for the treatment of anal prolapsed or hernia. performed of identifying different chemical groups.
Ground leaves of Basellaalbaare rubbed on the human
hand to introduce the whole preparation into the animal Tests for Alkaloids
vagina every morning for the treatment of sterility  Mayer’s Test: 2ml solution of the extract and 0.2 ml of
The leaf juice is used in Nepal to treat dysentery, catarrh dilute di-hydrochloric acid were taken in a test tube.
and applied externally to treat boils. The mucilaginous Then 1ml of Mayer’s reagent was dissolved. Yellow color
qualities of the plant make it an excellent thickening agent precipitate was formed and that was indicated as the
in soups, stews, etc . The purplish sap from fruits is presence of alkaloids .
Basellaalbahas been used for the treatment of Anemia in
infections . Maceration is taken orally for infertility,
threatened abortion, spurious labour . Leaves are used
gonorrhea. It is also used in poultice local swellings,
obtained from the leaves and tender stalks of plants is
investigation an attempt was made to screen the anti-
experimentally induced inflammations in rats [17, 18].
Middle-East J. Sci. Res., 14 (5): 650-655, 2013
Table 1: Anti-inflammatory activity of leaves extracts of Basellaalba L.
S.NO Groups Concentration(µg/ml) (% protection Mean ± S.E.M [N=6]
1. Control - -
2. M.E.B.A 200 57.10 ±2.18**
3. A.E.B.A 200 58.46 ±1.61**
400 71.89 ±1.22
4. Standard 50 70.17 ±0.22***
100 83.54 ±0.61***
The results were expressed as mean ± S.E.M [n=6].
Dragendroff’s Test: 2ml solution of the extract and citrate, 0.5% citric acid and 0.42% NaCl) and centrifuged
0.2ml of dilute hydrochloric acid were taken in a test at 3,000 rpm. The packed cells were washed with isosaline
tube. Then 1ml of Dragendroff; s reagent was added. and a 10% suspension was made. Various concentrations
Orange brown precipitate was formed and that was of extracts were prepared (200 and 400 µg/ml) using
indicated as the presence of alkaloids . distilled water and to each concentration 1 ml of
Tests for Tannins suspension were added. It was incubated at 37°C for 30
Ferric Chloride Test: 5ml solution of the extract was min and centrifuged at 3,000 rpm for 20min. and the
taken in a test tube. Then 1ml of 5% ferric chloride hemoglobin content of the supernatant solution was
solution was added. Greenish black precipitate was estimated spectrophotometrically at 560nm. Diclofenac
formed and indicated the presence of tannins . (100 and 200 µg/ml was used as reference standard and a
Test for Flavonoids: Added a few drops of concentrated
hydrochloride acid to a small amount of an alcoholic Antibacterial Studies: The methanolic extract was
extract of the plant material. Immediate development of a dissolved in 10% aq. DMSO to obtain the different
red color indicates the presence of Flavonoids . concentrations (10 mg/ml, 25 mg/ml, 50 mg/ml and 100
Tests for Saponins: 1ml solution of the extract was dilute (solvent control). Ciprofloxacin was used as positive
with water to 20ml and shaken in a graduated cylinder for reference standard having a concentration of 5µg/ml for
15minutes. No one-centimeter layer of foamindicates the all bacterial strains [14, 18].
absence of saponins. Following reagents are used for
different chemical group test . Microbial Strains and Culture Media
Test for Mucilage: 0.5gm of mucilage was hydrolyzed bacteria were procured from the Microbial Type Culture
with 50ml of 0.1N sulphuric acid. The solution was Collection (MTCC, IMTECH), Institute of Microbial
neutralized using barium carbonate and filtered. Technology, Chandigarh and were tested: Pseudomonas
The filterate was concentrated and subjected to thin aeruginosa (MTCC 1688), Staphylococcus
layer chromatography on silica gel G plate (Merck). aureus(MTCC 737), Bacillussubtilis(MTCC 441),
Mobile phase were used n-butanol, ethanol and water Micrococcus luteus (MTCC 106), Escherichia coli
(10:2:2) resp. The spots were visualized with aniline (MTCC 443) . All the strains were stored at freeze
phthalate reagent as dark brown spot . temperature until use. Nutrient agar (NA, Himedia)
In-vitro Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Bacillus species, while NA was used for other bacteria.
The Human Red Blood Cell (HRBC) Membrane
Stabilization Method: The blood was collected from
healthy human volunteer who had not taken any NSAIDS
for 2 weeks prior to the experiment and mixed with equal
volume of Alseversolution (2%dextrose, 0.8% sodium
phosphate buffer, 2 ml hyposaline and 0.5 ml of HRBC
control was prepared by omitting the extracts .
mg/ml). 10% aq. DMSO was used as negative control
Microbial Strains and Culture Media: Four strains of
containing bromocresol purple was used for the activation
The Agar well diffusion method was used in sensitivity
assay. Nutrient broth was used for MIC determination.
The culture plates were incubated at 37°C for 24hr [27, 28]
h and the zones of inhibition measured in diameter
Middle-East J. Sci. Res., 14 (5): 650-655, 2013
Table 2: Preliminary Phytochemical screening of M.E. and A.E. of leaves of Basellaalba(L.)
S. No Nameof the test constituents Reagent/Methods adopted Methanolic extracts of Basella alba Aqueous extracts of Basella alba
1 Alkaloids Picric acid + _
Dragendroffs + _
reagents + _
Mayer’s reagents + +
2 Carbohydrates Molish test +
Fehling’s test +
Benedicts test +
3 Tannins Ferric chloride test _ +
4 Flavonoids Shinoda test + +
5 Mucilage Ruthenium red _ +
6 Saponin Heamolysis test + +
Table 3: Antibacterial activity of BAE on various strains
Cup Plate method (Inhibition Zone, mm)
Extracts Conc. (Mg/ml) S.A M.L B.S P.A E.coli
Basella albaExtract 10 _ _ 3.32±0.28 5.3±0.058 _
50 5.0±0.1 3.3±0.058 6.02±0.036 10.7±0.12 4.0±0.1
100 10.3±0.058 7.7±0.12 13.67±0.058 15.1±0.1 7.7±0.058
16.3±0.058 10.7±0.12 21.02±0.1 22.2±0.1 15.3±0.058
Ciprofloxacin 5µg/ml 26±0.051 14±0.068 32±0.024 25±0.035 22±0.056
Mean ± S.D. (n=3), P. A. - Pseudomonas aeruginosa,E. coli - Escherichia coli;S. A. -Staphylococcus aureus, M. L. - Micrococcus luteus, B. S. - Bacillus
subtilus “_” Sign shows no zone of inhibition.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION anti-inflammatory activity. An anti-inflammatory activity
The present results provide evidence that the Table 1.
extracts of Basella alba contains substances with Anyway, further studies are necessary to isolate
anti-inflammatory and antibacterial activity and, andcharacterize the active constituents of the plant to
therefore, suggest that the traditional use of this evaluate their modes of action and render this species
plant for the treatment of diarrhoea and anti- interesting for future research.In the present work a
inflammatory properties can be linked to cytotoxic and humble attempt was made to detect, by using various
antibacterial properties. The results are reported in standard qualitative chemical tests, the presence of
Table 1. The petroleum ether, chloroform, ethylacetate, reported compounds and to look for possible presence of
methanol and aqueous extracts of the leaves of other chemical constituents in the root and stem bark of
Basellaalba L.were studied for in vitro anti-inflammatory the Basellaalba (L.). The phytochemical screening of the
activity by HRBC membrane stabilization method. extracts showed the presence of alkaloids, flavonoids,
The in vitro anti-inflammatory activity of the extracts Carbohydrate, Saponin in Methanolic extracts and and
were concentration dependent, with the increasing tannin, mucilage, saponnin and Carbohydrate are present
concentration, the activity is also increased. in aqueous extracts. The phytochemical studied results
Among both the extracts, aqueous extract at a are reported in Table 2.
concentration of 400 µg/ml showed 71.89% protection Methanolic extract was screened for antibacterial
of HRBC in hypotonic solution. All the results activity. The different concentrations of extract showed
were compared with standard Diclofenacwhich moderate activity against Pseudomonasaeruginosa,
showed 83.54 % protection. Aqueous extract showed Bacillus subtiliswhile weak response against
significant in-vitro anti-inflammatory activity as Staphylococcus aureus, Micrococcusluteus and
compared to standard. The aqueous extract showed Escherichia coli [Table 3]. The results of different
significant anti-inflammatory activity (71.89 %) at the concentrations of extract were correlated with standard
dose of 400 µg/ml. On the basis of the above results it drug and activity was found to be dose dependent
can be concluded that the Basellaalba L. have an against all bacteria.
of leaves extracts of Basellaalba Lis given bellow in
Middle-East J. Sci. Res., 14 (5): 650-655, 2013
Table 4: The MIC values of BAE on various bacterial strains
Serial dilution (µg/ml)
Microorganisms 50 25 12.5 6.5 3.12 1.56
Staphylococcus aureus _ __ _ + +
Micrococcus luteus _ __ _ + +
Pseudomonas aeruginosa _ __ _ + +
Bacillus subtilus _ __ _ + +
Escherichia coli _ __ + + +
“-”No growth; “+” Growth; Stock solution = 100µg/ml
The minimum inhibitory concentration of methanolic 4. Chou, C.T., 1997. The anti-inflammatory effect of
extract against bacterialstrains was found to be 6.25 µg/ml TripterygiumwilfordiiHook F on adjuvant-induced
for Staphylococcus aureus, Micrococcus luteus, paw edema in rats and inflammatorymediators release.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Bacillus subtilusand 12.5 Phytother Res., 11: 152-154.
µg/ml for Escherichia coli (Table 4) which clearly 5. Saikia, A.P., V.K. Ryakala, P. Sharma, P. Goswami and
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CONCLUTION cosmetics. J. Ethnopharmacol., 106: 149-157.
From the above obtained results, it can be concluded S.H.C. Mohammad and S.S. Sanjay, 2008. A review on
that the extract of Basellaalbashows a significant the use of non-timber forest products in beauty-care
anti-inflammatory activity which was demonstrated in Bangladesh. J. Forestry Res., 19: 72-78.
in above methods which it can be under stood that 7. Beikmohammadi, M., 2011. Ethno Pharmacology and
Basella alba showing a dose depending activity. It can the Investigation of the Most Important Secondary
be stated that, Basellaalbawill promise a significant and Materials and the Comparison of Chemical
effective an anti-inflammatory and antibacterial agent Combinations of Essential Oil of Different
in future. Organs. Middle-East Journal of Scientific Research.,
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT 8. Premalatha, B. and G. Rajgopal, 2005. Cancer-an
At the very beginning all gratefulness to almighty 9. Pascaline, J., M. Charles, O. George, C. Lukhoba,
creator “Allah” who has enabled me to complete this L.N. Ruth and D.M. Solomon, 2010. Ethnobotanical
studies soundly. It my immense pleasure for me to express survey and propagation of some endangered
my deepest sense of gratitude to my honorable brother medicinal plants from south Nandi district of Kenya.
Mohammad JakirHossain Khan, Dept. of Chemical Journal of Animal and Plant Sciences,
Engineering, University of Malaya, 50603Kuala Lumpur, 8(3): 1016-1043.
Malaysia for his constant encouragement, untiring efforts, 10. Chifundera, K., 1998. Livestock diseases and the
sympathetic advice and thoughtful suggestions. traditional medicine In the Bushi area, Kivu province,
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