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ANTIMICROBIAL PROPERTIES OF ARECA CATECHU (ARECA NUT) HUSK EXTRACTS AGAINST COMMON ORAL PATHOGENS

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Author(s): Maria Bobby Cyriac | Vidya Pai | Ipe Varghese | Manjula Shantaram | Maji Jose

Journal: International Journal of Research in Ayurveda and Pharmacy
ISSN 2229-3566

Volume: 3;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 81;
Date: 2012;
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Keywords: Areca catechu | Antimicrobial activity | Oral pathogens.

ABSTRACT
The husk fibres of Areca catechu (areca nut) are reported to be used by the people of rural areas of Dakshina Kannada, Karnataka for cleaning their teeth. The beneficial effects of these plant materials are not scientifically proven, so the study was carried out to estimate the antimicrobial properties of A.catechu against common oral pathogens. These antimicrobial properties in addition to mechanical cleansing property of the fibers of areca nut could improve the oral health. Alcoholic and aqueous extracts of husk of Areca catechu were prepared and antimicrobial properties against common oral pathogens like Streptococcus mutans, Streptococcus salivarius, Streptococcus mitis, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Candida albicans, Prevotella intermedia were performed by agar well diffusion method. Alcoholic extract of Areca catechu husk fibers showed dose dependent positive inhibitory effect against Candida albicans with zone of inhibition of 5-9 mm. Alcoholic and aqueous extracts did not show significant antimicrobial activity against other tested organisms. As our study failed to demonstrate significant inhibitory effect on cariogenic organisms and a periodontal pathogen, we conclude that areca husk when used for routine oral care, would improve the oral health primarily through mechanical cleansing rather than antimicrobial activity. However, the results indicate that areca husk contains chemical components that has antifungal effect. Therefore this plant material can be a potential source for developing natural antifungal agents against C. albicans which is a common oral pathogen.
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