Discipline: Biological Sciences
Subcategory: Plant Research
Raveen Martin - Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University
Co-Author(s): Kadiatou Keita, Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University, Huntsville, AL; Benicia Harrison, Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University, Huntsville, AL; and Jada Bibb, Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University, Huntsville, AL
Indian Ginseng, or more commonly known as the Ashwagandha is believed to be a miracle herb. The botanical name for Ashwagandha is Withania somnifera. This awesomely acclaimed plant is said to be an adaptogenic herb that can aide with the function of many body systems, including the immune, neurological, endocrine and reproductive systems. Many people believe that consumption of Ashwagandha (as a consistent home remedy) can also prevent degenerative diseases; including many brain diseases. Depression, stamina, inflammation, and carcinoma tumors are also being treated with Ashwagandha in the Ayurveda or the Indian traditional system of medicine. Since Ashwagandha plant has not been fully studied in pharmaceutical industry, we decided to investigate whether the plant possesses some anti-microbial properties. The objective of our study is to investigate the antimicrobial activity of Ashwagandha extract on two gram negative bacteria Citrobacter freundii and Escherichia coli. The leaves of Ashwagandha were first blended then extracted using the Soxhlet Apparatus. The Soxhlet extraction technique uses heating (mantle) and cooling (water) during extraction. 20 grams of the powder were extracted using 200 mL of 70% Methanol for 16 hours. The extract collected was placed uncovered under the fume hood to evaporate the methanol. The anti-microbial susceptibility test was conducted by exposing overnight culture of the select bacteria to the plant extract using nutrient agar. In our study, both of our select bacteria resisted to Ashwagandha extract even though previous studies reported some activities on other species. For future studies, we will test our plant extract on gram positive bacteria and other gram negative bacteria in order to determine how gram positives bacteria will interact in the presence of Ashwagandha extract; and see how other gram negative bacteria will also resist to it.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): Advancing Success in STEM Undergraduate Research and Education (ASSURE) NSF no. 1436572. This work is supported by Evans-Allen grant no. 200094-20116 XX-140/ALAX-011-0816 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Florence Okafor, email@example.com
Role: I helped to perform the Soxhlet Extraction, research of Ashwaghanda's benefits, performing anti-microbial experiments, and recording of results.