Ethnobotanical Leaflets 12: 912-15. 2008.
Antimicrobial Studies of Triterpenoid Fractions from Myxopyrum smilacifolium Blume
Sudharmini, D.* and Ashalatha S. Nair
Department of Botany, University of Kerala, Kariavattom Campus, Thiruvananthapuram, 695581, Kerala, India
*email : [email protected]
Issued 30 October 2008
Triterpenoids isolated from Myxopyrum smilacifolium leaf showed presence of ursolic acid (0.175mg/g). The triterpenoids showed antimicrobial activity in gram positive bacteria and Candida sps.
Keywords: Myxopyrum smilacifolium,Ursolic acid, HPLC, Antimicrobial activity.
Myxopyrum smilacifolium (Oleaceae) is an important medicinal plant widely used in indigenous system of medicine in India. It is a climbing shrub with small yellow flowers commonly known as ‘chathuramulla’. A voucher specimen is deposited in the Herbarium of the Department of Botany, University of Kerala (No.KUBOT-2837).
2. Use in traditional medicine
The leaves are useful in vitiated conditions of kapha and vata, cough, asthma, rheumatism, cephalalgia, nostalgia, fever, otopathy, neuropathy and cuts and wounds. Roots are useful in scabies and prurigo in children 
3. Previously isolated classes of constituent
Iridoid glucosides, namely myxopyroside .
4. New constituents
Isolation of triterpenoid fractions by silica gel thin layer chromatography using the mobile phase petroleum: dichloroethylene: acetic acid (50:50:0.7) ., HPLC analysis of ursolic acid and antimicrobial activity by using filter paper disc diffusion method [4, 5].
5. Used materials
Ursolic acid standard was collected from Sigma, Aldrich, London and all microorganisms were obtained from Microbial Type Culture Collection (MTCC), Chandigarh, India.
Reported in figure1 and 2, and Table1.
Ursolic acid is found in the leaves of Myxopyrum smilacifolium. All the tripterpenoids from the plant showed antimicrobial activity against the gram positive bacteria Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, Candida albicans and C. glabrata. The antifungal activity was similar to the chemical fungicide.
The first author is thankful to University Grant Commission (UGC), Government of India, New Delhi for financial assistance as Teacher fellowship. The help provided by Dr. N. S. Pradeep, Tropical Botanical Garden and Research Institute, Palode, Thiruvananthapuram is also greatly acknowledged.
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 Harborne J B. Phytochemical Methods: A guide to modern technique of plant analysis. 3rd ed. London: Chapman and Hall, 1998.P.134.
 Liu C H., Liu Y. China journal of Chinese materia medica 2002; 27(12):916-918.
 Benson H J. Microbiological applications. 5th ed. USA: C. Brown Publ:1990.P.134.
Table 1. Antimicrobial activities of isolated triterpenopid fractions of
Values are the mean of three replicates. TTR*- Triterpenoid
a Including the diameter of the filter paper disk (6mm).
Fig 1. Ursolic acid HPLC profile at 205nm.
Fig 2. Myxopyrum smilacifolium fraction (hRf 20) HPLC profile.