ANTIMICROBIAL AND PHYTOCHEMICAL PROPERTIES OF YOUNGCocos nucifera(COCONUT) WATER AND METHALONIC EXTRACT OF THE YOUNGCocos nucifera(COCONUT) HUSK

CHAPTER ONE
1.0 INTRODUCTION AND LITERATURE REVIEW
1.1 INTRODUCTION
Medicinal plants represent a rich source of antimicrobials and many other drugs. The potentialsof
higher plants as source for new drugs is still largely unexplored. Antibiotic resistance has become a
global concern (Westhet al., 2004). The clinical efficacy of many existing antibiotics is being
threatened by the emergence of multidrug-resistant pathogens (Bandow, 2003). Many
infectiousdiseases have been known to be treated with herbal remedies throughout the history of
mankind. Natural products, either as pure compounds or as standardized plant extracts, provide
unlimited opportunities for new drug leads because of the unmatched availability ofchemical diversity.
There is a continuous and urgent need to discover new antimicrobial compounds with diversechemical
structures and novel mechanisms of action for new and re-emerging infectious diseases (Rojas et al.,
1992). Therefore, researchers are increasingly turning their attention tolocal herbs, looking for new
leads todevelop better drugs against microbial infections (Benkeblia, 2004).
The increasingfailure of chemotherapeutics and antibiotic resistanceexhibited by pathogenic microbial
infectious agents has led to the screening of several medicinal plants for their potential antimicrobial
activity (Kapila, 2005 ;Runyoro et al.,2006). The rising prevalence of antibiotics resistant pathogenic
microorganisms raises the demand for finding new alternative antimicrobial agents. The drugs already
in use to treat infectious diseaseare of concern because drug safety remains an enormous global issue.
Most of the synthetic drugscause side effects and also most of the microbesdeveloped resistant against
the synthetic drugs (Chanda and Rakholiya 2011). To alleviate this problem, antimicrobial compounds
frompotential plants should be explored. These drugs fromplants are less toxic; side effects are scanty
and alsocost effective. They are effective in the treatment ofinfectious diseases while
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simultaneouslymitigatingmany of the side effects that are often associated withsynthetic antimicrobials
(Harishchandraet al., 2012).
Published studies in medical journals show that coconut in one form or another may provide a wide
range of health benefits. The coconut plant Cocos nucifera (family Arecaceae) is considered as an
important fruit crop in tropical countries. It is commonly available plant with wide variety of
applications in food, drinks, fibers, building materials and various chemicals finding their way into a
huge range of modern day products. Being highly nutritious coconuts have also been studied for
medicinal qualities.
Modern medical science is now confirming the medicinal qualities of Cocos nucifera which are used
for the treatment wide range of infections. Based on the knowledge of the traditional herbs used for the
treatment for local application, coconut husk can be use as a topical antimicrobial. As preliminary
investigation of the use of coconut husk, the antimicrobial activity can be evaluated.
1.2 AIM AND OBJECTIVES
The specific objectives are to:
(a) Evaluate the phytochemical and antimicrobial activities of Methalonic extract of young Cocos
nucifera husk on selected pathogenic microorganisms.
(b) Evaluate the antimicrobial activities andyoung Cocos nucifera water on selected pathogenic
microorganisms
1.3 JUSTIFICATION OF THE RESEARCH
Cocos nucifera husk and Cocos nucifera water are traditionally used in the treatment of wide variety of
diseases, it has been used from time immemorial for the treatment of carcinogenic infections. This
study scientifically justifies the use of young Coconut husk and young Coconut water in traditional folk
medicine and to compare their antimicrobial potency with the commercial antibiotics.

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