Journal of Wood Science

, Volume 59, Issue 1, pp 73–79 | Cite as

Evaluation of anti-acne activity of selected Sudanese medicinal plants



Acne vulgaris is the most common skin disease in the world, and the number of antibiotics resistant to acne-inducing bacterial strains has been increasing in the past years. Natural substances from plants are promising candidates to treat this disease. The methanol and 50 % (v/v) ethanol extracts of 29 plant species traditionally used in Sudan for treatment of a variety of diseases were tested in vitro for their potential anti-acne activity. The activities of these extracts were determined using an antibacterial assay against Propionibacterium acnes, a lipase inhibitory assay, and l,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging activity assay. The results showed that methanol and 50 % ethanol extracts of Terminalia laxiflora Engl & Diels wood exhibited good antibacterial activity (minimum inhibitory concentration 0.13 mg/ml). The 50 % ethanol extracts of Abrus precatorius L. seed, T. laxiflora Engl & Diels and methanol extract of Acacia nilotica (L.) pods showed lipase inhibitory activity more than 70 % at 500 μg/ml. The methanol extracts of A. nilotica (L.) pods showed the best DPPH radical scavenging activity (IC50 1.32 μg/ml). Total phenolic, flavonoid and total tannin contents of selected plant extracts shown anti-acne activities were investigated. Almost all selected extracts contained phenolic compound. The highest level of flavonoids (38.87 μg/mg) was detected in T. brownii bark, whereas the highest amount of tannin was detected in A. nilotica (L.) bark (88.01 %).


Sudanese medicinal plants DPPH Propionibacterium acnes Lipase inhibitor Combretaceae 


  1. 1.
    El-Kamali HH, Khalid SA (1996) The most common herbal remedies in Central Sudan. Fitoterapia 67:301–306Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    El-Kamali HH, El Khalifa KF (1999) Folk medicinal plants of riverside forests of the southern Blue Nile district, Sudan. Fitoterapia 70:493–497CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Leyden JJ (2003) A review of some combination therapies for treatment of acne vulgaris. J Am Acad Dermatol 49:200–210CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Toyoda M, Morohashi M (2001) Pathogenesis of acne. Med Electron Microsc 34:29–40PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Stathakis V, Kilkenny M, Marks R (1997) Descriptive epidemiology of acne vulgaris in the community. Australas J Dermatol 38:115–123PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Kumar GS, Jayaveera KN, Kumar ACK, Sanjay UP, Swamy BMV, Kumar DVK (2007) Antimicrobial effects of Indian medicinal plants against acne-inducing bacteria. Trop J pharm Res 6:717–723Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Leyden JJ (2001) The evolving role of Propionibacterium acnes in acne. Semin Cutan Med Surg 20:139–143PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Chomnawang MT, Surassmo S, Nukoolkarn VS, Gritsanapan W (2005) Antimicrobial effects of Thai medicinal plants against acne-inducing bacteria. J Ethnopharmacol 101:330–333PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Batubara I, Mitsunaga T, Ohashi H (2009) Screening antiacne potency of Indonesian medicinal plants: antibacterial, lipase inhibition, and antioxidant activities. J Wood Sci 55:230–235CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Furukawa I, Kurooka S, Arisue K, Kohda K, Hayashi C (1982) Assays of serum lipase by the “BALB-DTNB Method” mechanized for use with discrete and continuous-flow analyzer. Clin Chem 28:110–113PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Ainsworth EA, Gillespie KM (2007) Estimation of total phenolic content and other oxidative substrates in plant tissues using Folin–Ciocalteu reagent. Nat Protoc 2:875–877PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Hagerman AE (2002) Tannin chemistry. Miami University press, USA, pp 86–87Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Batubara I, Kotsuka S, Yamauchi K, Kuspradini H, Mitsunaga T, Darusman LK (2012) TNFα- production inhibitory activity, phenolic, flavonoid and tannin content of selected Indonesian medicinal plants. Res J Med plant 6:406–415CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Przybylski R, Lee YC, Eskin NM (1998) Antioxidant and radical-scavenging activities of buckwheat seed components. J Am Oil Chem Soc 75:1595–1601CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    El Ghazali GB, El Tohami MS, Elegami AA (1994) Medicinal plants of the Sudan. Part III. Medicinal plants of the White Nile Province. Khartoum University Press, SudanGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Gibbons S (2005) Plants as a source of bacterial resistance modulators and anti-infective agents. Phytochem Rev 4:63–78CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Elegami AA, El-Nima El, El Tohami MS, Muddathir AK (2002) Antimicrobial activity of some species of the family Combretaceae. Phytother Res 16:555–561PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Fyhrqist P, Mwasumbi L, Haeggström CA, Vuorela H, Hiltunen R, Vuorela P (2002) Ethnobotanical and antimicrobial investigation on some species of Terminalia and Combretum (Combretaceae) growing in Tanzania. J Ethnopharmacol 79:169–177CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Vijayalakshmi A, Tripura A, Ravichandiran V (2011) Development and evaluation of anti-acne products from Terminalia arjuna Bark. Int J Chem Tech Res 3:320–327Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Sharma OP, Bhat TK (2009) DPPH antioxidant assay revisited. Food Chem 113:1202–1205CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Maldini M, Montoro P, Hamed Al, Mahalel UA, Oleszek W, Stochmal A, Piacente S (2011) Strong antioxidant phenolics from Acaia nilotica: profiling by ESI-MS and qualitative–quantitative determination by LC-ESI-MS. J Pharm Biomed Anal 56:228–239PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Singh R, Singh B, Singh S, Kumar N, Kumar S, Arora S (2010) Umbelliferone—antioxidant isolated from Acacia nilotica (L.) Willd.Ex.Del. Food Chem 120:825–830CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Falcocchio S, Ruiz C, Pastor FIJ, Saso L, Diaz P (2006) Propionibacterium acnes GehA lipase, an enzyme involved in acne development, can be successfully inhibited by defined natural substances. J Mol Catal B Enzym 40:132–137CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Singh R, Singh B, Singh S, Kumar N, Kumar S, Arora S (2008) Anti-free radical activities of kaempferol isolated from Acacia nilotica (L.) Willd.Ex.Del. Toxicol In Vitro 22:1965–1970PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Piluzza G, Bullitta S (2011) Correlations between phenolic content and antioxidant properties in twenty-four plant species of traditional ethnoveterinary use in the Mediterranean area. Pharm Biol 49:240–247PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Havsteen B (1983) Flavonoids, a class of natural products of high pharmacological potency. Biochem Pharmacol 32:1141–1148PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    De Bruyne T, Pieters L, Deelstra H, Vlietinck A (1999) Condensed vegetable tannins: biodiversity in structure and biological activities. Biochem Syst Ecol 27:445–459CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Okuda T (2005) Systematics and health effects of chemically distinct tannins in medicinal plants. Phytochemistry 66:2012–2031PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Japan Wood Research Society 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.United Graduate School of Agricultural ScienceGifu UniversityGifuJapan
  2. 2.Department of Applied Biological Science, Faculty of Applied Biological ScienceGifu UniversityGifuJapan

Personalised recommendations