ANTIMICROBIAL AND PHYTOCHEMICAL PROPERTIES OF YOUNGCOCOS NUCIFERA (COCONUT) WATER AND METHALONIC EDXTRACT OF THE YOUNGCOCOS NUCI

ANTIMICROBIAL AND PHYTOCHEMICAL PROPERTIES OF YOUNGCOCOS NUCIFERA (COCONUT) WATER AND METHALONIC EDXTRACT OF THE YOUNGCOCOS NUCI

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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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1.4LITERATURE REVIEW

1.4.1 MEDICINAL PLANTS AS ANTIMICROBIAL AGENT


Medicinal  plants  have  always  been  considered  as  a  source  for  healthy  life  for  people.  Therapeutical

properties  of  medical  plants  are  very  useful  in  healing  various  diseases  and  the  advantage  of  these

medicinal plants are natural (Kalemba and Kunicka, 2003). In many parts of the world, medicinal plants

have been used for its antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral activities for hundreds of years (Ali et al.,

1998; Barbour et al., 2004; Yasunakaet al., 2005).  Researchers are increasingly turning their attention

to natural products and looking for new leads to develop better drugs against cancer, as well as viral and

microbial  infections  (Ibrahim,  1997;  Towers et  al.,  2001;  Koshy et  al.,  2009).  Several  synthetic

antibiotics  are  employed  in  the  treatment  of  infections  and  communicable  diseases.  The  harmful

microorganisms  can  be  controlled  with  drugs  and  this  has  resulted  in  the  emergence  of  multiple  drug

resistant bacteria and it has created alarming clinical situations in the treatment of infections. 

In general, bacteria have the genetic ability to transmit and acquire resistance to synthetic drugs which

are  utilized  as  therapeutic  agents  (Murray,  1992;  Madunaguet  al.,  2001;  Koshy et  al.,  2009;

Senthilkumar  and  Reetha, 2009)  Therefore,  actions  must  be  taken  to  reduce  this  problem,  such  as  to

minimize the use of antibiotics, develop research of resistance among microorganism and to  continue

studies to develop new antibiotic and immune modulating compounds with diverse chemical structures

and  novel  mechanisms  of  action,  either  synthetic  or  natural  to  control  pathogenic  microorganisms

because  there  has  also  been  an  alarming  increase  in  the  incidence  of  new  and  re-emerging  infectious

diseases (Ikenebomeh and Metitiri, 1988; Rojas et al., 2003)

Antimicrobial studies have shown that Gram-negative bacteria show a higher resistance to plant extracts

than  Gram-positive  bacteria.  This  may  be  due  to  the  variation  in  the  cell  wall  structures  of  Gram-

positive and Gram-negative bacteria. More specifically, Gram-negative bacteria has an outer membrane

that  is  composed  of  high  density  lipopolysaccharides  that  serves  as  a  barrier  to  many  environmental


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substances including antibiotics (Paz et al., 1995; Vlietincket al., 1995; Kudiet al., 1999; Palombo and

Semple,  2001).  Although  hundreds  of  plant  species  have  been  tested  for  antimicrobial  properties,  the

vast majority of have not been adequately evaluated (Onwuliri and Dawang, 2006; Mahesh and Sathish,

2008).


The coconut (Cocos nucifera L. family Arecaceae) is a well distributed fruit tree all around the world,

providing food, especially in the tropical and subtropical regions and for its many uses it is often called

the “tree of life”. There are 12 different crops of nuts under the name of coconut palm (DebMandal and

Mandal,  2011). Cocos  nucifera is  widely  distributed  over  the  Brazilian  northeastern  coast,  where  is

known as “Coco-da-Bahia”. Popular medicinal uses (against arthritis and diarrhea) of coconut husk fiber

have been reported (Rinaldi et al., 2009), but the knowledge of its potential benefit or adverse effects in

human beings is still very preliminary.  


Coconut, Cocos nucifera, is a tree that is cultivated for its multiple utilities, mainly for its nutritional

and  medicinal  values.    The  various  products  of  coconut  include  tender  coconut  water,copra,  coconut

oil, raw kernel, coconut cake, coconut toddy, coconut shell and wood based products, coconut leaves,

coir  pith  etc.  It’s  all  parts  are  used  in  some  way or  another  in  the  daily  life  of  the  people  in  the

traditional  coconut  growing  areas.  It  is  the  unique  source  of  various  natural  products  for  the

development of medicines against various diseases and also for the development of industrial products.

The parts of its fruit like coconut husk and tender coconut water have numerous medicinal properties

such as antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, antiparasitic, antidermatophytic, antioxidant, hypoglycemic,

hepatoprotective,  immunostimulant.  Coconut  water  and  coconut  kernel  contain  micro  minerals  and

nutrients, which are essential to human health, and hence coconut is used as food by the peoples in the

globe, mainly in the tropical countries. The coconut palm is, therefore, eulogizedas ‘Kalpavriksha’ (the

all giving tree) in Indian classics. India is the third largest coconut producing country, after Indonesia

and the Philippines, having an area of about 1.78 million hectares under the crop. Annual production is

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about 7,562 million nuts with an average of 5 295 nuts/hectare (Rinaldi et al., 2009). In India, the four

south  Indian  states  namely  Kerala,  Tamil  Nadu,  Karnataka  and  Andhra  Pradesh  account  for  around

90%  of  the  coconut  production  in  the  country  (Rinaldi  et  al.,  2009).  For  thousands  of  years,

coconutproducts  have  held  a  respected  and  valuable placein  Indianfolk  medicine.  It  is  believed  to  be

antiblenorrhagic,  antibronchitis,  febrifugal,  and  antigingivitic.    In  Ayurvedic  medicine,  the  oil,  milk,

cream and water of the coconut are all used to treat hair loss, burns and heart problems. In India, the

use of coconut for food, and its applications in the Ayurvedic medicine were documented in Sanskrit 4

000 years ago. Records show that in  the  United States, coconut  oil was  one of the major sources  of 

dietary  fats,  aside    from    dairy    and    animal  fats,    prior  to  the  advent  of  the  American  edible  oil

(soybean  and corn)  industry in the  mid-1940s(Dayrit,2005). Virgin  coconut oil (VCO) is  completely

non-toxic to humans, and is referred to as the “drugstore in a bottle”. In India, the coconut has religious

connotations; it is described as “The fruit of aspiration” and a coconut is offered to the gods and cut at

the start of many new projects. Coconut water is produced by a 5 month old nut that during World War

II, was used in emergencies, and put directly into a patient’s veins. From ancient times the coconut is

used as a very effective remedy for intestinal worms of all kinds.  Boiled toddy, known as jaggery, with

lime  makes  a  good  cement.    Nutmeat  of  immature  coconuts  is  eaten  or  extracted  cream  is  used  on

various foods. 


 


 











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1.4.2COCONUT WATER AS POTENTIAL ANTIMICROBIAL AGENTS


Coconut  water  (coconut  liquid  endosperm),  with  its many  applications,  is  one  of  the  world’s  most

versatile  natural  product.  This  refreshing  beverage  is  consumed  worldwide  as  it  is  nutritious  and

beneficial for  health. There is increasing scientific evidence that supports the  role of coconut water in

health and medicinal applications. Coconut water is traditionally used as a growth supplement in plant

tissue culture/micro propagation. The wide applications of coconut water can be justified by its unique

chemical composition of sugars, vitamins, minerals, amino acids and phytohormones.


Coconut  water  is  a  natural  liquid  that  contains  many  biologically  active  compounds.  These  include

numerous  antioxidant  compounds  that  have  the  ability  to  scavenge  free  radicals  in  the  body.  It  also

contains cytokins, a plant chemical which has shown anti-aging and anti-carcinogenic effects. Coconut

water also contains B vitamins, which are water soluble and are required for cellular functions (Jannick

and  Paull,  2008).  Coconut  water  contains  a  variety of  inorganic  ions  such


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