ANTIBACTERIA ACTIVITY OF TEA LEAVES (Cymbopogon citratus, Hibiscus rosa-sinensis and Bryophyllum pinnatum) ON ORAL BACTERIA

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This study investigated the antimicrobial effect of selected tea leaves on oral microorganisms. Oral microorganisms were obtained from mouth swab and inoculated on Nutrient agar and Mac Conkey .  Isolates were  identified based on colonial and morphological characteristics, gram staining and relevant biochemical tests. 40% of tea extract was used to challenge the isolates,  they were  subjected to sensitivity test using the agar well diffusion method.   Based on the results of the sensitivity test, Lemon grass extract had an inhibitory effect against Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus cereus. Hibiscus flower was found to be effective against Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa while Bryophyllum pinnatum was also found to be effective against Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeroginosa. The study revealed that at 40% concentration the three tea leaves studied could be used to treat mouth infections caused by staphylococcus aureus; Lemon grass for  infections caused by Basillus cereus; Hibiscus flower and Lemom grass for infections caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and are therefore recommended accordingly.






Medicinal plants are used by 80% of the world population as the only available medicine especially in developing countries (Hashim et al., 2010). Medicinal  plants  is used in many parts of the world because it is commonly considered that herbal drugs are cheaper and safer as compared to synthetic drugs and may be used without minimum side effects.

Plants  used for traditional medicine contains a wide range of substances that can be used to treat chronic as well as infectious diseases. Such as diarrhea, fever and cold (Mitsher et al., 1981). Some of these plants are applied orally to treat oral microorganisms. In addition, many recreational compounds used in traditional  medicine have plant root (Deans, 1990). Resistance towards revealing antibiotics have become widespread among bacteria and fungi hence new class of antimicrobial substances are urgently required.

Lemongrass plant with the scientific name cymbopogon citratus  belongs to the Graminae (poaceae) family that contains about 660 genus and 900 species which are widely distributed in tropical and subtropical world.

Cympopogon citratus is usually used in folk medicine for the treatment of neutrological and gastrointestinal disorders and as an antispasmodic, analgesic, antibacterial anti-pyretic, diuretic and sedative (Santin et al., 2009). Citratus species cultures widely in some Asian countries and African due to the high rate of sytral (70-80%) in its essence  (Robbin 1983). This plant is an important source that provides essential oil used in food and hygienic industry (Adeleke et al., 2001).

According to World Health Organization (WHO) definition  of amedicinal plant is a plant that can be used for therapeutic purposes or its compounds be used as a pioneer in the synthesis of semi-synthetic chemical drugs (WHO, 1979).

The plant Hibiscus rosasiensis belongs to the family malvaceae with attractive and colourful flowers. Plants of Hibiscus are widely planted as  ornamentals and  are used in traditional medicine. Hibiscus species has been used as a folk remedy for the treatment of skin diseases, as an anti fertility agent, antiseptic and  carminative. Hibiscus rosa-sinensis possesses many biological activities such as antipyretic, analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities (Sikarwar et al., 2011; Ravi and Neha 2011).

It has also been reported that the plant’s flower possesses anti-spermatogenic, androgenic, anti-tumor and anticonvulsant properties. In addition the leaves and flowers have been found to be aid in the healing of ulcer.  Many chemical compounds like cyandin, quercetin, Hentriacontane, calcium oxalate, thiamine, Ribo-flavin, niacin and ascorbic acids have been isolated from the plant (Scalbert, 1991; Dey et al., 2010).

The plant, Bryophyllum pinnatum (crassulaceae) is commonly known as air-plant, love plant, miracle leaf, life plant, Zakham e-hyat, panfutti, Ghayamari (Jain et al., 2010) has been accepted as a herbal remedy in almost all parts of the world etc. It is a crassulescent herb of about 1 metre in height with opposite glabrous leaves (with 3-5 deeply crenulated, fleshy leaflets) (John, 2002), distributed worldwide but growing primarily in the  rain forest. It grows widely and used as folk medicine in tropical Africa, India, china, Australia and tropical America Madagascar, Asia and Hawaii (Lans, 2006). It is astringent, sour in taste, sweet in post digestive effect and has hot potency. It is well known for its haemostatic and wound healing properties. The plants have considerable attention for their medicinal properties and find application in folk medicine as well as in the contempory medicine (Kamboj, 2009; Siddiqui, 1989).


The presence of oral pathogenic microorganism in human mouth can have serious health challenges, affecting the mouth   and    other organs of the body that are connected to the mouth and therefore need to be address especially when the mouth is not properly taken care off.


  1. i) The aim of this study is to isolate and identify oral microorganisms.
  2. ii) To know the effect of Lemon grass, Hibiscus flower and Bryophyllum pinnatum on isolated oral microorganisms.


The importance of this study is to create awareness of the presence of pathogenic bacteria and fungi in the mouth. Information on the existence of oral microorganisms and their ability to cause problems is rare and so the awareness is necessary. So many people die of Tuberculosis, sore throat, oral thrush etc and do not know the cause. It is therefore necessary to educate the public on the effectiveness or otherwise of tea leaves on oral microorganisms.


This work covers the collection of tea leaves, isolation and identification  of  oral microorganisms  and the effect of  tea leaves on oral organisms.


  1. i) Antibacteria: An antibacteria is an agent that interferes with the growth and reproduction of bacteria. It can also be defined as anything that destroys or suppresses the ability of a bacteria to reproduce heat and chemicals such as chlorine.
  2. ii) Medicinal plants: This is simply any plant that is use or formally used as herbal medicine to cure diseases.

iii)   Oral microorganism: These are organisms that are found in the mouth.


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