The Activity of Aqueous Extract of Cuminum cyminum L. and Hibiscus sabdariffa L. against Trichophyton mentagrophytes and Trichophyton rubum and Detection of Some their Active Chemical Groups.


The development of more effective and less toxic antifungal agents is required for the treatment of dermatophytosis. The studies about the effect of plant extract against different types of fungi are still one of the most important fields of researches because they are available, cheep, and safe. Dermatophytes are fungi that can cause infections (known as tinea) of the skin, hair and nails because of their ability to use keratin. In this work, two plant extracts Hibiscus sabdariffa (H. sabdariffa) and Cuminum cyminum (C. cyminum) were tested for there possible biological activity against two dermatophytosis Trichophyton rubrum (T. rubrum) and Trichophyton mentagrophytes (T. mentagrophytes). Boiled aqueous extracts of both plants at the following concentrations (5, 7.5, and 10%) were used after cooling. Agar dilution method was used to examine the biological activity of each extract and the results expressed as diameter of colonies in (mm). The tests for functional groups that can be extracted by water were carried out. Hence, alkaloids, saponines, tannins, glycosides were screened using a suitable method while oils noticed as upper layer (if present).The results of both plants showed that the inhibition of fungal growth is dependent on the concentration of plant extract. The T. mentagrophytes is more sensitive in growth than T. rubum in response to both plant extracts. In general, there is no statistical difference (p>0.05) in the activity of both aqueous extracts against the two fungi. The pHs of 10% solution of C. cyminum and H. sabdariffa extract were 5.95 and 2.40, respectively. In C. cyminum there are detectable amounts of essential oils, glycosides and high amounts of tannins while alkaloids and saponines are not detectable using the described methods. In Hibiscus sabdariffa, there is a detectable amount of saponines, glycosides, and high amounts of tannins while there are no positive results for essential oils and alkaloids.In conclusion, the aqueous extracts of H. sabdariffa and C. cyminum have antifungal activity at concentrations ≥5%. There is no significant difference in the antifungal activity between the aqueous extract of H. sabdariffa and C. cyminum against both fungi. In general, both fungi showed same growth inhibition in response to both plant extracts. The results indicated that both of the plant extracts used in the present work are acidic (pH<7) and H. sabdariffa had higher acidity than cumin indicated the presence of different acidic compound in the extract. The acidity affects the growth of fungi and may decrease the rate of growth. This antifungal activity of the plant extract may be due, in part, to the presence of different active substances in the extracts. The results can be explained through the presence of different active substances, especially tannins and glycosides, of in the aqueous extract of both plants. More studies are required to isolate the specific antifungal compounds and to use the extract clinically.