Format: Microsoft Word Chapters: 1-5
Pages: 52 Attributes: STANDARD RESEARCH
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Table of contents
1.1 Aims and objectives
1.3 History and origin of lemon grass
1.4 Medicinal value of lemon grass
2.0 Literature Review
2.1 Lemon grass
2.2 Staphylococcus epidermidis
3.0 Research methodology
3.1 Material and methods
3.1.1 Sterilization of materials
3.2 Preparation of culture media
3.3 Collection and maintenance of the test organism
3.4 Collection of plants material
3.5 Preparation of extract using petroleum spirit
4.0 Results and discussion
5.0 Summary, conclusion and recommendations
The origin, history and the use of herbs date back to the time of the early man, who had the crudest and oldest equipment as his implement and uses stones to start his fire. He used herbs in their raw and cooked forms to keep fit. Since that time, the use of herbs has been introduced and accepted by all nations and has therefore been known and recognized as the first art of treatment available to men. (Kafaru, 1994).
There is no plant that does not have both economic important and medical value it could be the leaves, the stem or the roots that is responsible for this and this is due to some constituent of the plants.
Sofowora in 1982, defined medical plants as plants which or more of its organs contain substances that can be used for therapeutic purpose which are used for manufacturing drugs useful for disease diagnosis
The use of medicinal plants begins the introduction of antibiotics and other modern drugs into the West Africa Countries. The advent of drugs and other pharmaceutical made traditional and local medicine unpopular, this is because such drugs are of known chemical composition, direction and specification with little or no poisonous effect. Also the dosages of these drugs are known which readily help in the problem of over dose and toxicity.
However, as years goes by, many microscopic organisms started developing resistance to most of these drugs thereby rendering them ineffective and not active and use less.
Moreover, the problem of resistance strains, economy of producing these drugs and the need to search for more drugs had lead to the improvement and encouragement of scientific research in herbal medicine making, use of natural products of higher and complicated plants.
The effectiveness of these plants antimicrobial agents will contribute a great deal for its use against some related antimicrobial disease: for instance, the resent uses of some medicinal herbs were as highlighted by Bernice (1997) as follow: A creeping weed whose constituent gives its astringent, tonic, expectorant and diuretic effect it is then used mainly for respiratory track infections including sinusitis.
Medicinal plants are various plants used in herbalism and thought by some to have medicinal properties. Few plants or their photochemical, constituents have been the nature’s secrets (encyclopaedia). However, since ancient times, man has learned some of its secrets. Medicinal plants have always been considered a healthy source of life. There are more than 1000 plants with their main health benefit properties. There had been various studies and research on antimicrobial properties and effectiveness of many plants such as Aloe vera (Bello 2001), cashew (Awe 2001).
However, this study and research would be based on lemon grass (cymbopogon Citratus). The research is on the study of the extracts from natural origin as medicine or health promoting agent (phytotherapy).
Citral can also be converted to lonone which are used commercially for the production of synthetic Vitamin A (retinol). It is insoluble in water and is combustible and non toxic. It is used for perfume flavouring agent as inter mediates for other fragrance and Vitamins A synthesis.
Harvesting of the leave begins about a year after planting and may continue over a period of three of four years. The leaves contain about 0.5% of oil, and the amount decrease as they grow old.
Citrus essential oils like orange, lemon and antiseptic and antibacteri lemon is the strongest antiseptic and group, but orange essential oil works in a synergy with lemon to provide maximum antibacterial benefits of both.
However, the essential oil found in the leaves are used a perfumes while those of the roots are used as flavours, prevention of erosion and as adulterant for other essential oils. The oil is also important in soap industries and medical and pharmaceutical chemistry.
Peppermint is one of the most powerful essential oil for killing respiratory tract germs when diffused in the air.
Thyme oil is one of the most antiseptic essential oil and very high in antioxidant rating. The main component of thyme oil is thymol, a powerful antiseptic. It is common knowledge among aroma-therapist that the essential oil of thyme is one of the most potent antiseptic essential oils known. Thymol has been extensively documented for its antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal action.
The genus cymbopogon include a number of some species which produces essential oil of some commercial importance. The genus is a member of sub-family panicoidae of graminae and belongs to the tribe Andropogonae. The species cymbopogon citrates contain an essential oil or natural perfume with a lemon-like scent which is used extensively in perfumery. This oil contains 75%-85% aldehydes, the main constituent being citral, a terpene aldehyde.
The essential oil are volatile oil that occur mostly in glands known as oil glands. These gland are the transparent spot in the leaves, the structural formular for citral is shown below
CH3 CH3 or (CH3) 2 CHC2 H4C (CH3) CH - CHO
Citral is the principle compound of cymbopogon citratus and can be isolated by fractional distillation. It is obtained synthetically by oxidation of geraniol livalool by aromatic acid. It has a specific gravity of 0.891-0.897 at 150C acid a refractive index of 1.4850 – 1.4900 at 200C. Citrate is not optical active and is soluble in five volumes of 60% alcohol. It is soluble in all proportion of benzyle benzonate, diethylpathalate glycerol, propylene glycol mineral oils, fixed oils and 97% alcohol.
One thing that we can learn from our ancestors is that power of natural extracts to make us feel better. Generations of human from all cultures, countries and climates have made use of plants and minerals, in medicine and for relaxation. This knowledge has not been lost, despite the appearance of extremely effective medicines in modern times; natural extracts are still widely used in essential oils and aromatherapy.
Essential oils are more widely used in modern products than one might expect. Usually, extracted through distillation, they are used to fragrance bathing products, incense, perfumes and cosmetics, as well as in some types of household cleaner. In terms of alternative medicine, essential oil is most frequently used today in aromatherapy.
Aromatherapy is frequently used to uplift mood and relieve stress, especially when combined with message by a professional. In some countries, the antiseptic, antifungal and antibacterial properties of plants extracts are more widely recognised and some oils and extracts are available through prescription.
At that moment aromatherapy is generally considered a form of alternative medicine, and plant extracts are still being researched by scientists to evaluate how they may help patients.
Some essential oils are well known for their efficiency in treating minor ailments, such as eucalyptus and peppermint to help promote effective respiration, and tea tree oil for its antimicrobial action. There are huge numbers of useful plant extracts which can be used or aromatherapy. If you want to look further into treatment, it may be worth while contacting a local expert in aromatherapy or doing some research.
No matter how you have an interest in aromatherapy, it can be a useful and rewarding pasture. Learning some of the knowledge about plants and how they can be used in medicine will help to make sure that knowledge that has been passed down from our ancestors never fade away into oblivion. Some of these historical use of natural substances have been taught by one generation to the next for centuries, (and in some cases much longer).
1.1 AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
The aims and objectives of this study is to investigate the effectiveness of the essential oil extracts of lemon grass (Cymbopogon Citratus) against staphylococcus epidermises; whether the oil extract from lemon grass can inhibit or kill the growth of staphylococcus epidermidis.
This study is limited on the use of oil extracts from cymbopogon citrates to challenge the growth of staphylococcus epidermidis.
1.3 HISTORY AND ORIGIN OF LEMON GRASS
The lemon grass belongs to the family Gramineae, the grass family. This family is cosmopolitan ion distribution and is found in almost all habitats. The gramineae contain 600 genera and 10,000 species. About 147 genera and 615 species in West Africa.
Annual or perennial herbs rarely tree like as in bamboos. It requires a warm climate with plenty of sunshine.
Adventitious fibrous and stile roots, with round stem often with hallow internodes and swollen nodes.
They have alternative, simple, two-ranked and using differentiated into alamina sheath and lingual.
Spike or particules or spike-lets each with 1-2 to many flowers. Each is born a pedice. The central axis of the spike-lets id the rachilla. The bracts with or without flowers in their axis are attached to the rachilla in a two – ranked fashion.
A densely tufted tall grass, usually growing up to 12cm. leave grass like with blade tampered to both ends to 9cm long and 1.25cm wide. The whole plants give a characteristic of lemon odour when broken. The plant is propagated from the clones.
It is cultivated in Kenya, Tanzania and the Malagasy republic.
Bambara Ce Kala; Igbo: nohe awuta
Yoruba: Koriko Oyibo, Koko oba.
Cymbopogon Citratus yield essential oils which are used as perfumes in soap industries. Some species of grass are used in paper and pulp manufacturing. (Malik, 2010).
1.4 MEDICINAL VALUE OF LEMON GRASS
Lemon grass is an aromatic, perennial, tall grass with rhizomes and densely tufted fibrous roots. It has short underground stems with ringed segment, coarse, green slightly leathering leaves in dense cluster terminating in a long bristly point. These blades of the grass are about 90cm long 0.5cm wide.
Lemon grass contains an essential oil, this oil is sherry coloured with a pungent test and lemon like odour with citral as the principal constituents. The content of this oil varies with the age of the grass. Fresh lemon grass contain an essential oil which has substantial amount of citral. Dry yield 0.4% essential oil containing 72.3% citral.
Its medicinal value has found faith with some Buddhist monks who serve lemon grass tea in temple as it reputedly has a calming effect. This lemon grass therapeutic value which allows it to be from boiled leaves to have medicinal purposes as well.
Lemon grass as herbal medicinal for gastro-intestinal problems, stomach aches, diarrhoea gas, bowel herbal medicine – a tropical herb known for its nutritional value to combat. Lemon grass is widely used for treating common cold and pains. Lemon grass oil has been extensively researched for its anti-cancer properties. A study published in chemico-biological interactions identifies that colon cancer and neuron cancer lines can be reduced with lemon grass oil.
Lemon grass is useful with respiratory infections such as sore throats. It helps to prevent spreading of infections diseases. Lemon grass oil revitalizes the body and relieves the body system headaches and helps to combats nervous exhaustion.
Lemon grass (cymbogon citratus) contains a volatile oil usually 0.2 – 0.4% yields from lemon grass.
The main chemical compositions of lemon grass oil are myrcene, citronellal, geranyl acetate, nerol garaniol, neral and traces of limonene and citral.
The therapeutically properties of lemon grass oil are analgesic, anti-depressant, anti microbial, diuretic, fungicidal, insecticidal, nervous system sedative and tonic.
Lemongrass oil can irritate a sensitive skin, so care should be taken. It should be avoided in pregnancy due to it being a possible skin irritant.
However, lemongrass oil has great benefit as a muscle and skin toner, and revitalizes the body and mind, helps with infections and keeps the family pets flea and ticks and smelling nice. It is also used for clearing oily skin and acne, as well as athlete’s foot. It alleviates excessive perspiration.
Lemongrass oil can be used in blended message oil or dilute in the bath to assist with cellulite, digestive problems, as a diuretic for infections nervousness, for over exerted ligaments and as a general tonic.
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