Evaluation of antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory activities of seed extracts from six Nigella species.
J Med Food. 2009 Apr ;12(2):408-15. PMID: 19459745
Seed extracts from six species of the genus Nigella (Family Ranunculaceae)-Nigella arvensis, Nigella damascena, Nigella hispanica, Nigella nigellastrum, Nigella orientalis, and Nigella sativa-obtained by successive extraction with n-hexane, chloroform, and methanol, were tested for their antimicrobial activity against 10 strains of pathogenic bacteria and yeast using the microdilution method as well as for anti-inflammatory properties by in vitro cyclooxygenase (COX)-1 and COX-2 assay. Chemical characterization of active extracts was carried out including free and fixed fatty acid analysis. Comparison of antimicrobial activity showed that N. arvensis chloroform extract was the most potent among all species tested, inhibiting Gram-positive bacterial and yeast strains with minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values ranging from 0.25 to 1 mg/mL. With the exception of selective inhibitory action of n-hexane extract of N. orientalis on growth of Bacteroides fragilis (MIC = 0.5 mg/mL), we observed no antimicrobial activity for other Nigella species. Anti-inflammatory screening revealed that N. sativa, N. orientalis, N. hispanica, N. arvensis n-hexane, and N. hispanica chloroform extracts had strong inhibitory activity (more than 80%) on COX-1 and N. orientalis, N. arvensis, and N. hispanica n-hexane extracts were most effective against COX-2, when the concentration of extracts was 100 microg/mL in both COX assays. In conclusion, N. arvensis, N. orientalis, and N. hispanica seeds, for the first time examined for antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effects, revealed their significant activity in one or both assays.