Research Article

Methanolic Extracts of the Rhizome of R. emodi Act as Bioenhancer of Antibiotics against Bacteria and Fungi and Antioxidant Potential  

Rajan Rolta2 , Akash Sharma2 , Vikas Kumar1 , Anuradha Sourirajan1 , David J. Baumler3,4,5 , Kamal Dev1,3
1 Faculty of Applied Sciences and Biotechnology, Shoolini University, Post Box No.9, Head Post Office, Solan (H.P.) 173212, India
2 Faculty of Bioengineering and Food Technology, Shoolini University, Post Box No.9, Head Post Office, Solan (H.P.) 173212, India
3 Department of Food Science and Nutrition, University of Minnesota Twin Cities St. Paul, Minnesota, USA
4 Microbial and Plant Genomic Institute, University of Minnesota Twin Cities St. Paul, Minnesota, USA
5 Biotechnology Institute, University of Minnesota Twin Cities St. Paul, Minnesota, USA
Author    Correspondence author
Medicinal Plant Research, 2018, Vol. 8, No. 9   doi: 10.5376/mpr.2018.08.0009
Received: 22 Aug., 2018    Accepted: 11 Sep., 2018    Published: 28 Sep., 2018
© 2018 BioPublisher Publishing Platform
This is an open access article published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Preferred citation for this article:

Rolta R., Sharma A., Kumar V., Sourirajan A., Baumler D.J., and Dev K., 2018, Methanolic extracts of the rhizome of R. emodi act as bioenhancer of antibiotics against bacteria and fungi and antioxidant potential, Medicinal Plant Research, 8(9): 74-85 (doi: 10.5376/mpr.2018.08.0009)


Rheum emodi (Himalayan rhubarb) is used as a medicinal herb in the greater Himalayas. The present study investigated the antimicrobial and antioxidant properties of methanolic extracts of rhizome of R. emodi. The methanolic extract showed the presence of phenolics, tannins, flavonoids, carbohydrates, glycosides and phytosteroids. Methanolic extract showed higher total phenolic content (258±6.87 mg/gm GAE) as compared to flavonoid content (50±2.6 mg/gm RE) and inhibited the growth of Gram positive (Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus aureus), and Gram negative (Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumonia) bacteria. Minimum inhibitory concentration was comparatively less for Gram-negative (0.2-0.39 µg/ml) as compared to Gram-positive bacteria (0.78-1.56 µg/ml). When tested against yeast, R. emodi extract also showed comparatively more growth inhibition to Candida albicans (MTCC277) and C. albicans (ATCC90028) as compared to Saccharomyces cerevisiae (H1086). DPPH radical scavenging and FRAP assays of the methanolic extracts of R. emodi (IC50 value 60.89 μg/ml with DPPH assay and 13.022 µM Fe (II) equivalents) were comparable to ascorbic acid (IC50 value 43.84 μg/ml with DPPH assay and 2.682 µM Fe (II) equivalents). Methanolic extract of R. emodi showed synergistic antifungal activity when combined with fluconazole (S. cerevisiae and C. albicans) and amphotericin B (S. cerevisiae) and converting the extract from fungistatic to fungicidal. Combination of erythromycin and tetracycline with R. emodi extract showed synergistic antibacterial activity against E. coli and K. pneumonia and a combination of R. emodi extract with tetracycline demonstrated antibacterial activity against K. pneumonia. Moreover, extract alone showed fungistatic activity but specific fungicidal activity when combined with amphotericin B or fluconazole.


Rheum emodi; Phytocompounds; Antibacterial; Antifungal; Antioxidant; Synergism
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. Rajan Rolta
. Akash Sharma
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. Anuradha Sourirajan
. David J. Baumler
. Kamal Dev
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