Publication Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in History & Political Thought, History Concentration (MA)

Committee Member

Addo-Mensah, Alfred K.

Committee Member

Mendez, Monica O.

Committee Member

Ynalvez, Ruby A.


Ethnopharmacological relevance: Medicinal plants have been used for thousands of years and continues to have a critical role in the healthcare system worldwide, and it is estimated that 80% of all pharmaceutical drugs are plant based in origin. Plants from the Rubiaceae family have gained the attention of scientist because they exhibit great medicinal potential and value. However, Vangueria volkensii has no published research on its pharmacological activity and properties. Materials and Methods: In the present study, Vangueria volkensii bark, fruits, leaves, and stems were sequentially extracted via Soxhlet extraction using petroleum ether (PE), acetone (ACE), and ethanol (ETOH) solvents. Utilizing the diffusion method, the antimicrobial activity of each extract at concentrations 5, 15, 25, 50 mg/ml against six bacteria was determined via the size of the zones of inhibition. Gram-negative [Escherichia coli B strain, Salmonella enterica Subsp. enteritidis, Shigella flexneri] and gram-positive [Enterococcus faecalis, Staphylococcus aureus, methicillin-resistant S. aureus] bacteria were selected based on availability. Results: Salmonella enterica Subsp. enteritidis, S. flexneri, E. faecalis and methicillin-resistant S. aureus were sensitive to all extracts prepared. E. coli B strain was resistant to bark ETOH and stem ACE extracts, while S. aureus was resistant to bark, leaf and stem ACE and PE extracts and the fruit ETOH extract. Comparing the extract zones of inhibition means for each microorganism revealed that the fruit extracts prepared from ACE had the most inhibitory activity for all microorganisms, except E. faecalis. For E. faecalis, the leaf extracts prepared from ETOH exhibited the most inhibitory activity. Conclusions: This study shows that V. volkensii contains antimicrobial properties as indicated by inhibiting the growth of several microorganisms. The fruit and leaves of V. volkensii may be the most promising to explore for potential use as an antimicrobial drug. However, to determine which active compound(s) are responsible the antimicrobial activity, further analysis and biomolecule isolation would prove beneficial in concluding the results of this study.