Getmore Chikowe1, Lindi Mpala1, Ian Edwin Cock1,2,*
1School of Environment and Science, Nathan Campus, Griffith University, 170 Kessels Rd, Nathan, Brisbane, Queensland, AUSTRALIA.
2Environmental Futures Research Institute, Griffith University, 170 Kessels Rd, Nathan, Brisbane, Queensland, AUSTRALIA.
Introduction: Closely related plant species often share similar secondary metabolites and bioactivities and are therefore good targets for bioactivity testing when one or more species within a family are known to possess therapeutic properties. The family Lamiaceae has a long history of medicinal usage globally. Many species are known to have therapeutic properties, several species of which have well established antibacterial bioactivities. Methods: The ability of Westringa fruticosa leaf and flower extracts to inhibit the growth of a panel of bacterial and fungal pathogens was investigated by disc diffusion assay. Toxicity was examined using the Artemia franciscana nauplii bioassay. Results: W. fruticosa leaf methanolic and aqueous extracts were both completely ineffective at inhibiting the growth of gram-positive and gram-negative panels of bacteria, as well as fungi. The extracts were non-toxic or of low toxicity in the Artemia bioassay following 24 h exposure. Conclusion: Despite the taxonomic relationship to several bioactive Laminaceae spp., W. fruticosa leaf and flower extracts were completely ineffective bacterial and fungal growth inhibitors. However, these extracts may have other therapeutic properties and testing against protozoa, virus and tumour cells is required.