Phytochemical and biological screening of Berberis aristata

Muhammad Rizwan, Alamgir Khan, Hira Nasir, Aslam Javed, Syed Zawar Shah


Background: Berberis aristata occupies significant position as a medicinal plant. Given its clinical applications and the grave concern of weed based crop damage in Pakistan, the plant was investigated for its antimicrobial and allelopathic activities.

Methods: Fresh Berberis aristata plant was obtained from Rawalakot and Hajeera (District Poonch) Azad Kashmir. Methanolic extract preparation and phytochemical analysis was done using standard procedures. Antibacterial and antifungal activities of the root, stem and leaf extracts of the plant were assayed against the bacterial strains E. coliS. typhiS. aureus, Shigella, Citrobacter, P. vulgarisEnterobacter, S. pyrogenes, V. cholera and Klebsiella spp. and fungal strains A. niger,CladosporiumRhizoctoniaAlternariaTrichodermaPenicilliumCurvulariaPaecilomyces andRhizopus using disc diffusion method. Also, the phytoxicity of the extracts was evaluated againstLemna minor and the data was recorded after seven days.

Results: Phytochemical screening of the three extracts identified the presence of alkaloids, reducing sugars, steroids, flavonoids, terpenoids, glycosides and saponins while tannins were found to be absent. The leaf extract also showed negative tests for alkaloids and steroids. The extracts significantly inhibited the growth of the employed microbial isolates. The leaf extract, however, was not active against A. nigerCurvulariaPaecilomyces and Rhizopus. For most of the tested strains, the effectiveness of the extracts was much higher than that of Amoxicillin and Fluconazole; the positive controls used for bacterial and fungal cultures, respectively. All the extracts demonstrated 100% phytotoxicity against Lemna minor at 1000 μg/mL while low activity (10-20%) was observed at 10 μg/mL and 100 μg/mL, respectively.

Conclusion: The results strongly support the profound ethnobotanical applications of this plant and also demonstrate its potential for use in weed control strategies.

Full Text:



Azwanida N. A review on the extraction methods use in medicinal plants, principle, strength and limitation. Med Aromat Plants, (2015); 4(196): 2167-0412.1000196.

Popović Z, Matić R, Bojović S, Stefanović M, Vidaković V. Ethnobotany and herbal medicine in modern complementary and alternative medicine: An overview of publications in the field of I&C medicine 2001–2013. Journal of ethnopharmacology, (2016); 181182-192.

Bilal M, Rasheed T, Iqbal HM, Hu H, Wang W, et al. Macromolecular agents with antimicrobial potentialities: A drive to combat antimicrobial resistance. International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, (2017); 103: 554-574.

Gul F, Shinwari ZK, Afzal I. Screening of indigenous knowledge of herbal remedies for skin diseases among local communities of North West Punjab, Pakistan. Pakistan Journal of Botany, (2012); 51609-1616.

Atanasov AG, Waltenberger B, Pferschy-Wenzig E-M, Linder T, Wawrosch C, et al. Discovery and resupply of pharmacologically active plant-derived natural products: A review. Biotechnology advances, (2015); 33(8): 1582-1614.

Mothana RA, Lindequist U. Antimicrobial activity of some medicinal plants of the island Soqotra. Journal of ethnopharmacology, (2005); 96(1): 177-181.

Ali M, Malik A, Sharma KR. Vegetative propagation of Berberis aristata DC. An endangered Himalayan shrub. Journal of Medicinal Plants Research, (2008); 2(12): 374-377.

Srivastava S, Rawat A. Quality evaluation of ayurvedic crude drug daruharidra, its allied species, and commercial samples from herbal drug markets of India. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, (2013); 2013.

Pareek A, Suthar M. Antidiabetic activity of extract of Berberis aristata root in streptozotocin induced diabetic rats. Pharmacologyonline, (2010); 2179-185.

Anubhuti P, Rahul S, Kant KC. Comparative study on the antimicrobial activity of Berberis aristata from different regions and berberine in vitro. International journal of life science and Pharma Research, (2011); 1(1): 17-20.

Shahid M, Rahim T, Shahzad A, Latif T, Fatma T, et al. Ethnobotanical studies on Berberis aristata DC. root extracts. African Journal of Biotechnology, (2009); 8(4): 556-563.

Potdar D, Hirwani R, Dhulap S. Phyto-chemical and pharmacological applications of Berberis aristata. Fitoterapia, (2012); 83(5): 817-830.

Affuso F, Mercurio V, Fazio V, Fazio S. Cardiovascular and metabolic effects of Berberine. World journal of cardiology, (2010); 2(4): 71.

Kumar A, Chopra K, Mukherjee M, Pottabathini R, Dhull DK. Current knowledge and pharmacological profile of berberine: an update. European journal of pharmacology, (2015); 761288-297.

Ahmed T, Abdollahi M, Daglia M, Nabavi SF, Nabavi SM. Berberine and neurodegeneration: A review of literature. Pharmacological Reports, (2015); 67(5): 970-979.

Das S, Das MK, Mazumder PM, Das S, Basu S. Cytotoxic activity of methanolic extract of Berberis aristata DC on colon cancer. Global Journal of Pharmacology, (2009); 3(3): 137-140.

Lamichhane B, Adhikari S, Shrestha P, Shrestha BG. Study of phytochemical, antioxidant, antimicrobial and anticancer activity of Berberis Aristata. Journal of Tropical Life Science, (2014); 4(1): 01-07.

Tiwari BK, Khosa R. Evaluation of the hepatoprotective and antioxidant effect of Berberis asiatica against experimentally induced liver injury in rats. International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, (2010); 2(1): 92-99.

Rizwana K, Gilani S. Conservational status of plant seedlings in Ayubia National Park, Pakistan. Lyonia, (2005); 8(1): 51-60.

Ibrar M, Muhammad N. Evaluation of Zanthoxylum armatum DC for in-vitro and in-vivo pharmacological screening. African Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, (2011); 5(14): 1718-1723.

Choudhary MI, Thomsen WJ Bioassay techniques for drug development. (2001); Taylor & Francis.

Khan RA, Khan MR, Sahreen S, Bokhari J. Antimicrobial and phytotoxic screening of various fractions of Sonchus asper. African Journal of Biotechnology, (2010); 9(25): 3883-3887.

Ahmad B, Khan I, Bashir S, Azam S, Hussain F. Screening of Zizyphus jujuba for antibacterial, phytotoxic and haemagglutination activities. African Journal of Biotechnology, (2011); 10(13): 2514-2519.

Zaidi MA, Huda A, Crow Jr SA. Pharmacological Screening of Arceuthobium oxycedri(Dwarf Mistletoe) of Juniper Forest of Pakistan. Online Journal of Biological Sciences, (2006); 6(2).

Hoque N, Imam MZ, Akter S, Mazumder M, Hoque E, et al. Antioxidant and antihyperglycemic activities of methanolic extract of Glinus oppositifolius leaves. Journal of Applied Pharmacutical Sciences, (2011); 1(7): 50-53

Tofighi Z, Ostad S, Khezrrahdoost S, Salehizadeh H, Yassa N. Potent anti-nociceptive and anti-inflammatory effects of methanol fraction of Otostegia persica extract and its components. Research Journal of Pharmacognosy (RJP), (2017); 4(2): 23-29.

Gracelin DHS, Britto A, Kumar B. Qualitative and quantitative analysis of phytochemicals in five Pteris species. International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research, (2013); 5105-107.

Sofowora A. Recent trends in research into African medicinal plants. Journal of ethnopharmacology, (1993); 38(2-3): 197-208.

Singh M, Srivastava S, Rawat A. Antimicrobial studies of stem of different Berberis species. Natural Product Science, (2009); 15(2): 60-65.

De Britto AJ, Jeya P, Kumar R, Gracelin S, Herin D. Abrus precatorius L.: A medicinal plant with potential as antibacterial agent. Journal of Pharmacy Research, (2012); 5(2): 1207-1209.

Khuda F, Iqbal Z, Khan A, Nasir F, Muhammad N, et al. Metal analysis, phytotoxic, insecticidal and cytotoxic activities of selected medicinal plants of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Pakistan journal of pharmaceutical sciences, (2012); 25(1).

Mittal M, Juyal V, Singh A. Phytochemical, antidiabetic, and cytoprotective properties of Berberis aristata DC. Root Extracts. Pharmaceutical Crops, (2012); 364-68.

Saied S, Batool S, Naz S. Phytochemical studies of Berberis aristata. Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences, (2007); 1-3.

Singh M, Srivastava S, Rawat A. Antimicrobial activities of Indian Berberis species. Fitoterapia, (2007); 78(7): 574-576.

Malik F, Mirza T, Riaz H, Hameed A, Hussain S. Biological screening of seventeen medicinal plants used in the traditional systems of medicine in Pakistan for antimicrobial activities. African Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, (2010); 4(6): 335-340.

Komal S, Ranjan B, Neelam C, Birendra S, Kumar SN. Berberis aristata: A review. International Journal of Research in Ayurveda and Pharmacy, (2011); 2(2): 383-388.

Mazumder PM, Das S, Das MK. Phyto-pharmacology of Berberis aristata DC: a review. Journal of Drug Delivery and Therapeutics, (2011); 1(2): 46-50.

Sharma C, Aneja K, Kasera R. Screening of Berberis aristata DC. for antimicrobial potential against the pathogens causing ear infection. International Journal of Pharmacology, (2011); 7(4): 536-541.

Wagh S, Vidhale N. Antimicrobial activity of Berberis aristata against some human pathogenic bacteria and fungi. Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry, (2010); 338-42.

Batish DR, Kaur M, Singh HP, Kohli RK. Phytotoxicity of a medicinal plant, Anisomeles indica, against Phalaris minor and its potential use as natural herbicide in wheat fields. Crop Protection, (2007); 26(7): 948-952.

Onocha P, Ali M. Antileishmaniasis, phytotoxicity and cytotoxicity of Nigerian Euphorbiaceous Plants 2: Phyllanthus amarus and Phyllanthus muellerianus Extracts. African Scientist, (2010); 11(2): 79-83.


  • There are currently no refbacks.