ISSN: 2640-7906
Open Journal of Plant Science
Review Article       Open Access      Peer-Reviewed

Anti-tuberculosis effects of different medicinal plants: A narrative review

Amjad Hussain1*, Aadil Ameer Ali2, Sultan Ayaz3, Wahidullah4, Pervez Mehar5, Ahmad Ali5, Zakir Ullah5 and Ramsha Baig1

1Lecturer, Department of Eastern Medicine, Faculty of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, University of Balochistan Quetta, Pakistan
2Institute of Physiotherapy & Rehabilitation Sciences, Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Medical University, Larkana, Pakistan
3Department of Eastern Medicine, Government College University, Faisalabad, Pakistan
4Wilson Pharmaceuticals, Islamabad, Pakistan
5Faculty of pharmacy, Gomal University, Dera Ismail khan, Pakistan
*Corresponding author: Amjad Hussain, Lecturer, Department of Eastern Medicine, Faculty of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, University of Balochistan Quetta, Pakistan, Email:
Received: 29 August, 2021 | Accepted: 30 September, 2021 | Published: 01 October, 2021
Keywords: Medicinal plants; Phytochemicals; Tuberculosis; Toxicological effects

Cite this as

Hussain A, Ali AA, Ayaz S, Wahidullah, Mehar P, et al. (2021) Anti-tuberculosis effects of different medicinal plants: A narrative review. Open J Plant Sci 6(1): 099-102. DOI: 10.17352/ojps.000041


© 2021 Hussain A, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

The medicinal plants contain various chemical constituents which play an important role in the treatment of various diseases. The current review explained the scattered information on medicinal plants used in the treatment of tuberculosis. The review contains four medicinal plants (Allium sativum (L), Aloe vera (L), Acalypha indica (L) and Allium cepa (L)) having anti-tubeculosis effects. Moreover, six medicinal plants (Acorus calamus (L), Curcuma longa (L), Ephedra gerardiana, Glycyrrhiza glabra (L), Hygrophila auriculata, Papaver somniferum (L)) have been checked for their toxicological impacts in the treatment of tuberculosis.


Mycobacterium Tuberculosis (MBT) is a pathogenic bacteria which causes tuberculosisPrimarily it effects the respiratory system but it may effects the other systems like urogenital system (painless hematuria (it would be painful if the clots occurred), hematospermia, Gastrointestinal system (abdominal pain and intestinal obstruction [1-6].The signs and symptoms of tuberculosis are cough, fever, night sweating, haemoptysis, dyspnoea, tachycardia, anaemia, chest pain and weight loss [4]. In the developing countries, tuberculosis is a dreadful infection. Annually It infects almost 9 million people, more than 2 million deaths occur annually due to this infection [7,8]. The deaths may be increase in the future because of increase spread of multidrug-resistant bacterial strains [9]. Furthermore human immunodeficiency virus is another risk factor which has significantly increased the new cases of tuberculosis [10-12]. Finding of the new compound is one of the tough tasks but research efforts at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has recognize a screening program, to find out the new compounds that are actively used against M. tuberculosis [13]. The purpose of this review is to gather the literature as well as to know the phytochemical and pharmacological effects of medicinal plants which may be helpful in the treatment of tuberculosis.


The current review contains the published data of medicinal plants having antibacterial (antituberculosis) activity. Information of medicinal plants were collected by using various search engines (Google scholar, PubMed and scopus).


Medicinal plants are used from the ancient times in the treatment of various diseases. These plants are wild or cultivated which contain various therapeutic agents having various pharmacological activities [16]. Table 1 consist of botanical name, family, parts used, plant extracts, pathogens, minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) (mg/ml), zone of inhibition (mm), traditional uses and the methods used for determination of antibacterial activity. These study explained medicinal plants used for treating tuberculosis. While Table 2 comprises the vernacular name, family, concentration, parts used, extracts and toxic effects on the tested animals.

The antibacterial activity (antituberculosis) of these plants are due to their metabolites such as phenol, glycosides, alkaloids, steroids, tannins, terpenes, trepenoids, saponins and flavonoids.

Medicinal plants are used in the different dosage form like decoction, concoction, tablets, capsule and syrup. Decoction and extract of the plants are the common technique used due to easy intake [17].

Antibacterial effects of some medicinal plants used in the treatment of tuberculosis

Incidence of tuberculosis increases due to multiple drug resistance and HIV infected patients [18]. Traditionally, many plants has been used for the treatment of tuberculosis. These plants contain active biomolecules having antimycobacterial activity. Furthermore, these plants decreased the adverse effects as well as multi-drug resistance [19].

There are four plants such as Allium sativum L. and Aloe vera (L.) Burm.f., Acalypha indica L., and Allium cepa L., leaves and bulbs have antibacterial activity against M. tuberculosis. The extracts of the plants were taken in concentration from 0.02-0.04 mg/ml. The zone of inhibition against the MBT were between 2.5 and 17.3 mm. A. indica showed strong inhibiting activity (17.3mm) against H37Rv strain of M. tuberculosis by using L-J proportion method [20].

Traditionally P. granatum (L.), Artemisia afra Jacq. Ex Willd, Abutilon indicum (L.), Carica papaya (L.), Bombax ceiba (L.), Linum usitatissimum L., Aegle marmelos (L.), and Bauhinia variegate (L.) are used against tuberculosis. However, few medicinal plants have been investigated properly for their therapeutic effects against tuberculosis.

Toxicity of some medicinal plants used in the treatment of tuberculosis

Medicinal plants contain primary and secondary metabolite called bioactive natural products. These metabolites have various pharmacological activities and used for the treatment of different diseases. However toxic effects may be observed in the use of various plants [21-24].

It is believed that herbal medicines are safe, but this review reported seven medicinal plants having toxic effects in human beings and animals [25].

It has been reported that G. glabra contain glycyrrhizin and glycyrrhizinic acid. These chemical constituents stimulate the excretion of adrenal cortex hormones (Mineralocorticoid). The increase level of mineralocorticoid decreases renin level, sodium retention, hypokalemia, hypervolemia, edema and hypertension. Furthermore, it has been observed that glycyrrhiza glabra is harmful for the people having high blood pressure, heart and kidney diseases [26].

1000 mg/kg of hydroalcoholic extract of C. longa induces depression and decreased respiration. Furthermore, root extract of C. longa (0.1 µg/ml) stops the growth of embryo in rabbit at morula stage [27,28].

George P conducted a study in 2011, which explained that excessive amount of Ephedra gerardiana causes liver damage, heart problem, high blood pressure [29].

Ahmad et al., explained a study that acetone extract of Acorus calamus causes hemolysis [30]. Papaver somniferum is a good source of different bioactive molecules and used for many diseases but it has necrotic effects at concentration of 150 µg/ml [31]. Seeds and leaves extract of Hygrophila auriculata in various solvents exhibit cytotoxicity and dehydration effects in albino rat [32,33] Table 2.


Medicinal plants contain most of the bioactive natural compounds that exhibit various pharmacological activities. The current study explained that some of medicinal plants are traditionally used in the treatment of TB. Leaves and bulbs are the common parts used in the form of extract and decoction. While some of the plants have potential effects against tuberculosis but they produce toxic effects in the body.

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