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PROJECT TOPIC: ANTIMICROBIAL AND PHYTOCHEMICAL PROPERTIES OF YOUNGCocos nucifera(COCONUT) WATER AND METHALONIC EXTRACT OF THE YOUNGCocos nucifera(COCONUT) HUSK

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1.1 INTRODUCTION  

Medicinal plants represent a rich source of antimicrobials and many other drugs. The potentials ofhigher plants as a source for new drugs is still largely unexplored. Antibiotic resistance has become aglobal concern (West et al., 2004). The clinical efficacy of many existing antibiotics is beingthreatened by the emergence of multidrug-resistant pathogens (Bandow, 2003). Manyinfectious diseases have been known to be treated with herbal remedies throughout the history ofmankind. Natural products, either as pure compounds or as standardized plant extracts, provideunlimited opportunities for new drug leads because of the unmatched availability of chemical diversity.There is a continuous and urgent need to discover new antimicrobial compounds with diverse chemicalstructures and novel mechanisms of action for new and re-emerging infectious diseases (Rojas et al.,1992). Therefore, researchers are increasingly turning their attention to local herbs, looking for newleads to develop better drugs against microbial infections (Benkeblia, 2004).The increasing failure of chemotherapeutics and antibiotic resistance exhibited by pathogenic microbialinfectious agents has led to the screening of several medicinal plants for their potential antimicrobialactivity (Kapila, 2005; Runyoro et al.,2006). The rising prevalence of antibiotics resistant pathogenicmicroorganisms raises the demand for finding new alternative antimicrobial agents. The drugs alreadyin use to treat infectious diseases are of concern because drug safety remains an enormous global issue.Most of the synthetic drugs cause side effects and also most of the microbes developed resistant againstsynthetic drugs (Chanda and Rakholiya 2011). To alleviate this problem, antimicrobial compoundsfrom potential plants should be explored. These drugs from plants are less toxic; side effects are scantyand also cost-effective. They are effective in the treatment of infectious diseases while2simultaneouslymitigatingmany of the side effects that are often associated with synthetic antimicrobials(Harishchandraet al., 2012).Published studies in medical journals show that coconut in one form or another may provide a widerange of health benefits. The coconut plant Cocos nucifera (family Arecaceae) is considered as animportant fruit crop in tropical countries. It is a commonly available plant with a wide variety ofapplications in food, drinks, fibers, building materials and various chemicals finding their way into ahuge range of modern-day products. Being highly nutritious coconuts have also been studied formedicinal qualities.Modern medical science is now confirming the medicinal qualities of Cocos nucifera which are usedfor the treatment wide range of infections. Based on the knowledge of the traditional herbs used for thetreatment for local application, coconut husk can be used as a topical antimicrobial. A preliminaryinvestigation of the use of coconut husk, the antimicrobial activity can be evaluated.


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