1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Medicinal plants are plants which contains substances that can be used for therapeutic purposes or which are precursors for the synthesis of useful drugs. The medicinal value of these plants lies in some chemical substances that produce a definite physiological action on the human body. Medicinal plant have continued to attract attention in the global search for effective methods of using plants’ parts(e.g. seeds, stems, leaves, roots, peel, bark etc) for the treatment of many diseases affecting humans. Many important drugs used in medicine today are directly or indirectly derived from plants due to its bioactive constituents such as; alkaloids, steroids, tannins e.t.c. (Hill, 1952).
In recent years, secondary plant metabolites previously with unknown pharmacological activities have been extensively investigated as sources of medicinal agents. Thus is anticipated that photochemical with adequate antimicrobial efficacy will be use for treatment of bacterial infections.
The avocado (PerseaAmericana) belongs to the Lauraceaefamily of tropical and Mediterranean trees and shrubs; other members of this family include: laurel, cinnamon, safaris and green-heart (a timber of the Guiana’s). The avocado is thought to have originated from Mexico and Central South America; for thousands of years and till today, it has been a popular food in those places. In the mid 17th Century, they were introduced to West Africa, Mauritius and India.
The world is facing explosive increase in resistant strains of microorganisms. It poses a serious challenge to primary health care in un developing countries, with negative consequences on the economy. Antibiotics such as penicillin and erythromycin which used to have a high efficacy against bacteria species and strains, have become less effective, due to the increased resistance of many bacteria.
Previous and recent studies have shown that the leaf, back and seed extract of avocado pear (P. americana) are rich sources of photochemical such as saponins, steroids, alkaloids, as such a source of (Idriset al 2010. and Ilozueet al, 2014). However information on antimicrobial effect of avocado pear peel extract in Enugu is scanty. Therefore this works aims to determine and evaluate the antimicrobial activity of avocado pear peel extract in Enugu.