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Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is becoming increasingly popular and experienced a high
growth all over the world. A medicinal plant, Swertia chirata, has been widely use as herbal medicine in Asian countries
and some parts of the world. The aim of this study was to evaluate the antibacterial property of Swertia chirata. Plants
were extracted using ethanol. Disc diffusion technique was used to determine antimicrobial activity. Crude extraction of
whole plant showed significant antimicrobial activities against some gram positive and gram negative bacteria. Test
materials at a concentration of 100 μg disc-1 were used to evaluate the antimicrobial activity and 30 μg disc-1 concentration
of Chloramphenicol was used as positive control. Zone of inhibition against Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus cereus,
Escherichia coli and Salmonella arizonae were 10mm, 6mm, 9mm and 7mm respectively. Minimum Inhibitory
Concentration of the crude extract was determined by serial dilution technique which showed 128 μg/ml, 64 µg/ml, 128
µg/ml and 128 µg/ml respectively . Although the results obtained revealed inhibition against some gram positive and gram
negative bacteria, a further study need to be carried out to detect the active compounds of this highly potent plant.
Moreover, problems of drug resistance leading to recurrent infections highlight a need to search for new compounds for
treatment of microbial infections. Hence, Swertia chirata which possesses antimicrobial activity, hope will complement if
not replace a standard antimicrobial drug that will be of benefits to the health of the mankind.