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 detect 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 Kanamycin was used as positive
control. Zone of inhibition against Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli were 10mm and 8mm respectively. Minimum
Inhibitory Concentration of the crude extract was determined by serial dilution technique which showed 64 μg/ml for
Staphylococcus aureus and 128 μg/ml for Escherichia coli. Although the results obtained revealed inhibition against
Staphylococcus aureus & some Gram-positive & 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 drugs that will be of benefits to the health of the mankind.