Journal of Conservative Dentistry
Home About us Editorial Board Instructions Submission Subscribe Advertise Contact e-Alerts Login 
Users Online: 215
Print this page  Email this page Bookmark this page Small font sizeDefault font sizeIncrease font size

Table of Contents   
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 642-645
Efficacy of Andrographis paniculata compared to Azadirachta indica, Curcuma longa, and sodium hypochlorite when used as root canal irrigants against Candida albicans and Staphylococcus aureus: An in vitro antimicrobial study

1 Department of Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics, Nair Hospital Dental College, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
2 Department of Surgical Sciences, College of Dentistry, Ajman, UAE
3 Department of Growth and Development, College of Dentistry, Ajman, UAE

Click here for correspondence address and email

Date of Submission17-Mar-2018
Date of Decision23-May-2018
Date of Acceptance07-Sep-2018
Date of Web Publication13-Nov-2018


Aim: The aim is to test the antimicrobial activity of Andrographis Paniculata, Azadirachta indica (neem), and Curcuma Longa (curcumin) as a root canal irrigant, against Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans using agar diffusion test. Sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl) served as a standard control for comparisons.
Materials and Methods: The bacterial strains of C. albicans and S. aureus culture were grown overnight (18–20 h) in the brain heart infusion broth at 37°C and inoculated in Mueller–Hinton agar plates. Antibacterial inhibition was assessed using agar well-diffusion method using the methanolic extracts of the three plants to be tested and NaOCl. Bacterial inhibition zone around each well was recorded. The results were tabulated and analyzed statistically for significance.
Results: The novel A. paniculata showed significantly higher zone of inhibition against C. albicans (P < 0.0001) compared to the experimental irrigants. Against S. aureus, it exhibited similar results as that shown by NaOCl (P > 0.05).
Conclusion: Zones of inhibition exhibited by novel herbal agent A. paniculata were higher against C. albicans and similar against S. aureus, when compared to NaOCl.

Keywords: Andrographis paniculata; antimicrobial efficacy; azadirachta indica; Candida albicans; Curcuma longa; Staphylococcus aureus

How to cite this article:
Dedhia J, Mukharjee E, Luke AM, Mathew S, Pawar AM. Efficacy of Andrographis paniculata compared to Azadirachta indica, Curcuma longa, and sodium hypochlorite when used as root canal irrigants against Candida albicans and Staphylococcus aureus: An in vitro antimicrobial study. J Conserv Dent 2018;21:642-5

How to cite this URL:
Dedhia J, Mukharjee E, Luke AM, Mathew S, Pawar AM. Efficacy of Andrographis paniculata compared to Azadirachta indica, Curcuma longa, and sodium hypochlorite when used as root canal irrigants against Candida albicans and Staphylococcus aureus: An in vitro antimicrobial study. J Conserv Dent [serial online] 2018 [cited 2022 Sep 28];21:642-5. Available from:

   Introduction Top

The prime objective of endodontic therapy is thorough debridement and cleaning of the entire root canal system (RCS), resulting in removal of infected and necrotic pulp tissue, to receive an inert filling, thus minimizing the possibility of reinfection.[1] Microorganisms colonizing in the necrotic pulp tissue cause primary endodontic infection. They are polymicrobial in nature, dominated by obligate anaerobic bacteria. The success of endodontic treatment depends on complete eradication of these microorganisms. This is not always achieved completely because of anatomical complexity and the limitation in accessing the canal system by instruments and irrigants.[2],[3]

Anatomically complex RCSs containing lateral wall ramifications, cul de sac, and other canal irregularities, result in incomplete eradication of microorganisms following mechanical instrumentation. The only way of impacting such areas is with the help of irrigation.[4],[5] Irrigation not only has a germicidal role but it also keeps the canal lubricated during instrumentation and removes smear layer, tissue remnants, and dentin chips. The effectiveness of irrigating solutions depends on multiple factors such as microbial susceptibility, concentration of the solution, penetration in infected areas, and its toxic effects on host cells.[4]

Facultative microorganisms such as Enterococcus faecalis, Candida albicans, and Staphylococcus aureus have been considered to be the most resistant species in the oral cavity and possible cause of failure of root canal treatment.[6] E. faecalis is associated with persistent periradicular lesions after root canal treatment. C. albicans and S. aureus are part of microbiota with failed endodontic therapy and may be considered a dentinophilic microorganism.[7] C. albicans seen in 18% of the retreatment infections,[8] whereas S. aureus is seen in 0.7%–15% of the cases.[9]

Sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl) has remained as gold standard for root canal irrigation because of its antimicrobial potential and its ability to dissolve organic matter. Nevertheless, it is not only irritant to the periapical tissues but also possesses disadvantages such of instruments, burning of surrounding tissues, unpleasant taste, high toxicity, corrosive to instruments, inability to remove the smear layer, reduction in elastic modulus, and flexural strength of dentin.[3]

Andrographis paniculata, an annual herbaceous plant, popularly known as king of bitters in English, belongs to the Acanthaceae family. It is also infamously called as Bhui-neem, which means “neem of the ground” as it has a similar strong bitter taste as that of the large neem plant. It is commonly cultivated in southern Asia, in China, and in some parts of southeast Asia.[10] Being a potent stimulator of the immune system, it is effective against a wide array of infections and oncogenic agents. It is effective against several viruses and bacteria and is also a powerful antimalarial and antidiarrheal.[11]

The present study is aimed to explore novel herbal irrigant (A. paniculata), as potential antimicrobial agents in the inhibition of C. albicans and S. aureus in comparison to Azadirachta indica (neem), Curcuma Longa (curcumin), and NaOCl.

   Materials and Methods Top

Preparation of test herbal irrigation solutions

The plants of A. paniculata and A. indica were washed with distilled water and dried for 10–12 days. They were then ground to fine powder in the grinder for further extract procurement. Alcoholic extract of both was prepared. The powder was added to 50 ml of absolute ethanol (Sterling Chemicals and Alcohols Pvt. Ltd., Mumbai). The mixture was macerated for 1–2 min to form an extract. Then, this extract was filtered through muslin cloth for coarse residue and then through Whatman filter paper no. 41 for finer residue. The extract for curcumin was prepared by the elemental hydrodistillation method. Hundred gram dried turmeric and 500 ml of distilled water were mixed in a 1000 mL round-bottomed flask. Distillation was conducted continuously for 60 h. After turning on the valve to remove the distilled water, the essential oil was collected as stock solutions and kept in a dark bottle and stored at 4°C until use.

Test for antimicrobial assay

Staphylococcus aureus

A loopful of culture was inoculated in nutrient broth and was kept at 37°C at shaker condition 150 rpm, for 18–24 h. Optical density was checked at 620 nm after 18 h and was adjusted to 0.2. Following which, Mueller–Hinton Agar butts were prepared and cooled slightly. 1 ml of culture was subsequently added to the agar butt and was poured into the petri dish. This was then allowed to solidify. The procedure was repeated two more times. Separate MH agar plates were used to compare the antimicrobial efficacy of the herbal irrigants (A. paniculata, neem, and curcumin) against S. aureus. Using cork borer, four wells were made on each plate, and 50 uL of sample was added to these wells. Petri dishes were then refrigerated at 4°C for 20 min. Following which, they were incubated at 37°C for 24 h. Zone of inhibition was observed and measured in millimeters.

Candida albicans

The protocol was the same, with the only difference being in the culture media used. Sabouraud Dextrose Agar was used instead of Muller–Hinton Agar to grow these organisms.

   Results Top

The mean zones of inhibition by the irrigating agents used are summarized in [Table 1] (C. albicans) and [Table 2] (S. aureus). The observations exhibited a significant difference between the groups tested on application of one-way ANOVA (P < 0.01) for both microorganisms. A. paniculata exhibited larger zones of inhibition against C. albicans compared to the other groups tested (P < 0.01), whereas similar to NaOCl when used against S. aureus (P > 0.05). The mean wise distribution of the mean zones of inhibition is plotted in [Graph 1].
Table 1: Mean, standard deviation, and statistical analysis of antibacterial efficacy against Candida albicans by different irrigants

Click here to view
Table 2: Mean, standard deviation, and statistical analysis of antibacterial efficacy against Staphylococcus aureus by different irrigants

Click here to view

   Discussion Top

The healing potential of herbal plants is an ancient belief; however, it has gained interest and importance in the recent times. It can be attributed to their easy availability, cost-effectiveness, increased shelf life, low toxicity, and lack of reported microbial resistance. The present study compared the antibacterial activity of novel herbal agent A. paniculata against C. albicans and S. aureus, which are commonly encountered in recalcitrant endodontic infections.[12]

The current study appears to be the first report on the endodontic applications of A. paniculata. This herbal agent exhibited antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral effectiveness in previous reports.[13],[14],[15] It has proved antibacterial activity against Gram-positive (+) and Gram-negative (−) bacteria including avirulent Mycobacterium smegmatis and M. tuberculi. A previous study on crude methanol and chloroform extract of A. paniculata has shown significant antimicrobial activity only against Bacillus subtilis and C. albicans. It also showed specific antibacterial activity against only S. aureus, Escherichia coli, B. subtilis, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.[16] The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) against C. albicans 100 μg/ml and S. aureus was 250 μg/ml, which are in accordance with previously reported studies.[14],[16] It also has anti-inflammatory, immunostimulant and antipyretic effects,[17] which helps in the treatment of acute upper respiratory tract infections. It is known to have anticancer and immunomodulatory effects on human cells. It also shows significant antimicrobial and antioxidant properties, which was the basis of considering this extract as a prospective endodontic irrigant in our study.[10],[17] In the present study, A. paniculata exhibited higher antimicrobial activity against the most common endodontic pathogens associated with reinfected RCSs, which are C. albicans (19.7 ± 1.2) and S. aureus (20.3 ± 1.7).

Different parts of the neem tree have been used for its medicinal properties, in Ayurvedic science.[18] Nimbidin a product of the seed kernel of A. indica demonstrates anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-pyretic properties. Furthermore, according to Botelho,[19] neem exhibited substantial efficacy against periodontal pathogens and is biocompatible with PDL fibroblasts. Hence, its use as a biocompatible irrigant might be beneficial in endodontic therapy. Mistry et al.[20] concluded in their study that neem extract showed significant activity against S. aureus with a MIC of 125 μg. This was in synchrony with our results, which showed the considerable antimicrobial activity of neem (A. indica) extract against S. aureus. Whereas, Bohora et al. and[21] Tyagi et al.[3] reported neem to be an effective root canal medicament against E. faecalis and C. albicans. However, the results of the present study were not in accordance with them and neem exhibited no activity against C. albicans.

Curcumin has been proved to be a highly pleiotropic molecule, which can interact with various molecular targets associated with inflammation. Various clinical trials show that curcumin can be used in a wide range of concentration, without causing toxicity.[22] Accounting to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, it can have several possible applications in endodontics, one of them being a potentially effective endodontic irrigant. Aqueous extract of C. longa showed good inhibitory activity against C. albicans.[23],[24] Both of these are not in accordance with our results, which showed no antimicrobial activity against both S. aureus and C. albicans. The discrepancy in results can probably be due to the difference in concentration of extracts used in the study and the method of procuring the extracts.

   Conclusion Top

A. paniculata is known for its anticancer and immunomodulatory action and has conventionally been used as a medicine for treatment of various diseases. The high antimicrobial activity against S. aureus and C. albicans shown by A. paniculata compels us to think of its probable applications in the field of dentistry as a propitious endodontic irrigant. Its medicinal properties can be harnessed to prevent and treat secondary endodontic infections. However, these results are based on an in vitro aerobic culture technique which may not immediately reflect clinical efficacy in vivo. The results have to be corroborated on a biofilm model to better reflect clinical efficacy.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

   References Top

Tabassum S, Khan FR. Failure of endodontic treatment: The usual suspects. Eur J Dent 2016;10:144-7.  Back to cited text no. 1
[PUBMED]  [Full text]  
Haapasalo M, Shen Y, Qian W, Gao Y. Irrigation in endodontics. Dent Clin North Am 2010;54:291-312.  Back to cited text no. 2
Tyagi SP, Sinha DJ, Garg P, Singh UP, Mishra CC, Nagpal R, et al. Comparison of antimicrobial efficacy of propolis, Morinda citrifolia, Azadirachta indica (Neem) and 5% sodium hypochlorite on Candida albicans biofilm formed on tooth substrate: An in-vitro study. J Conserv Dent 2013;16:532-5.  Back to cited text no. 3
[PUBMED]  [Full text]  
Plotino G, Cortese T, Grande NM, Leonardi DP, Di Giorgio G, Testarelli L, et al. New technologies to improve root canal disinfection. Braz Dent J 2016;27:3-8.  Back to cited text no. 4
Abraham S, Raj JD, Venugopal M. Endodontic irrigants: A comprehensive review. J Pharm Sci Res 2015;7:5-9.  Back to cited text no. 5
Gomes BP, Ferraz CC, Vianna ME, Rosalen PL, Zaia AA, Teixeira FB, et al. In vitro antimicrobial activity of calcium hydroxide pastes and their vehicles against selected microorganisms. Braz Dent J 2002;13:155-61.  Back to cited text no. 6
Nirupama DN, Nainan MT, Ramaswamy R, Muralidharan S, Usha HHL, Sharma R, et al. In vitro evaluation of the antimicrobial efficacy of four endodontic biomaterials against Enterococcus faecalis Candida albicans, and Staphylococcus aureus. Int J Biomater 2014;2014:383756.  Back to cited text no. 7
Siqueira JF Jr., Rôças IN. Diversity of endodontic microbiota revisited. J Dent Res 2009;88:969-81.  Back to cited text no. 8
Shweta, Prakash SK. Dental abscess: A microbiological review. Dent Res J (Isfahan) 2013;10:585-91.  Back to cited text no. 9
Rajalakshmi V, Cathrine L. Phytochemical screening and antimicrobial activity of ethanolic extract of Andrographis paniculata. J Pharmacogn Phytochem 2016;5:175.  Back to cited text no. 10
Radhika P, Sastry BS, Harica B, Madhu B. Antimicrobial screening of Andrographis paniculata (Acanthaceae) root extracts. Res J Biotech 2008;3:62-3.  Back to cited text no. 11
Kandaswamy D, Venkateshbabu N, Gogulnath D, Kindo AJ. Dentinal tubule disinfection with 2% chlorhexidine gel, propolis, Morinda citrifolia juice, 2% povidone iodine, and calcium hydroxide. Int Endod J 2010;43:419-23.  Back to cited text no. 12
Mishra US, Mishra A, Kumari R, Murthy PN, Naik BS. Antibacterial activity of ethanol extract of Andrographis paniculata. Indian J Pharm Sci 2009;71:436-8.  Back to cited text no. 13
[PUBMED]  [Full text]  
Sule A, Ahmed QU, Latip J, Samah OA, Omar MN, Umar A, et al. Antifungal activity of Andrographis paniculata extracts and active principles against skin pathogenic fungal strains in vitro. Pharm Biol 2012;50:850-6.  Back to cited text no. 14
Gupta S, Mishra KP, Ganju L. Broad-spectrum antiviral properties of andrographolide. Arch Virol 2017;162:611-23.  Back to cited text no. 15
Singha PK, Roy S, Dey S. Antimicrobial activity of Andrographis paniculata. Fitoterapia 2003;74:692-4.  Back to cited text no. 16
Coon JT, Ernst E. Andrographis paniculata in the treatment of upper respiratory tract infections: A systematic review of safety and efficacy. Planta Med 2004;70:293-8.  Back to cited text no. 17
Ambareen Z, Konde S, Raj NS, Kumar NC. Antimicrobial efficacy of herbal extracts. Int J Oral Health Dent 2015;1:108-13.  Back to cited text no. 18
Botelho MA, Santos RA, Martins JG, Carvalho CO, Paz MC, Azenha C, et al. Efficacy of a mouth rinse based on leaves of the neem tree (Azadirachta indica) in the treatment of patients with chronic gingivitis: A double blind, randomized, controlled trial. J Med Plant Res. 2008;2:341-6.  Back to cited text no. 19
Mistry KS, Sanghvi Z, Parmar G, Shah S. The antimicrobial activity of Azadirachta indica, Mimusops elengi, Tinospora cardifolia, Ocimum sanctum and 2% chlorhexidine gluconate on common endodontic pathogens: An in vitro study. Eur J Dent 2014;8:172-7.  Back to cited text no. 20
  [Full text]  
Bohora A, Hegde V, Kokate S. Comparison of the antibacterial efficiency of neem leaf extract and 2% sodium hypochlorite against Enterococcus faecalis, Candida albicans and mixed culture-an in vitro study. Endodontology 2010;22:8-12.  Back to cited text no. 21
Shome S, Talukdar AD, Choudhury MD, Bhattacharya MK, Upadhyaya H. Curcumin as potential therapeutic natural product: A nanobiotechnological perspective. J Pharm Pharmacol 2016;68:1481-500.  Back to cited text no. 22
Damre PG. Comparative evaluation of antimicrobial activity of herbal vs chemical root canal irrigants against Enterococcus faecalis-an in vitro study. Int J Adv Res 2015;3:1563-72.  Back to cited text no. 23
Hegde V, Kesaria DP. Comparative evaluation of antimicrobial activity of neem, propolis, turmeric, liquorice and sodium hypochlorite as root canal irrigants against Enterococcus faecalis and Candida albicans-an in vitro study. Endodontology 2013;25:38-45.  Back to cited text no. 24

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ajinkya M Pawar
Department of Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics, Nair Hospital Dental College, Dr. A. L. Nair Road, Mumbai Central, Mumbai - 400 008, Maharashtra
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

Read associated with this article

DOI: 10.4103/JCD.JCD_118_18

Rights and Permissions


  [Table 1], [Table 2]

This article has been cited by
1 Ethnobotany, Pharmacological Activities and Bioavailability Studies on “King of Bitters” (Kalmegh): A Review (2010-2020)
Sharuti Mehta, Anil Kumar Sharma, Rajesh Kumar Singh
Combinatorial Chemistry & High Throughput Screening. 2022; 25(5): 788
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
2 The Antimicrobial Potential of the Neem Tree Azadirachta indica
Marina R. Wylie, D. Scott Merrell
Frontiers in Pharmacology. 2022; 13
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
3 Andrographis paniculata (Burm. f.) Wall. ex Nees: An Updated Review of Phytochemistry, Antimicrobial Pharmacology, and Clinical Safety and Efficacy
Sanower Hossain, Zannat Urbi, Hidayah Karuniawati, Ramisa Binti Mohiuddin, Ahmed Moh Qrimida, Akrm Mohamed Masaud Allzrag, Long Chiau Ming, Ester Pagano, Raffaele Capasso
Life. 2021; 11(4): 348
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
4 Current herbal medicine as an alternative treatment in dentistry: In vitro, in vivo and clinical studies
Ehsan Tafazoli Moghadam, Mohsen Yazdanian, Elahe Tahmasebi, Hamid Tebyanian, Reza Ranjbar, Alireza Yazdanian, Alexander Seifalian, Ali Tafazoli
European Journal of Pharmacology. 2020; 889: 173665
[Pubmed] | [DOI]


    Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
    Email Alert *
    Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  

    Materials and Me...
    Article Tables

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded206    
    Comments [Add]    
    Cited by others 4    

Recommend this journal