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Year : 2010  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 23  |  Page : 212-218 Table of Contents     

Phytochemical investigation and antimicrobial activity of Psidium guajava L. leaves

Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt

Date of Submission02-Jan-2010
Date of Decision23-Jan-2010
Date of Web Publication30-Jul-2010

Correspondence Address:
S M El Sohafy
El Khartoum Square, Azarita, Faculty of pharmacy, Alexandria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0973-1296.66939

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Psidium guajava L. leaves were subjected to extraction, fractionation and isolation of the flavonoidal compounds. Five flavonoidal compounds were isolated which are quercetin, quercetin-3-O-α-L-arabinofuranoside, quercetin-3-O-β-D-arabinopyranoside, quercetin-3-O-β-D-glucoside and quercetin-3-O-β-D-galactoside. Quercetin-3-O-b-D-arabinopyranoside was isolated for the first time from the leaves. Fractions together with the isolates were tested for their antimicrobial activity. The antimicrobial studies showed good activities for the extracts and the isolated compounds.

Keywords: Antimicrobial activity, guava leaves, Psidium guajava L., quercetin glycosides, quercetin, quercetin-3-O-α-D-arabinopyranoside

How to cite this article:
Metwally A M, Omar A A, Harraz F M, El Sohafy S M. Phytochemical investigation and antimicrobial activity of Psidium guajava L. leaves. Phcog Mag 2010;6:212-8

How to cite this URL:
Metwally A M, Omar A A, Harraz F M, El Sohafy S M. Phytochemical investigation and antimicrobial activity of Psidium guajava L. leaves. Phcog Mag [serial online] 2010 [cited 2022 Aug 13];6:212-8. Available from: http://www.phcog.com/text.asp?2010/6/23/212/66939

   Introduction Top

Psidium guajava L. leaf (family Myrtaceae) has a long history of folk medicinal uses in Egypt and worldwide as a cough sedative, an anti-diarrheic, in the management of hypertension, obesity and in the control of diabetes mellitus. [1],[2],[3],[4],[5],[6],[7] The leaf extract was found to possess anticestodal, [8] analgesic, anti-inflammatory properties, [9] antimicrobial [10] hepatoprotective [11] and antioxidant activities. [12] In addition, the leaf extract is used in many pharmaceutical preparations as a cough sedative.

Guava leaf extract contains flavonoids, mainly quercetin derivatives, which are hydrolyzed in the body to give the aglycone quercetin which is responsible for the spasmolytic activity of the leaves. [4] Quercetin has several pharmacologic actions; it inhibits the intestinal movement, reduces capillary permeability in the abdominal cavity [13] and possesses dose-dependent antioxidant properties, [14] anti-inflammatory activity, [15],[16],[17],[18],[19],[20],[21] antiviral and antitumor activities. [22],[23],[24],[25],[26],[27] It also inhibits the aldose reductase enzyme. [28] It should be noticed that most of the flavonoidal constituents of guava leaf are quercetin derivatives, namely, quercetin, avicularin, guaijaverin, isoquercetin, hyperin, quercitrin, quercetin 3-O-gentiobioside, quercetin 4′-glucuronoide. [4],[29],[30],[31],[32],[33]

   Materials and Methods Top

Plant material

P. guajava L. leaf was collected from El tahrir (Alexandria-Cairo desert road) during spring while the fruits are premature. A specimen is deposited in the department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Alexandria University, Egypt.

Reference materials

Quercetin, glucose, galactose, l-arabinose and d-arabinose were supplied by E. Merck (Darmstadt, Germany). Quercetin-3-β-D-glucoside and quercetin-3-β-D-galactoside were supplied by Sigma-Aldrich Chemie GmbH (Steinheim, Germany).


Petroleum ether (40-60ºC), chloroform, ethyl acetate, n-butanol, methanol and ethanol were of analytical grade.

Chromatographic requirements

Precoated thin layer chromatography (TLC) plates (silica gel 60F-254) with the adsorbent layer thickness of 0.25 mm (E-Merck), silica gel (Merck) and kieselgel 60, 0.063-0.20 mm for column chromatography (E-Merck) were used.

Special apparatus

Melting points were determined using Sturat SMP heating stage microscope and were uncorrected. UV spectra were obtained on Pye Unicam SP8-100 UV/VIS spectrophotometer and Perkin-Elmer, Lambada 3B UV/VIS spectrophotometer. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) analyses were recorded on JOEL 500 MHz and Bruker Avance 300 MHz spectrometers. Mass spectral analyses were recorded on VG 7070 E-HF.

Extraction, fractionation and isolation

The air-dried powdered P. guajava leaves (1 kg) were exhaustively extracted with 50% ethanol at room temperature. The extract was filtered and concentrated under reduced pressure at 60ºC to about 0.5 l and then successively fractionated with petroleum ether, chloroform, ethyl acetate, and n-butanol. Each extract, as well as the interface formed between the chloroform and aqueous layer, were separately concentrated and freed from solvent. Six fractions were obtained: petroleum ether (0.6 g), chloroform (2.7 g), interface formed between chloroform and aqueous phase (10 g), ethyl acetate (9.7 g), n-butanol (22.8 g) and the remaining aqueous extract (9.5 g).

A portion of the ethyl acetate extract (3.5 g) was chromatographed on a 150-g silica gel column (3.5 cm diameter Χ 30 cm length).

Elution was started with chloroform:ethyl acetate mixture (8:2). Then, the polarity was increased using methanol gradually. Thirty-one fractions of 250 ml in each were collected, screened chromatographically using solvent system chloroform-ethyl acetate-methanol in the ratios (8:2:1) and (8:2:2).

Isolation of material "A"

Fractions 12-15 containing 4-6% methanol showed a major spot of Rf­­­­ 0.46 [chloroform-ethyl acetate-methanol (8:2:1)] that gave a yellow color with ammonia. It was purified from the other minor spots by repeated crystallization from methanol, yielding yellow crystalline needles (21 mg). Rf 0.86 [ethyl acetate-methanol-water-acetic acid (100:2:1:4 drops)], m.p. 316-318ºC, soluble in methanol, acetone, dilute alkali and gives a canary yellow color with AlCl 3. The UV spectral data, λmax nm, are illustrated in [Table 1]; [M] + m/z 302. 1 H-NMR spectral data (300 MHz, CD 3 COCD 3 ) and 13 C-NMR spectral data (75 MHz, CD 3 COCD 3 ) are shown in [Table 2].

Isolation of material "B"

Fractions 18-20 containing 12-15% methanol showed a major spot of Rf 0.57 [chloroform-ethyl acetate-methanol (8:2:2)] that gave a yellow color with ammonia. It was purified by repeated crystallization (12 mg). Rf 0.55 [ethyl acetate-methanol-water-acetic acid (100:2:1:4 drops)], m.p. 209-211ºC, soluble in methanol, acetone, dilute alkali and gives a canary yellow color with AlCl 3, gives positive molisch's test. The UV spectral data, λmax nm, are illustrated in [Table 1]. 1 H-NMR spectral data (300 MHz CD 3 OH) and 13 C-NMR spectral data (75 MHz, CD 3 OH) are shown in [Table 2]. Long range 1 H- 13 C correlation data as determined by HMBC experiments of flavonoid "B" are shown in [Table 3].

Isolation of materials "C", "D" and "E"

Fractions 23-29 (0.3 g) containing 17.5-20% methanol showed four spots (giving a yellow color with ammonia) of Rf values 0.61, 0.49, 0.4, 0.35 [ethyl acetate-formic acid-acetic acid-water (25:2:2:4)]. It was rechromatographed on 60 g silica gel column (2.5 cm diameter Χ 30 cm length). The column was eluted with chloroform, with increasing concentrations of ethyl acetate (0-50%) and then increasing concentrations of methanol. Fractions 13 (chloroform-ethyl acetate (1:1) containing 4% methanol) was crystallized to give 8 mg. Meanwhile, fraction containing 6% methanol in chloroform-ethyl acetate (1:1) was purified by crystallization to give compound "C" (19 mg).

Material "C": Rf 0.41 [ethyl acetate-methanol-water-acetic acid (100:2:1:4 drops)], m.p. 264-267C, soluble in methanol, acetone, dilute alkali and gives a canary yellow color with AlCl 3, gives positive molisch's test. The UV spectral data, λmax nm, are illustrated in [Table 1]. 1 H-NMR spectral data (300 MHz CD 3 OH) and 13 C-NMR spectral data (75 MHz, CD 3 OH) are shown in [Table 2].

Crystallization of fraction containing 10% methanol in chloroform-ethyl acetate (1:1) yielded a mixture of two compounds which were separated by preparative TLC using ethyl acetate-formic acid-acetic acid-water (25:2:2:4) with double run to give compound "D" (10 mg) and compound "E" (11 mg).

Material "D": Rf 0.31 [ethyl acetate-methanol-water-acetic acid (100:2:1:4 drops)], m.p. 240-243ºC, soluble in methanol, acetone, dilute alkali and gives a canary yellow color with AlCl 3 , gives positive molisch's test.

Material "E": Rf 0.24 [ethyl acetate-methanol-water-acetic acid (100:2:1:4 drops)], m.p. 237-239ºC, soluble in methanol, acetone, dilute alkali and gives a canary yellow color with AlCl 3 , gives positive molisch's test.

Acid hydrolysis of flavonoids "B", "C", "D" and "E"

Three milligrams of each compound was separately dissolved in a mixture of 0.5 ml methanol and 1 ml 2N hydrochloric acid. The solutions were then heated under reflux for 2 h, cooled, diluted with 1 ml water and the aglycones were extracted with ethyl acetate. The aglycones of "B", "C", "D" and "E" were identified to be quercetin by co-chromatography using reference compounds and chromatographic system chloroform-ethyl acetate-methanol (8:2:1). The aqueous solutions were neutralized with 5% Na 2 CO 3 solution and concentrated. The sugar moieties of "B", "C", "D" and "E" were identified by TLC in comparison with authentic reference materials, using chloroform-methanol (6:4) and visualized by methanol/H 2 SO 4 spray reagent. The structures of the isolated compounds are given in [Table 4].

Antimicrobial activity

Antibacterial and antifungal activities were determined using the agar diffusion technique [34] ­against the gram-positive bacterium Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus), two gram-negative bacteria,  Escherichia More Details coli (E. coli) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P. aeruginosa), and the fungus Candida albicans (C. albicans). The used organisms are local isolates provided from the Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Alexandria.

One milliliter of 24-h broth culture of each of the tested organisms was separately inoculated into 100 ml of sterile molten nutrient agar maintained at 45ºC. The inoculated medium was mixed well and poured into sterile 10-cm diameter  Petri dish More Detailses, receiving 15 ml. After setting, 10 cups, each of 8 mm diameter, were cut in the agar medium (Oxoid, Cambridge, England). Twelve milligrams of each extract or fraction or 3 mg of each isolate, accurately weighed, was dissolved in 1 ml dimethyl formamide (DMF). The solutions were inserted in the cups and incubated at 37ºC for 24 h. The results of antimicrobial activity are shown in [Table 5] and [Table 6].

   Results and Discussion Top

The UV spectra of flavonoid "A" [Table 1] in different shift reagents showed the pattern of 5, 7, 3′,4′-tetrahydroxy flavonol aglycone, where the presence of free 5- hydroxy and 3′,4′-ortho dihydroxy groups was deduced from NaOMe spectrum, AlCl 3 and AlCl 3 /HCl spectra, while the presence of a free 7-hydroxy group was found from the NaOAc spectrum. [35] The electron impact-mass spectrometry (EI-MS) of flavonoid "A" illustrated the presence of molecular ion peak [M] + at m/z 302, suggesting the presence of five hydroxyl groups.1 H-NMR spectra [Table 2] showed two meta coupled aromatic protons at δ 6.13 and δ 6.4 (d, J = 2.1 Hz), assigned for H-6 and H-8, respectively, confirming a 5,7-disubstituted ring A. 3′,4′-disubstituted ring B was deduced by the appearance of three protons at δ 7.71 (d, J = 2.15 Hz,), 6.86 (d, J = 8.5 Hz) and 7.57 (dd, J = 8.5, 2.15 Hz) assigned for H-2′, H-5′ and H-6′, respectively. The 13 C-NMR spectrum [Table 2] indicated the presence of 15 signals corresponding to 15 carbons. Thorough study of the homonuclear correlation spectroscopy (COSY) and the heteronuclear multiple quantum coherence (HMQC) spectra helped in the full assignment of all protons to their carbon signals. All the spectral data of flavonoid "A" were found to be identical to those reported for quercetin. [31],[36] The identification of the flavonoid was further confirmed by direct comparison with reference sample through mixed melting point (m.m.p.) and co-chromatography.

NMR spectra of flavonoids "B and C" [Table 2] showed similar pattern to those of flavonoid "A", whereas they showed in addition, the appearance of five additional signals in the 13 C-NMR spectra matching those of arabinose, [36],[37] along with the appearance of signals of one sugar moiety in 1 H-NMR spectra. Therefore, flavonoid "A" was probably the flavonol aglycone and flavonoids "B and C" were its arabinosides. These data were further supported by the results of the acid hydolysis through comparison of flavonoid "A" and the aglycones resulting from the acid hydrolysis of flavonoids "B and C" with a reference quercetin sample by co-chromatography. Similarly, the sugar moieties were established to be arabinose by comparison with reference sample.

The anomeric proton of flavonoid "B" was observed at δ 5.48 (1H, br s) with its corresponding carbon atom at δ 107.9, while the anomeric proton of flavonoid "C" was observed at δ 5.17 (1H, d, J = 6.5 Hz) with its corresponding carbon atom at δ 105, indicating that the arabinose moiety possessed α-configuration in flavonoid "B" and 0β-configuration in flavonoid "C". The ring size of the sugar moiety in both flavonoids was deduced from inspection of the chemical shift values for C-1'' and C-4'' where they appeared at δ 107.9 and 86.4 for flavonoid "B" and at δ 105 and 69.5 for flavonoid "C", thus revealing the presence of α-arabinofuranoside and β-arabinopyranoside moieties in flavonoids "B" and "C", respectively. [36],[37]

3-O-glycosylation was confirmed from the study of the HMBC spectrum of flavonoid "B" [Table 3], which showed the correlation between the carbon at δ 133.3 (C-3) and the proton at δ 5.48 (H-1''). 2D HMQC, 2D HMBC and 2D COSY allowed the assignment of all protons to their carbons. Also, the UV absorption of band I at 354.5 and 358 nm (371 nm for quercetin aglycone) indicates the absence of free 3-OH.

From the previous discussion, the structure of flavonoids "B" and "C" could be identified as quercetin-3-O-α-l-arabinofuranoside and quercetin-3-O-β-d-arabinopyranoside, respectively. The observed data were found to be similar to those published for these materials. [36],[37]

It is worth mentioning that this is the first report for the isolation of quercetin-3-O-β-d-arabinopyranoside from the species P. guajava L.

Flavonoids "D" and "E" were identified to be quercetin-3-O-β-d-glucoside and quercetin-3-O-β-d-galactoside through comparison with reference compounds using m.m.p. and co-chromatography using ethyl acetate-formic acid-acetic acid-water (25:2:2:4) as the mobile phase.

The results of antibacterial and antifungal screening [Table 5] and [Table 6] showed that quercetin and its glycosides have strong antibacterial activity against the gram positive S. aureus, and the gram negative E. coli and P. aeruginosa. They also showed antifungal activity against C. albicans. It is worth mentioning that the minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) of quercetin-3-O-β-d-arabinopyranoside and that of quercetin-3-O-α-l-arabinofuranoside glycosides against the tested organisms were even lower than quercetin itself.

All the extracts showed antibacterial and antifungal activities, whereas the chloroformic fraction of the aqueous-alcoholic extract possessed a strong activity against S. aureus.

   Conclusion Top

The above results revealed that quercetin is the main flavonoidal nucleus of guava glycosides. Meanwhile, the antimicrobial testing showed that the extracts and the isolated compounds possess antibacterial and antifungal activities. These findings explain the folkloric use of the extracts as bactericide, in cough, diarrhea, gargles to relieve oral ulcers and inflamed gums wound.

   References Top

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  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4], [Table 5], [Table 6]

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Hanan M. Al-Yousef, Ali S. Alqahtani, Afaf S.A. Ghani, Sayed A. El-Toumy, Wagdi I.A. El-Dougdoug, Wafaa H.B. Hassan, Hanaa M. Hassan
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14 Chemical and biological profile of Psidium bahianum landrum & funch (Myrtaceae)
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16 Phytochemicals and volatile compounds of peanut red skin extract: simultaneous coloration and in situ synthesis of silver nanoparticles for multifunctional viscose fibers
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Truong Quynh Nhu, Nguyen Phuc Dam, Bui Thi Bich Hang, Le Thi Bach, Do Thi Thanh Huong, Bui Thi Buu Hue, Marie-Louise Scippo, Nguyen Thanh Phuong, Joëlle Quetin-Leclercq, Patrick Kestemont
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18 Antiulcer secondary metabolites from Elaeocarpus grandis, family Elaeocarpaceae, supported by in silico studies
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19 Antibiofilm potential of Psidium guajava and Passiflora edulis pulp extracts against Staphylococcus aureus, cytotoxicity, and interference on the activity of antimicrobial drugs
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23 Chemical constituents of Ficus consociata Blume (Moraceae)
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24 Quercetin impregnated chitosan–fibrin composite scaffolds as potential wound dressing materials — Fabrication, characterization and in vivo analysis
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25 Discovery of a-l-arabinopyranosidases from human gut microbiome expands the diversity within glycoside hydrolase family 42
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26 Health Effects of Psidium guajava L. Leaves: An Overview of the Last Decade
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27 Cytotoxicity, antimicrobial and antioxidant activity of eight compounds isolated from Entada abyssinica (Fabaceae)
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28 Chemical Characterization and in Vitro Antibacterial Activity of Myrcianthes hallii (O. Berg) McVaugh (Myrtaceae), a Traditional Plant Growing in Ecuador
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29 A Comparative Evaluation of Microwave and Conventional Soxhlet Extraction Methods for the Antioxidant, Hypoglycemic and Hypolipidemic Potentials of Jordanian Psidium guajava Raw Fruit Peel Extracts
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32 Oreochromis mossambicus diet supplementation with Psidium guajava leaf extracts enhance growth, immune, antioxidant response and resistance to Aeromonas hydrophila
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45 Dyeing and Color Fastness of Natural Dye fromPsidium guajuvaon Silk
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49 Comparative in vitro Antimicrobial and Phytochemical Evaluation of Methanolic Extract of Root, Stem and Leaf of Jatropha curcas Linn
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Basha, S.K. and Kumari, V.S.
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52 Comparative in vitro antimicrobial and phytochemical evaluation of methanolic extract of root, stem and leaf of Jatropha curcas linn
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53 In vitro antiprotozoal and cytotoxic activity of 33 ethonopharmacologically selected medicinal plants from Democratic Republic of Congo
Musuyu Muganza, D. and Fruth, B.I. and Nzunzu Lami, J. and Mesia, G.K. and Kambu, O.K. and Tona, G.L. and Cimanga Kanyanga, R. and Cos, P. and Maes, L. and Apers, S. and Pieters, L.
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55 2012-Another successful new year for Pharmacogn Mag.
Mueen Ahmed, K.K.
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56 Identification of a bioactive compound from Myrcianthes cysplatensis
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57 Ethnomedicinal plant knowledge and practice of people of Javadhu hills in Tamilnadu
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58 Monograph of Psidium guajava L. leaves
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59 Assessment of antifungal activity of Rumex vesicarius L. and Ziziphus Spina-christi (L.) Willd. Extracts against two phytopathogenic fungi
Abu-Taleb, A.M., El-Deeb, K., Al-Otibi, F.O.
African Journal of Microbiology Research. 2011; 5(9): 1001-1011
60 In vitro antimicrobial activity of methanolic leaf extract of Psidium guajava L.
Dhiman, A., Nanda, A., Ahmad, S., Narasimhan, B.
Journal of Pharmacy and Bioallied Sciences. 2011; 3(2): 226-229
61 Ethnomedicinal plant knowledge and practice of people of Javadhu hills in Tamilnadu
C David Beverly,G Sudarsanam
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62 Identification of a Bioactive Compound from Myrcianthes cysplatensis
Eugenio DæAmico,Stephanie Barneche,Maria Pia Cerdeiras,Alvaro Vázquez
Pharmacognosy Journal. 2011; 3(25): 18
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