This study explored the possibility of disinfecting water using aqueous extracts of medicinal plants. Seven medicinal plants used by Samburu herbalists for the treatment of stomach illnesses were investigated for water disinfection. Aqueous extracts of the dried powdered plant material were directly used to treat the water samples collected. Efficacy of water treatment with medicinal plants expressed as percentage reduction in bacterial colonies revealed that Acacia nilotica extract with a mean percentage reduction of 99.86% was the most effective at reducing the number of bacterial colonies. Albizia anthelmintica extract with a mean of 9.47% was the least effective at reducing the number of bacterial colonies. The study also revealed a possible interaction between plant extracts and water source (P < 0.05, df = 54). The results obtained in this study point out a possibility of using aqueous extracts from A. nilotica in disinfecting water of different physicochemical properties.
- aqueous extract
- bacterial colonies
- medicinal plants
- First received 2 January 2014.
- Accepted in revised form 23 February 2015.
- © IWA Publishing 2015