1995 Study Shows Mamaki’s Broad Anti-microbial Activity

Mamaki and Staph
Staphylococcus aureus | Wikimedia Commons

73 extracts from 16 Hawaiian medicinal plants were examined for their anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal activity in a 1995 study titled Anti-microbial activity and anti-complement activity of extracts obtained from selected Hawaiian medicinal plants.

Viruses Tested:

  • Herpes Simplex 1 and 2
  • Semliki Forest Virus
  • Vesicular Stomatitis
  • Polio Virus
  • Coxsackie B3

Mamaki (Pipturus albidus) showed selective antiviral activity against Herpes Simplex Virus 1 and 2 and Vesicular Stomatitis. The form of mamaki used was a water extract of the dried stems (tea). 

Bacterial Pathogens Tested:

  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa
  • Escherichia coli
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae
  • Bacillus cereus
  • Mycobacterium fortuitum
  • Salmonella typhimurium
  • Proteus vulgaris
  • Streptococcus pyogenes

Mamaki caused growth inhibition of Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes. Bark extracted with water (tea) showed the greatest activity, followed by leaf extracted with methanol (tincture). Leaf extraction with either water or acetonitrile showed no activity.

Fungi Tested:

  • Microsporum canis
  • Epidermophyton floccosum
  • Trichophyton rubrum for Candida albicans

Mamaki showed antifungal activity against each. The form used was leaves extracted with acetonitrile. No details were provided regarding water and methanol extracts.

The authors noted that Mamaki and another plant, Eugenia malaccensis, had the broadest range and most potent anti-viral activity of the plant extracts tested.  

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