OJMM  Vol.2 No.3 , September 2012
Microbiological Profile of Some Ghanaian Herbal Preparations—Safety Issues and Implications for the Health Professions
ABSTRACT
Thirty-one herbal preparations produced and sold on the Ghanaian market were randomly purchased from sales outlets and analyzed for their microbiological quality by testing for the presence of total coliform bacteria, faecal coliform bac- teria, and total heterotrophic bacteria count. Also tested for was detection of pathogenic bacteria such as the Salmonella spp. and Clostridium spp. Opportunistic bacterial pathogens (Aeromonas spp., Enterococcus spp. and Pseudomonas spp.) and mould were also tested for. The herbal preparations tested came from different processing companies and in- cluded those labeled as suitable for treating arthritis, asthma, anaemia, diabetes mellitus, epilepsy, cough, hypertension, dysmenorrhoea, malaria, urine retention and loss of appetite. Aliquots of the various herbal products were cultured on various selective media. Eight (8) of the products showed the presence of all microorganism analyzed for including the pathogenic ones and are recommended not be used. Five (5) of the products did not have any microorganism present. Eleven (11) products showed the presence of only total heterotrophic bacteria and the values ranged from 1 to 94 cfu per ml. These two groups of total of sixteen (16) products can be used without any microbiological risk. Another three (3) products showed presence of only total heterotrophic bacteria but the values ranged from 118 to 1648 cfu per ml. Majority of the herbal preparations showed the presence of pathogenic bacteria. These three products may pose danger to the user can be used with caution. None of the herbal products recorded the presence of Enterococcus spp.

Cite this paper
J. Ampofo, A. Andoh, W. Tetteh and M. Bello, "Microbiological Profile of Some Ghanaian Herbal Preparations—Safety Issues and Implications for the Health Professions," Open Journal of Medical Microbiology, Vol. 2 No. 3, 2012, pp. 121-130. doi: 10.4236/ojmm.2012.23018.
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