You are viewing a javascript disabled version of the site. Please enable Javascript for this site to function properly.
Go to headerGo to navigationGo to searchGo to contentsGo to footer
In content section. Select this link to jump to navigation

Antibacterial activity of Miswak Salvadora persica extracts against isolated and genetically identified oral cavity pathogens



Despite medical progress worldwide, dental caries are still widespread. Miswak is derived from the plant Arak (Salvadora persica). It is used by Muslim peoples as a natural product for the cleansing of teeth, to ensure oral and dental hygiene.


This study was conducted to evaluate the antimicrobial effects of ethanol, methanol, and ethanol/methanol extracts of Miswak against three bacterial pathogens of the oral cavity.


The pathogens were isolated from the oral cavity of volunteers/patients and were identified on the basis of 16S rRNA gene amplification data. Sequence comparisons were made with 16S rRNA gene sequences available in the GenBank database.


The results of sequence alignment and phylogenetic analysis identified the three pathogens as being Staphylococcus aureus strain KKU-020, Enterococcus faecalis strain KKU-021 and Klebsiella pneumoniae strain KKU-022. All Miswak extracts showed powerful antimicrobial activity against the three pathogens. The maximum zone of inhibition (40.67 ± 0.88 mm) was observed against E. faecalis KKU-021 with ethanolic extracts whilst methanolic extracts showed the minimum zone of inhibition (10.33 ± 0.88 mm) against K. pneumonia KKU-022.


Based upon the significant effects of the Miswak extracts, against the oral cavity pathogens in our study, we recommend that Miswak could be used as a dental hygiene method to prevent tooth caries.



Patro Binod K., , Ravi Kumar B., , Goswami A., , Prakash Mathur V., , Nongkynrih B. Prevalence of dental caries among adults and elderly in an urban resettlement colony of New Delhi. Indian Journal of Dental Research. (2008) ; 19: : 95-98.


Bos G. The miswak, an aspect of dental care in Islam. Medical History. (1993) ; 37: : 68-79.


Goyal M., , Sasmal D., , Nagori B. Salvadora persica (Meswak): chewing stleck for complete oral care. International Journal of Pharmacology. (2011) ; 7: (4): 440-445.


Al-Bayati AF., , Sulaiman KD. In Vitro Antimicrobial Activity of Salvadora persica L. Extracts Against Some Isolated Oral Pathogens in Iraq. Turkish Journal of Biology. (2008) ; 32: : 57-62.


Araya YN. Contribution of Trees for Oral Hygiene in East Africa. Ethnobotanical Leaflets. (2007) ; 11: : 38-44.


Chelli-Chentouf N., , Meddah ATT., , Mullie C., , Aoues A., , Meddah B. In vitro and in vivo antimicrobial activity of Algerian Hoggar Salvadora persica L. extracts against microbial strains from children's oral cavity. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. (2012) ; 144: : 57-66.


Sher H., , AlYamani MN., , Wijaya L. Ethnobotanical and antibacterial potential of Salvadora persica: a well known medicinal plant in Arab and union system of medicine. Journal of Medicinal Plants Research. (2011) ; 5: : 1224-1229.


Al-Bagieh NH., , Idowu A., , Salako NO. Effect of aqueous extract of miswak on the in vitro growth of Candida albicans. Microbios Letters. (1994) ; 80: : 107-113.


Noumi E., , Snoussi M., , Hajlaoui H., , Valentin E., , Bakhrouf A. Antifungal properties of Salvadora persica and Juglans regia L. extracts against oral Candida strains. European Journal of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases. (2010) ; 29: : 81-88.


Hesham A., , Wang Z., , Zhang Y., , Zhang J., , Lv W., , Yang M. and identification of a yeast strain capable of degrading fourand five ring aromatic hydrocarbons, Annals of Microbiology. (2006) ; 56: : 109-112.


Lane DJ. 16S/23S rRNA sequencing. In: Stackebrandt E, Goodfellow M (eds) Nucleic acid techniques in bacterial systematic.. Wiley, New York. (1991) . pp 115-175.


Hesham A., , Mohammed NH., , Ismail MA, , Shoreit AA. 16S rRNA gene sequences analysis of Ficus elastica rubber latex degrading thermophilic Bacillus strain ASU7 isolated from Egypt. Biodegradation. (2012) ; 23: : 717-724.


Chhabra SC., , Shao TF., , Mshiu EN. Antifungal activity among traditionally used herbs in Tanzania. The Dar Medical Journal. (1982) ; 9: : 68-73.


Ettebong E., , Nwafor P. In vitro antimicrobial activities of extracts of Carpolobia lutea root. Pakistan Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences. (2009) ; 22: (3): 335-338.


Rani MS., , Lakshmi KV., , Devi PS. Isolation and characterization of a chlorpyrifos degrading bacterium from agricultural soil and its growth response. African Journal of Microbiological Research. (2008) ; 2: : 26-31.


Wu XY., , Walker MJ., , Hornitzky M., , Chin J. Development of a group-specific PCR combined with ARDRA for the identification of Bacillus species of environmental significance. Journal of Microbiological Methods. (2006) ; 64: : 107-119.


Jenkins C., , Ling LL., , Ciesielczuk HL., , Lockwood J., , Hopkins S., , McHugh TD., et al. Detection and identification of bacteria in clinical samples by 16S rRNA gene sequencing: comparison of two different approaches in clinical practice. Journal of Medical Microbiology. (2012) ; 61: (4): 483-488.


Khan AS., , Khan MA., , Din HA., , Khan HU., , Tayyab M. Some Scientific Facets of Quran and Sunnah (of the Prophet Muhammad, Peace Be Upon Him) in The Field of Medicine. Pakistan Journal of Health. (1994) ; 31: : 7-10.


Sofrata A., , Claesson R., , Lingstrom P., , Gustafsson A. Strong antibacterial effect of miswak against oral microorganisms associated with periodontitis and caries. Journal of Periodontology. (2008) ; 79: (8): 1474-1479.


Almas K., , Al-Bagieh N., , Akpata E. In vitro antimicrobial effects of freshly cut and 1-month old miswak (chewing stick). Biomedical Letters. (1997) ; 56: : 145-149.


Al-Bagieh N., , Almas K. In vitro antibacterial effects of aqueous and alcohol extracts of miswak (chewing sticks). Cairo Dental Journal. (1997) ; 13: : 221-224.


Al-Bagieh N., , Weinberg E. Benzolisothiocyanate: a possible agent for controlling dental caries. Microbios Letters. (1998) ; 39: : 143-151.


Almas K. Miswak (chewing stick) and its role in oral health. Postgraduate Dental. (1993) ; 3: : 214-218.


Hattab F. Meswak: the natural toothbrush. Journal Clinical Dental. (1997) ; 8: (5): 125-129.


Al-Otaibi M., , Al-Harthy M., , Soder B., , Gustafsson A., , Angmar-Mansson B. Comparative effect of chewing sticks and tooth brushing on plaque removal and gingival health. Oral Health & Preventive Dentistry. (2003) ; 1: : 301-307.


Gazi M., , Davies T., , Al-Bagieh N., , Cox S. The immediate- and medium-term effects of Meswak on the composition of mixed saliva. Journal of Clinical Periodontology. (1992) ; 19: (2): 113-117.


Al Lafi T., , Ababneh H. The effect of the extract of the miswak (chewing sticks) used in Jordan and the Middle East on oral bacteria. International Dental Journal. (1995) ; 45: : 218-222.


Kaur S. The Effect of Chewing Miswak (Salvadora persica) on Flow Rate, pH, and Levels of Calcium Phosphate, Chloride and Thiocyanatein Mixed Saliva, Dissertation of Master of Dental Science (MDSc), Faculty of Dentistry, University of Malaya, (2011) .


Almas K., , Al-Zeid Z. The immediate antimicrobial effect of a toothbrush and miswak on cariogenic bacteria: a clinical study. The Journal of Contemporary Dental Practice. (2004) ; 5: : 105-114.


Bhat PK., , Amit Kumar A., , Soumik Sarkar S. Assessment of immediate antimicrobial effect of miswak extract and toothbrush on cariogenic bacteria - A clinical study. Journal of Advanced Oral Research. (2012) ; 3: (1): 13-18.


Dina M., , Alhelawe S. Influence of miswak on the Binding of Polyphenols to Protein Pellicle, Memorial High School, Ocean Twp, NJ Parts of Medicinal Chemistry Posters, (2005) .