Skin diseases such as dermatitis, prurigo, and scabies present a major health concern in the Eastern Cape, South Africa, where there is a scarcity of dermatologists, compounded by the fact that most dermatologists are centered near urban areas and are not accessible to 70% of the rural population. Hence, many people still depend to a large extent on traditional herbs such as Citrus limon for the treatment of skin diseases. The aim of this study was therefore to screen the acetone and ethanol extracts of C. limon for its antioxidant potential and antimicrobial efficacy agents against a panel of microbes implicated in skin diseases. The highest antibacterial activity was obtained with the acetone extract of C. limon against Enterococcus faecalis and Bacillus subtilis, and the most susceptible bacteria based on the overall mean inhibition diameters were the gram-negative Salmonella typhimurium, Shigella sonnei and the gram-positive E. faecalis and B. subtilis. Both extracts were active against Candida glabrata. The DPPH scavenging activity of the acetone extract was not significantly different from those of vitamin C and rutin. Nitric oxide scavenging activity was lowest in the ethanol extract of C. limon. The reducing ability of both plant extracts was significantly lower than that of vitamin C and rutin. The fact that both extracts of C. limon exhibited a broad spectrum of antibacterial activity and comparable efficacy to the synthetic antioxidants highlights the medicinal value of C. limon as a potential source for drug development amidst the obvious dearth of effective and safe antibacterial drugs, and also validates the ethnotherapeutic claim of the plant.
Otang, W. M., & Afolayan, A. J. (2016). Antimicrobial and antioxidant efficacy of Citrus limon L. peel extracts used for skin diseases by Xhosa tribe of Amathole District, Eastern Cape, South Africa. South African Journal of Botany, 102, 46–49. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sajb.2015.08.005