Lichens and lichen products have been used in traditional medicines for centuries. The lichens of the high altitudinal meadow of MCA (Manaslu Conservation Area) have remained unexplored for which this research has been conducted with an aim of unveiling the phytochemical and antimicrobial properties of lichens present there. Four densely populated lichen species namely Usnea longifolia, Setraria spp, Parmotrema reticulatum and Evernastrium nepalense were chosen for the study. The extracts of these species were obtained in 6 different solvents viz. hexane, chloroform, ethyl acetate, acetone, methanol and water by soxhlet extraction method and the antimicrobial assay was carried out by agar well diffusion method. The extract yield varied from 0.07 -29.4%. The extracts obtained showed the presence of volatile oil, saponins, coumarins and quinines, flavonic glycosides and carotenoids. The ethyl acetate fraction of E. nepalense and U. longifolia were found to be most effective against all the 8 clinical bacterial pathogens and 5 phytopathogenic fungi tested. The extracts of Cetraria spp and P. milghenensis were found to be specifically inhibiting the fungal pathogens compared to the bacterial pathogens. Generally the lichen extracts tested demonstrated antimicrobial effect which suggests a possibility of their use in treatment of various diseases caused by these and similar microorganisms.
antibacterial, antifungal, phytochemicals, zone of inhibition, lichens