Category: Formulation and Quality
Purpose: To formulate chewable tablets for maintaining oral hygiene and as a cheaper and versatile herbal alternative to conventional toothpaste.
Methods: Thin layer chromatography was used to screen for the presence of secondary metabolites and as a tool for the determination of marker compounds in the ethanol extract of the stem of Massularia acuminata (Fam: Rubiaceae). Antibacterial susceptibility tests were conducted by agar well diffusion method on selected oral pathogens using the stem extract at 200 - 640 µg/ml in comparison to a conventional commercial toothpaste as standard while the milled chewing sticks were formulated into chewable tablets by direct compression method. Physicochemical evaluations of the chewable tablets were undertaken using standard procedures.
Results: Some classes of secondary metabolites were detected and thin layer chromatographic profile was established as a quality control tool for identification of the raw plant material and as a potential tool to establish specific marker compounds. Minimum inhibitory concentrations of the ethanol extract against the selected gram positive and negative bacteria ranged between 0.2 – 1.6 % as against 1.56 -12.5 % for the standard toothpaste while minimum bactericidal concentrations values ranged from 0.8 - 6.4 % for the stem extract as against 3.13 – 50 % for the toothpaste. The results suggests that the chewing stick had better activity against the selected microbes and lends support for its indigenous use in maintaining oral hygiene at the concentrations tested. Physicochemical evaluations such as hardness (4 -7 KgF) diameter (1.27 cm) and thickness (0.50 - 0.53 cm) as well as friability (1.81%) suggest that chewing sticks can be successfully formulated into oral tablets for oral hygiene. However, re-formulation involving modification of process and/or excipients is required to meet the acceptable B.P specifications of 9 -11 KgF (for hardness) and less than 1% for friability.
Conclusion: The antibacterial activity of the chewing stick extract showed greatest susceptibility to Klebsiella pneumoniae and minimal activity against Pseudomonas aeruginosa and based on the results with some tweaking on the formulation parameters, the chewable tablets containing the chewing sticks could serve a versatile alternative in a modern dosage form with less additives compared to conventional toothpastes.