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Ulam is a group of traditional Malay vegetables, which is typically consumed raw and recognized as a popular dish in Malay culture. A number of previous studies have highlighted that Ulam are commonly used by the Malaysian natives in treating stomach pain. However, the findings have not yet been scientifically proven. The aim of this study is to investigate the antibacterial activity of four types of Ulam, Anacardium occidentale, Solanum tarvum, Diplazium esculentum, and Euodia redlevi against three gastroenteric pathogens isolated from patients involved in gastroenteritis outbreak which were obtained from the National Public Health Laboratory, Sungai Buloh. Three methods were applied in this research. The first one was the phytochemical screening to test the presence of alkaloids, flavonoids, saponins, and phenols in the methanolic extracts of the four plants. The second method was determining the total phenolic content (TPC) using the Follin-Ciocalteu method and thirdly, the Kirby-Bauer Disk Diffusion method, to test the antimicrobial activity of all plant extracts. Phytochemical screening reveals the presence of all constituents in the four extracts. The Ulam extracts also have shown positive results in inhibiting the activity of three enteric pathogens, indicated by the presence of a zone of inhibition. The evidence from this study suggests that the four Malaysian salads (Ulam), which are commonly used by Malaysian natives as herbal remedies in treating stomach pain, does contain the bioactive compounds that are the potential to be natural antibacterial in treating gastrointestinal tract disease.
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