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Phytochemical prospecting, green synthesis of Silver nanoparticles from Euphorbia helioscopia and its antibacterial activity



Euphorbia helioscopia, a traditional medicinal herb, possesses various pharmaceutical applications for human diseases. In the present study, the ethanol and hexane extracts of E. helioscopia leaves were subjected to phytochemical screening to identify the presence of secondary metabolites. The concentrations of alkaloids, phenols, and flavonoids were determined quantitatively to evaluate the medicinal properties of the plant extracts. The ethanolic extract showed a higher yield of various secondary metabolites, specifically, phenol showed a high degree of precipitation. Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) were then green synthesized from the leaf extract and characterized by UV–Visible spectroscopy, Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR), and Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM). The presence of elemental silver is confirmed by the sharp peaks in the UV-Visible at 442 nm. The FTIR spectrum showed the presence of various functional groups from the plant extract that fabricated and activated the AgNPs. The synthesized NPs were found to be spherical with slight aggregation in the SEM micrograph. The crude plant extracts and AgNPs were compared for antibacterial activity at various concentrations. AgNPs exhibited higher inhibitory activity against selected Gram-positive and Gram-negative pathogens than the crude extracts. The enhanced activity of AgNPs may be attributed to the phenolic content of the plant extracts. Hence, the present study confirms that E. helioscopia leaves have potential antimicrobial activity and also act as an efficient source for AgNPs with remarkable pharmacological properties that can be further evaluated to develop them as a promising drug candidate.