Strictinin, the major phenolic compound in Pu'er teas produced from young leaves and buds of wild trees, was isolated to evaluate its antibacterial and laxative activities. The minimum inhibitory concentrations of strictinin against Propionibacterium acnes and Staphylococcus epidermidis were determined as 250 μM and 2000 μM, respectively, apparently higher than those of several antibiotics commonly used for bacterial infections. The additive and synergistic effects on the inhibitory activities of strictinin combined with other commercial antibiotics were observed in two bacteria tested in this study via the analysis of fractional inhibitory concentrations. Laxative activity was observed on defecation of the rats fed with strictinin. Further analysis showed that the laxative effect of strictinin was presumably caused by accelerating small intestinal transit, instead of enhancing gastric emptying, increasing food intake, or inducing diarrhea in the rats. Taken together with the antiviral activities demonstrated previously, it is suggested that strictinin is one of the active ingredients responsible for the antiviral, antibacterial, and laxative effects of wild Pu'er tea, and has the potential to be developed as a mild natural substitute for antibiotics and laxatives. © 2016

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