Synergistic Effect of Pakistani Honey with Black Seeds against Food Borne Pathogens

Main Article Content

fariha Ibrahim
Mahnoor Fatima
Shiza Ali
Humera Rashid


Background: Food borne infections is a major public health problem all over the world. For centuries, honey has been used as a gastrointestinal and topical remedy and also as a food preservative. It has been exploited not only as a food but, utilized for multiple purposes such as for the treatment of various disease, for wound healing etc. Black seeds have also been used in traditional medicine and food preservation due to their effective therapeutic properties. The synergy-based combination of both the herbal extracts may enhance the antimicrobial potential against food borne pathogens.

Objective: This study aims to evaluate the antibacterial potential of different variants of Pakistani honey (Acacia honey, Ziziphus honey, and Sidr honey) in combination with black seeds against foodborne pathogens.

Methods: The antibacterial activity of different Pakistani honey (Acacia honey, Ziziphus honey, and Sidr honey) was evaluated using an agar well diffusion assay. The synergistic effect of honey and black seed was also examined. Moreover, the Minimum Inhibitory Concentration (MIC) was determined using the tube dilution method.

Results: The combination of Ziziphus honey and black seeds showed the most significant antibacterial effect such as 25.0, 28.0- and 30.0-mm zones of inhibition against Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhi, and Staphylococcus aureus respectively. The inhibition zone of the synergistic antibacterial effect of honey and black seed extracts against foodborne pathogens was significantly larger than the extracts used separately. Furthermore, the lowest MIC was observed 3.12 mg/ml against Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus in the combination of Ziziphus honey with black seeds whereas, 6.25 mg/ml was observed against salmonella typhi.

Conclusion: The present finding supports the traditional use of these different Pakistani honey variants in combination with black seeds for treating food borne pathogens to promote good health without any adverse side effects. The results suggested that present combination of natural extracts could be further explored clinically as a potent synergy-based therapeutic approach for treating various multidrug resistant food pathogens.

Article Details

How to Cite
Ibrahim, fariha, Mahnoor Fatima, Shiza Ali, & Humera Rashid. (2024). Synergistic Effect of Pakistani Honey with Black Seeds against Food Borne Pathogens. Journal of Health and Rehabilitation Research, 4(2), 1185–1190.
Author Biographies

fariha Ibrahim, Ziauddin University Karachi Pakistan.

Department of Biomedical Engineering - Ziauddin University - Karachi – Pakistan.

Mahnoor Fatima, Ziauddin University Karachi Pakistan.

Department of Biomedical Engineering - Ziauddin University - Karachi – Pakistan.

Shiza Ali, Ziauddin University Karachi Pakistan.

Department of Biomedical Engineering - Ziauddin University - Karachi – Pakistan.

Humera Rashid, Ziauddin University Karachi Pakistan.

College of Medical Technology - Ziauddin University - Karachi – Pakistan.


Bintsis T. Foodborne pathogens. AIMS microbiology. 2017;3(3):529.

Ventola CL. The antibiotic resistance crisis: part 1: causes and threats. Pharmacy and therapeutics. 2015;40(4):277.

Javadi SMR, Hashemi M, Mohammadi Y, MamMohammadi A, Sharifi A, Makarchian HR. Synergistic effect of honey and Nigella sativa on wound healing in rats. Acta cirurgica brasileira. 2018;33:518-23.

Serwecińska L. Antimicrobials and antibiotic-resistant bacteria: a risk to the environment and to public health. Water. 2020;12(12):3313.

Farid N, Waheed A, Motwani S. Synthetic and natural antimicrobials as a control against food borne pathogens: A review. Heliyon. 2023.

Mandal MD, Mandal S. Honey: its medicinal property and antibacterial activity. Asian Pacific journal of tropical biomedicine. 2011;1(2):154-60.

Almasaudi S. The antibacterial activities of honey. Saudi journal of biological sciences. 2021;28(4):2188-96.

Hussain MB, Hannan A, Akhtar N, Fayyaz GQ, Imran M, Saleem S, et al. Evaluation of the antibacterial activity of selected Pakistani honeys against multi-drug resistant Salmonella typhi. BMC complementary and alternative medicine. 2015;15:1-9.

Forouzanfar F, Bazzaz BSF, Hosseinzadeh H. Black cumin (Nigella sativa) and its constituent (thymoquinone): a review on antimicrobial effects. Iranian journal of basic medical sciences. 2014;17(12):929.

Parveen A, Zahiruddin S, Agarwal N, Siddiqui MA, Ansari SH, Ahmad S. Modulating effects of the synergistic combination of extracts of herbal drugs on cyclophosphamide-induced immunosuppressed mice. Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences. 2021;28(11):6178-90.

Combarros-Fuertes P, Fresno JM, Estevinho MM, Sousa-Pimenta M, Tornadijo ME, Estevinho LM. Honey: another alternative in the fight against antibiotic-resistant bacteria? Antibiotics. 2020;9(11):774.

Pancu DF, Scurtu A, Macasoi IG, Marti D, Mioc M, Soica C, et al. Antibiotics: conventional therapy and natural compounds with antibacterial activity—a pharmaco-toxicological screening. Antibiotics. 2021;10(4):401.

Ekhtelat M, Ravaji K, Parvari M. Effect of Iranian Ziziphus honey on growth of some foodborne pathogens. Journal of natural science, biology, and medicine. 2016;7(1):54.

Owayss AA, Elbanna K, Iqbal J, Abulreesh HH, Organji SR, Raweh HS, et al. In vitro antimicrobial activities of Saudi honeys originating from Ziziphus spina‐christi L. and Acacia gerrardii Benth. trees. Food science & nutrition. 2020;8(1):390-401.

Foroughi A, Pournaghi P, Tahvilian R, Zangeneh MM, Zangeneh A, Moradi R. Ethnomedicinal plants: Study on the chemical composition and antibacterial activity of the Nigella sativa (Black seed) oil's. International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Clinical Research. 2016;8(11):1528-32.

Chowdhury SP, Banik A, Aurin SA, Saima S. Comparison of individual and synergistic antimicrobial activity of common spices against certain infectious pathogen in Bangladesh. American Journal of Plant Sciences. 2019;10(9):1599-611.

Khan AR, Kour K. Wide spectrum antibacterial activity of Nigella sativa L. seeds. IOSR Journal of Pharmacy. 2016;7(6):12-6.

Kota CS, Spoorthy Paladi SP. Evaluation of antibacterial activity of Syzygium aromaticum, Laurus nobilis and Cuminum cyminum extracts and their combination. 2013.

Baljeet S, Simmy G, Ritika Y, Roshanlal Y. Antimicrobial activity of individual and combined extracts of selected spices against some pathogenic and food spoilage microorganisms. International Food Research Journal. 2015;22(6):2594.

Banik A, Abony M, Zerin T, Datta S. Antibacterial activity of Allium sativum, Syzygium aromaticum, and Cinnamomum zeylanicum against food borne pathogens in vitro. IOSR Journal of Pharmacy and Biological Sciences. 2018;13:68-73.

Halawani EM, Shohayeb MM. Shaoka and Sidr honeys surpass in their antibacterial activity local and imported honeys available in Saudi markets against pathogenic and food spoilage bacteria. Aust J Basic Appl Sci. 2011;5(4):187-91.

Zam W, Harfouch R, Bittar S, Sayegh M. Antibacterial activity of various Syrian honey types against Pseudomonas aueruginosa. Research Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry. 2017;9(2):73-6.