Preliminary antimicrobial screening against Candida albicans and selected Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria of methanol extracts prepared from eight Mexican medicinal plants, noted for their antiseptic properties, was conducted. The significant activity exhibited for extracts of Ratibida latipalearis, Teloxys graveolens, Dodonaea viscosa, Hyptis albida, H. pectinata, H. Suaveolens and H. verticillata tends to support their traditional use as anti-infective agents. Only the extract of Hintonia latiflora was inactive. The antimicrobial activities of 44 pure natural compounds and two derivatives were determined. Of these, only 23 compounds were effective in inhibiting the growth of the tested organisms (MIC less than or equal to 100 micrograms/ml).