OCIMUM AMERICANUM L.

Family: Lamiaceae

Synonyms: O. canum Sims.

Bengali/Vernacular Name: Ban Tulsi.

Tribal Name: Nung, Nung Aprou (Marma).

English Name: Hoary Basil, Rosary Basil.

Description of the Plant:
An annual aromatic much-branched herb, 15 - 60 cm high. Leaves 2.5-3.8 cm long, elliptic-lanceolate, acute at both ends. Flowers small, white, in rather close whorls, in spiciform racemes, up to 20 cm long. Nutlets 1.25 mm long, ellipsoid, black.

Using Information:
The plant is carminative, diaphoretic and stimulant; used in cold, coughs, catarrh and bronchitis, Leaf juice is used for dysentery and as a mouth-wash for relieving toothache; poured into nostrils for migraine. Decoction of the leaf is used for checking nose bleeding and malarial fever. Leaf paste is used as a cure for parasitical skin diseases. Tea or infusion of the leaf is used in fever, indigestion and diarrhoea. Dried plant is burnt as mosquito repellant (Yusuf et al. 2009).
Essential oil of the leaves and inflorescences possesses strong antifungal and antibacterial properties (Begum et al., 1999).

Chemical Constituents:
Aerial parts yield an essential oil, which contains camphor and linalool (major constituents), citronellal, methylcinnamate, citronellic acid, eugenol, citronellol, geraniol, citral and methylheptenone. On fractionation the oil yields dipentene, terpinolene, crithmene, limonene, pinene, sabinene, camphene, caryophyllene, traces of phenol and acetic acid (Chopra et al., 1992; Ghani, 2003). Polysaccharide present in the plant contains xylose, arabinose, rhamnose, galactose, galacturonic acid and glucuronic acid detected from the plant (Rastogi & Mehrotra, 1993).


OCIMUM AMERICANUM
OCIMUM AMERICANUM L.


Distribution:
Chittagong, Chittagong Hill Tracts, Sherpur, on road sides and fallow lands.


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Retutn from OCIMUM AMERICANUM to Medicinal Plants: Part O