OCIMUM SANCTUM L.

Family: Lamiaceae

Bengali/Vernacular Name: Tulsi. 

Tribal Name: Nung Na, Nung Gri (Marma); Tulosi, Ramal (Tanchangya).

English Name: Sacred Basil, Holy Basil.

Description of the Plant:
A much-branched aromatic herb, woody at the base, 30-60 cm high; branches subquadrangular. Leaves 2.5-5 cm long, elliptic-oblong, obtuse or acute, entire or serrate, pubescent on both sides. Flowers in racemes, 15-20 cm long in close whorls; corolla 4 mm long, purplish. Nutlets 1.25 mm long, broadly ellipsoid, yellow with small black markings.

Using Information:
The leaves are demulcent, expectorant and antipyretic; juice is used for the treatment of coughs, colds, catarrh and bronchitis; useful in gastric disorder, earache, ringworm, leprosy and itches. An infusion of the leaves is used as a stomachic in gastric disorders of childrens, and in hepatic affections. The dried leaves are powdered and employed as a snuff in ozoena. The plant drives away mosquitoes (Yusuf et al. 2009).

Essential oil of the leaves and inflorescences possess good antifungal and antibacterial properties (Begum et al., 1993). Water extract showed significant biological activity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Walia et al., 2007).

Chemical Constituents:
The plant contains alkaloids, glycosides, flavonoids, triterpene, saponins and citric, tartaric, ursolic and malic acids. Seeds contain a fixed oil composed of palmitic, stearic, linolenic, linoleic and oleic acids. Stigmasterol, β-sitosterol, and triacontanol ferulate have been isolated from stem bark. Leaves yield a bright yellow essential oil containing methyl eugenol, isoeugenol, eugenol acetate, β-elemene, α-guaine, carvacrol, cineol, linalool, phenols. (Ghani, 2003). Eugenol (major constituent), its methyl ether, nerol, caryophyllene, terpinen-4-ol, decylaldehyde, γ-selinene, β-pinene, camphene and α-pinene have also been identified in essential oil (Rastogi and Mehrotra, 1993).


OCIMUM SANCTUM
OCIMUM SANCTUM L.


Distribution:
Cultivated throughout the Country.


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Retutn from OCIMUM SANCTUM to Medicinal Plants: Part O