Feb 12, 2014
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OCIMUM BASILICUM

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Linn.

Synonym ► O. caryophyllatum Roxb. O. minimum Linn. O. pilosum Willd.

Family ► Labiatae; Lamiaceae.

Habitat ► Lower hills of Punjab; cultivated throughout India.

English ► Sweet Basil, Basil Herb.

Ayurvedic ► Barbari, Tuvari, Tungi, Kharpushpa, Ajgandhikaa, Baabui Tulasi.

Unani ► Faranjmishk. (also equated with Dracocephalum moldavica Linn. by National Formulary of Unani Medicine.), Raihan (also equated with O. sanctum). (used as a substitute for Phanijjaka.)

Siddha/Tamil ► Tiruneetruppachhilai.

Folk ► Bana-Tulasi. Sabzaa (Maharashtra).

Action ► Flower—stimulant, carminative, antispasmodic, diuretic, demulcent. Seed—antidysenteric. Juice of the plant—antibacterial. Essential oil—antibacterial, antifungal, insecticidal.

(Because of high estragole content of the essential oil, the herb should not be taken during pregnancy, nursing or over extended periods of time.) (German Commission E.) Included among unapproved herbs by German Commission E.

The herb contains an essential oil; major constituents are linalool (up to 55%) methyl ether (estragole) up to 70% and eugenol; caffeic acid derivatives; flavonoids. Thymol and xan- thomicrol were isolated from the leaves. Aesculetin, p-coumaric acid, eriodic- tyol, its 7-glucoside and vicenin-2 from leaves have been isolated.

The essential oil at concentration of 0.15% completely inhibited mycelial growth of twenty two species of fungi, including mycotoxin-producing strains of Aspergillus flavus and A. par- asiticus. Leaves act as an insect repellent externally; bring relief to insect bites and stings.

In homoeopathy, the fresh mature leaves are used to treat haematuria, inflammation and congestion of kidney.

Dosage ► Whole plant—50-100 ml decoction; seed—1-3 g powder. (CCRAS.)

Article Categories:
Indian Medicinal Plants

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