Linn.Synonym ► O. tenuiflorum Linn.Family ► Labiatae; Lamiaceae.Habitat ► Throughout India; grown in houses, gardens and temples.English ► Holy Basil, Sacred Basil.Ayurvedic ► Tulasi, Surasaa, Surasa, Bhuutaghni, Suravalli, Sulabhaa, Manjarikaa, Bahumanjari, Deva- dundubhi, Apet-raakshasi, Shuu- laghni, Graamya, Sulabhaa.Unani ► Tulasi.Siddha/Tamil ► Tulasi, Nalla-Tulasi.Action ► Leaf—carminative, stomachic, antispasmodic, antiasthmatic, antirheumatic, expectorant, stimulant, hepatoprotective, antiperiodic, antipyretic and diaphoretic. Seed— used in genitourinary diseases. Root—antimalarial. Plant—adap- togenic, antistress. Essential oil— antibacterial, antifungal.The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India recommends the use of the leaf and seed in rhinitis and influenza; the seed in psychological disorders, including fear-psychosis and obsessions.Major components of the essential oil are eugenol, carvacrol, nerol and eugenolmethylether. Leaves have been reported to contain ursolic acid, api- genin, luteolin, apigenin-7-O-glucu- ronide, luteolin-7-O-glucuronide, orientin and molludistin.Ursolic acid, isolated from leaves, exhibited significant protection of mast cell membrane by preventing granulation and decreased histamine release. The ethanolic extract (50%) of fresh leaves, volatile oil from fresh leaves and fixed oil from seeds showed antiasth- matic activity and significantly protected guinea-pigs against histamine and dyspnoea. They also showed anti- inflammatory activity against carrage- enan-, serotonin-, histamine- and PGE-2-induced inflammation and inhibited hind paw oedema in rats.The ethanol extract (90%) of the leaves showed hepatoprotective effect against paracetamol-induced liver damage.The plant extract exhibited antiul- cerogenic property against experimental ulcers.Oral administration of alcoholic extract of leaves lowers blood sugar level in normal, glucose-fed hyperglycaemic and streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. The activity of the extract was 91.55 and 70.43% of that of tolbutamide in normal and diabetic rats respectively.Administration of the juice of the plant affected a significant reduction in the size of urinary brushite crystals.A study of methanol extract and aqueous suspension of the leaves showed immunostimulation of humoral immunologic response in albino rats indicating the adaptogenic action of the plant.Dosage ► Seed—1-2 g powder (API, Vol. IV); plant—50-10 ml infusion (CCRAS.).
Article Categories:Indian Medicinal Plants