Comparative Review on Pharmacognostical and Pharmacological activities of Ocimum Species

 

Dhanya Rajan*, Jisna. K, Anas Hamza, Fathimathul Rishana

Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacognosy, Crescent College of Pharmaceutical Sciences,

Madayipara, Kannur

*Corresponding Author E-mail: dhanyarenjith341987@gmail.com

 

ABSTRACT:

Tulsi, also known as holy basil, is indigenous to the Indian continent and highly revered for its medicinal uses within the Ayurvedic and Siddha medical systems. In the Ayurveda system tulsi is often referred to as an “Elixir of Life” for its healing powers and has been known to treat many different common health conditions. In the Indian Materia Medica tulsi leaf extracts are described for treatment of bronchitis, rheumatism, and pyrexia. Bioactive compounds of Tulsi responsible for its various medicinal properties and their effects at the molecular level need to be investigated in more detail for pharmaceutical therapeutic applications. Reported therapeutic uses include treatment of epilepsy, asthma or dyspnea, hiccups, cough, skin and haematological diseases, parasitic infections, neuralgia, headache, wounds, and inflammation and oral condition. The juice of the leaves has been applied as a drop for ear ache, while the tea infusion has been used for treatment of gastric and hepatic disorders. The roots and stems were also traditionally used to treat mosquito and snake bites and for malaria. The present review summarizes the comprehensive information regarding Pharmacognostical and Pharmacological activities of different varieties of tulsi.

 

KEYWORDS: Ocimum species, Pharmacognostical, Pharmacological activities

 

 


INTRODUCTION:

Herbal medicine

Medicinal plants being an important natural resource and potentially safe drug can play an important role in assuaging human health by contributing herbal medicines.  The high cost allopathic medicines and their potential side effects encouraged the people to use traditional medicine.

 

The increasing demand of plant extract to be used in cosmetic, food and pharmaceutical industries suggest that systematic studies of medicinal plants are very important in order to find active compounds and their use as a medicine for curing various diseases.

 

Herbal medicines are the synthesis of therapeutic experiences of generations of practicing physicians of indigenous systems of medicine for over hundreds of years while nutraceuticals are nutritionally or medicinally enhanced foods with health benefits of recent origin and marketed in developed countries. The marketing of the former under the category of the latter is unethical. Herbal medicines are also in great demand in the developed world for primary health care because of their efficacy, safety and lesser side effects. They also offer therapeutics for age-related disorders like memory loss, osteoporosis, immune disorders, etc. for which no modern medicine is available. India despite its rich traditional knowledge, heritage of herbal medicines and large biodiversity has a dismal share of the world market due to export of crude extracts and drugs.

 

Herbal medicines are being used by about 80% of the world population primarily in the developing countries for primary health care. They have stood the test of time for their safety, efficacy, cultural acceptability and lesser side effects. The chemical constituents present in them are a part of the physiological functions of living flora and hence they are believed to have better compatibility with the human body. Ancient literature also mentions herbal medicines for age-related diseases namely memory loss, osteoporosis, diabetic wounds, immune and liver disorders, etc. for which no modern medicine or only palliative therapy is available. These drugs are made from renewable resources of raw materials by ecofriendly processes. [1]

 

TULSI

 

 

Tulsi, also known as holy basil, is indigenous to the Indian continent and highly revered for its medicinal uses within the Ayurvedic and Siddha medical systems. Many in vitro, animal and human studies attest to tulsi having multiple therapeutic actions including adaptogenic, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, cardioprotective, and immunomodulatory effects, yet to date there areno systematic reviews of human research on tulsi’s clinical efficacy and safety.

 

In the Ayurveda system tulsi is often referred to as an “Elixir of Life” for its healing powers and has been known to treat many different common health conditions. In the Indian Materia Medica tulsi leaf extracts are described for treatment of bronchitis, rheumatism, and pyrexia. Other reported therapeutic uses include treatment of epilepsy, asthma or dyspnea, hiccups, cough, skin and haematological diseases, parasitic infections, neuralgia, headache, wounds, and inflammation and oral condition. The juice of the leaves has been applied as a drop for ear ache, while the tea infusion has been used for treatment of gastric and hepatic disorders. The roots and stems were also traditionally used to treat mosquito and snake bites and for malaria. [2]

 

TYPES OF TULSI:

In different parts of the world, several types of the basil are cultivated, some of the widely used varieties can be broadly categorized in to two groups for understanding – holy basil (ocimum sanctum) and mediterranean basil (ocimum basilicum).

 

Holy basil:

1. Rama Tulsi (Ocimum Sanctum)

2. Krishna Tulsi (Ocimum Tenuiflorium)

3. Amrita Tulsi (Ocimum Tenuiflorium)

4. Vana Tulsi (Ocimum Gratissum)

 

Mediterranean basil:

5. Sweet Basil (Ocimum Basilicum)

6. Thai Basil (Ocimum Thyrsiflora)

7. Purple Basil (Ocimum Basilicum)

8. Lemon Basil (Ocimum Citriodorum)

9. Vietnamese Basil (Ocimum Cinnamon)

10. American Basil (Ocimum Americanum)

11. African Blue Basil (Ocimum kilimandscharicum)

12. Italian Genovese Basil (Ocimum Basilicum)

 

 

 

OCIMUM SANCTUM:

Ocimum sanctum (Tulsi) is a member of family Lamiaceae. Literally Tulsi means “Matchless one”. Also, known as “Queen of Herbs” (incomparable one). It is one of the holiest plant which exhibits tremendous healing potential.

 

This plant exists in two varieties, i.e., Black which is also known as Krishna Tulsi, other is green known as Rama Tulsi. In terms of chemical constituents, both varieties are considered equal. Tulsi covers many domains of medicines like Ayurveda, Siddha, Greek, Roman and Unani medicine system.

 

 

Classification:

 

 

Kingdom  :  Plantae

Division    :  Magnoliophyte

Class         :  Magnoliopsida

Order         :  Lamiales

Family      :  Lamiaceae

Genus        :  Ocimum

Species      :  Sanctum

 

Other Names:

English name :  Holy basil

Hindi               :  Tulsi

Sanskrit           :  Tulsi

Gujarati          :  Tulsi

 

 

GEOGRAPHICAL SOURCE:

It is herbaceous, much branded annual plant found throughout Inda. It is considered as sacred by Hindus. The plant is commonly cultivated in garden and also grown near temples. It is propagated by seeds. Tulsi, now-a-days, is cultivated commercially for its volatile oil.

 

MACROSCOPIC CHARACTERS:

It is much branched small herb and 30-75cm in height. All parts of tulsi are used in medicine, especially fresh and dried leaves. Leaves are oblong, acute with entire or serrate margin, pubescend on both sides and minutely gland-dotted. The leaves are green in colour with aromatic flavour and slightly pungent taste. Flowers are purplish in colour in the form of racemes. Nutlets are subglobose, slightly compressed, pale brown or red in colour. Seeds are reddish-black and subglobose.

 

MICROSCOPIC CHARACTERS:

Transverse section of the leaf through its midrib: upper epidermis consists of a layer of small, quadrangular transparent cells with thin walls and thin smooth cuticle. On tangential view, these cells are polygonal with straight or wavy walls. Lower epidermis consists of a layer of small, quadrangular transparent cells with thin walls and thin smooth cuticle. Trichomes bent, consisting of 2–6cells; glandular trichomes short. Palisade parenchyma consists of layer of long cylindrical cells containing chlorophyll. Spongy parenchyma consists of poly-gonal cells with thin, straight or slightly wavy side walls. Vascular bundles col-lateral type with collenchyma cells. Stomata diacytic on upper and lower epidermis. [3]

 

CHEMICAL CONSTITUENTS:

Tulsi leaves contain bright, yellow coloured and pleasant volatile oil. The oil content of the drug varies depending upon the type, the place of cultivation and season of its collection. The oil is collected by steam distillation method from the leaves and flowering tops. It contains eugenol, carvacrol and eugenol-methyl-ether. It also contains caryophyllin. Seeds contain fixed oil with good drying properties. The plant is also reported to contain alkaloids, glycosides, tannins, an appreciable amount of vitamin C and traces of malic, citric and tartaric acid. [4]

 

 

DIFFERENT SPECIES OF TULSI:

1)    RAMA TULSI:

 

 

The plant has pure green leaves and better tolerance to winters, sun light, watering and fertilization than the other varieties. The Queen of herbs is one of the most worshiped aromatic herbs which is found in almost every house in India.

 

BIOLOGICAL SOURCE:

Tulsi consist of fresh and dried leaves of ocimum species like Ocimum sanctumum belonging to the family Labiatae.

 

CLASSIFICATION:

Kingdom  :     Plantae

Family      :     Lamiacae

Order         :     Lamiales

Genus        :     Ocimum

Species      :     sanctum

 

VERNACULAR NAMES:

Ocimum suave,

Ocimum viride,

Ocimum viridiflorum

 

GEOGRAPHICAL SOURCE:

The plant Ramatulsi is a perennial, woody shrub that is distributed throughout India, often cultivated, Ceylon, Java, tropical Africa, South America, Nigeria and Asia. It also found in some states of north India like Jammu, Punjab, Haryana and also cultivated in Kerala.

 

MACROSCOPIC CHARACTERS:

Rama Tulsi is a perennial herb, woody at base. Stems grow to 1-3m long. Leaves broadly to narrowly ovate, usually 5-13cm long, 3-9cm wide, surface, somewhat hairy. Leaf margin is toothed, tip narrow, base wedge shaped. Leaves stalks are 1-6cm long. Flowers are greenish white to greenish yellow, 4-7mm long.

 

MICROSCOPIC CHARACTERS:

T.S. of leaf had a pot shape midrib and a thin lamina with uneven lower epidermis attached at the lateral sides of its upper side leaving a concave central dorsal depression. Midrib consists of a radiating arc of xylem and phloem. Both upper and lower epidermis showed simple, covering, uniseriate trichomes as well as sessile short stalked, glandular trichomes.

 

Powder microscopy: Powder of the airdried leaves of this plant was observed under the microscope. The numerous glandular simple and covering trichomes, stomatas of average length 101 μm were observed. [5]

 

 

 

 

 

Stomatas and glandular trichomes

 

 

Covering Trichomes

 

CHEMICAL COMPOSITION:

Some of the phytochemical constituents of tulsi are oleanolic acid, ursolic acid, rosmarinic acid, eugenol, carvacrol, linalool, β-caryophyllene. Tulsi essential oil consists mostly of eugenol, β-elemene, β-caryophyllene and germacrene, with the balance being made up of various trace compounds, mostly terpenes.[6]

 

2)    VANA TULSI:

It is woody type perennial, aromatic and sacred species of holy basil in India.

 

BIOLOGICAL SOURCE:

It consist of fresh and dried leaves of Ocimum species like Ocimum gratissium belonging to the family Lamiaceae.

 

 

CLASSIFICATION:

Kingdom  :  Plantae

Order         :  Lamiales

Family      :  Lamiaceae

Genus        :  Ocimum

Species      :  Gratissium

 

VERNACULAR NAMES:

East Indian tree basil, Clove basil, African basil.

 

GEOGRAPHICAL SOURCE:

The plant vana tusi is a perennial and it is native to India, Sri Lanka, java and the northern and eastern parts of Africa.

 

MICROSCOPIC CHARACTERS:

Two of the leaf epidermal cells are typical of irregular contours, and diacytic stomata, secretory glands most abundant in the leaf and also present in the simple pluricellular hairs on the leaf veins. Its cross section shows the epidermis monoestratificada, a layer of parenchyma fenced in sub-epidermal position, followed by parenchymal pond, and finally the epidermis monoestratificada.[7]

 

 

T S of Leaf through Midrib with Lamina

 

MACROSCOPIC CHARACTERS:

It is perennial, woody bush basil that can grow up to 2m high with highly aromatic, slightly hairy green leaves with strong clove cent and spicy flavour.

PHYSICOCHEMICAL STUDIES:

The various physico-chemical parameters like ash values, extractive values and loss on drying were carried out according to the reported methods.[8]

Total ash (%w/w) = 8.94

Acid insoluble ash (%w/w) = 1.53

Water soluble ash (%w/w) =6.57

Loss on drying=1.49

Ethanol soluble extractive value=8.53

Water soluble extractive value=24.98

 

CHEMICAL COMPOSITION:

Major metabolites in tulsi are eugenol, rosmerinic acid, apigenin and carnosic acid etc. Thymol and flavonoids in the form of orintin and vicenin are also present in great amount. It also contains terpenes, lactone and xanthenes. [9]

 

3)    KRISHNA TULSI:

The plant has purple fringed leaves and purple stems with pungent and strong test of leaves, it has more medicinal properties than the other species.

 

 

BIOLOGICAL SOURCE:

It consist of fresh and dried leaves of Ocimum species like Ocimum tenuiflorium belonging to the family Lamiaceae.

 

CLASSIFICATION:

Kingdom  :  Plantae

Division    :  Magnoliophyta

Order         :  Lamiales

Family      :  Lamiaceae

Genus        :  Ocimum

Species      :  Ocimumtenuiflorum

 

VERNACULAR NAMES:

Daeva tulsi,

Kaala tulsi,

Kari tulsi

 

GEOGRAPHICAL SOURCE:

Krishna tulsi, is an aromatic perennial plant and it is native to the Indian subcontinent and widespread as a cultivated plant throughout the Southeast Asian tropics. [11]

 

MACROSCOPIC CHARACTERS:

Krishna tulsi is an erect, many-branched subshrub, 30–60 cm (12–24 in) tall with hairy stems. Leaves are green or purple; they are simple, petioled, with an ovate, up to 5 cm (2.0 in)-long blade which usually has a slightly toothed margin; they are strongly scented and have a decussate phyllotaxy. The purplish flowers are placed in close whorls on elongate racemes.

 

MICROSCOPIC CHARACTERS:

The young stem is quadrangular in outline. Outermost layer is epidermis (EP) composed of tangentially elongated isodiametric cells and covered by their cuticle. Hypodermis is slightly collenchymatous (Coll). Cortex (Co) isparenchymatous with air spaces. Vascular bundles are collateral and open. Xylem (Xy) is without fiber tracheid with libriformfibers. Pith (M) in centre consists of lignified parenchymatous cells. sclerenchyma and fibers, at the end of the large phloem vascular bundles are present. Scleranchymatous tissue surrounds the phloem group of vascular bundles.

 

CHEMICAL COMPOSITION:

The main chemical constituents present in O. tenuiflorumareoleanolic acid, ursolic acid, rosmarinic acid, eugenol, carvacrol, Linalool, and β-caryophyllene. Some of the phytochemical constituents of tulsi are oleanolic acid, ursolic acid, rosmarinic acid, eugenol, carvacrol, linalool, β-caryophyllene. Tulsi essential oil consists mostly of eugenol, β-elemene, β-caryophyllene and germacrene, with the balance being made up of various trace compounds, mostly terpenes.[12]

 

4)    SWEET TULSI:

It is most commonly grown perennial, aromatic and culinary type species of basil, the plant has bigger green color leaves and stems

 

BIOLOGICAL SOURCE:

It consist of fresh and dried leaves of Ocimum species like Ocimum basilicum belonging to the family Lamiaceae.

 

 

CLASSIFICATION:

Kingdom  :  plantae

Division    :  Magnoliophyta

Order         :  Lamiales

Family      :  Lamiaceae

Genus        :  Ocimum

Species      :  basilicum

 

VERNACULAR NAMES:

Great basil, Genovese basil

 

GEOGRAPHICAL SOURCE:

Basil is native to tropical regions from central Africa to Southeast Asia.[13]

 

MACROSCOPIC CHARACTERS:

Erect annual herbs to 60 cm tall; stem obtusely 4-angular. Leaves 3.5-6 x 1.5-2.5 cm, ovate-elliptic, base cuneate, margin entire to distantly crenulate, apex acute, puberulous above, pubescent with sessile oil galnds beneath; petiole to 2 cm long. Racemes to 14 cm long; bracts oblanceolate, ciliate; pedicel to 2 mm long.Calyx to 6 mm long; tube c. 3 mm  long, broadly ovate, hairy. [14]

 

MICROSCOPIC CHARACTERS:

The leaf consists of adaxial concavity and abaxial prominent midrib with the lamina directed towards upper side. The midrib is somewhat bowl shaped in sectional view. It is 1.5mm wide and 60μm thick. The epidermal layer is thin and the epidermal cells are small, thick walled and have eclinate outer walls. The ground tissue is parenchymatous and the cells are small, polygonal and compact. The vascular strand is single, wide and bowl shaped. It is 150μm thick and 750μm wide. The vascular strand consists of several short, three or four cells long, angular narrow xylem elements with wide parenchymatous gaps in between. The phloem elements are located along the lower end of the xylem strand. The phloem is seen in small discrete masses.

 

PHYSICOCHEMICAL STUDIES:

Determination of physiochemical constants were done as per procedure

Total ash = 1.2

Acid insoluble ash = 5.2

Water soluble ash = 5.2.

Loss on drying = 6.5[15]

 

CHEMICAL CONSTITUENTS:

High concentrationsof linalool and methylchavicol (estragole), Other constituents include: 1,8-cineole, eugenol, and myrcene, among others. The clove scent of sweet basil is derived from eugenol. The aroma profile of basil includes 1,8-cineole and methyl eugenol.[16]

 

 

PHARMACOLOGICAL ACIVITIES:

Chemopreventive activity:

The chemopreventive effect of OS leaf extract is probably through the induction of hepatic/extrahepatic GST in mice. Elevated levels of reduced GSH in liver, lung and stomach tissues in OS extract supplemented mice were also found. Significant antiproliferative and chemopreventive activities were observed in mice with high concentration of OS seed oil. The potential chemopreventive activity of seed oil has been partly attributed to its antioxidant activity. [17]

 

Radioprotective activity:

The radioprotective effect of OS was firstly reported in the year 1995. Two isolated flavonoids, viz., orientin and vicenin from OS leaves showed better radioprotective effect as compared with synthetic radioprotectors. They have shown significant protection to the human lymphocytes against the clastogenic effect of radiation at low, nontoxic concentrations25. The combination of OS leaf extract with WR-2721 (a synthetic radioprotector) resulting in higher bone marrow cell protection and reduction in the toxicity of WR-2721 at higher doses, suggested that the combination would have promising radioprotection in humans. [18]

 

Antioxidant activity:

The antioxidant activity of OS has been reported by many workers. The antioxidant properties of flavonoids and their relation to membrane protection have been observed. Antioxidant activity of the flavonoids (orientin and vicenin) in vivo was expressed in a significant reduction in the radiation induced lipid peroxidation in mouse live. OS extract has significant ability to scavenge highly reactive free radicals. The phenolic compounds, viz., cirsilineol, cirsimaritin, isothymusin, apigenin and rosmarinic acid, and appreciable quantities of eugenol (a major component of the volatile oil) from OS extract of fresh leaves and stems possessed good antioxidant activity. [19]

 

Antihypertensive and cardioprotective activities:

The transient cerebral ischemia and long term cerebral hypoperfusion (causing cellular oedema, gliosis and perivascular inflammatory infiltrate) have been prevented by OS. The OS fixed oil administered intravenously produced hypotensive effect in anaesthetized dog, which seems to be due to its peripheral vasodilatory action. Essential fatty acids like linoleic and linolenic acids, contained in the OS oil produce series 1 and 3 (PGE1 and PGE3) prostglandins and inhibit the formation of series 2 prostglandins (PGE2). The long term feeding of OS offers significant protection against isoproterenol-induced myocardial necrosis in Wistar rats through enhancement of endogenous antioxidant. [20]

 

Antimicrobial activity:

Aqueous extract of OS showed growth inhibition for Klesbiella, E. coli, Proteus and Staphylococcus aureus; and alcoholic extract of OS showed growth inhibition for Vibrio cholerae. The AlE of OS was also found to be active against multidrug-resistant strains of S. aureus that are also resistant to common beta lactam antibiotics. Similarly, OS was found to be active against resistant Neisseria gonorrhea strains. OS fixed oil showed good antibacterial activity against Bacillus pumilus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and S. aureus. Higher content of linolenic acid in OS fixed oil could contribute towards its antibacterial activity. [21]

 

Immunomodulatory activity:

Steam distilled extract from the fresh leaves of OS showed modification in the humoral immune response in albino rats which could be attributed to such mechanisms as antibody production, release of mediators of hypersensitivity reactions and tissues responses to these mediators in the target organs. OS seed oil appears to modulate both humoral and cell-mediated immune responsiveness and GABA ergic pathways may mediate these immune modulatory effects. [22]

 

Central Nervous System (CNS) depressant activity:

The Alc extract of OS prolonged the time of lost reflex in mice due to pentobarbital (40 mg/kg, ip), decreased the recovery time and severity of electroshock and pentylene tetrazole induced convulsions. It also decreased apomorphine induced fighting time and ambulation in "open field" trials. At high doses, OS extract increased swimming time suggesting a CNS stimulant and/or antistress activity. The effect was comparable to that of desipramine, an antidepressant drug. OS fixed oil (2-3 ml/kg, ip) has been reported to increase pentobarbitone-induced sleeping time in rats. The inhibition of hepatic metabolism of pentobarbitone / renal clearance by fixed oil could be responsible for potentiation of pentobarbitone-induced sleeping time.[23]

 

Anti-inflammatory activity:

Methanolic extract (500 mg/kg) and aqueous suspension of OS showed analgesic, antipyretic and antiinflammatory effects in acute (carrageenan-induced pedal oedema) and chronic (croton oil induced granuloma and exudate formation) inflammations in rats. The fixed oil and linolenic acid possess significant antiinflammatory activity against PGE2, leukotriene and arachidonic acid induced paw oedema in rats by virtue of their capacity to block both the cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase pathways of arachidonic acid metabolism.[24]

 

 

 

Analgesic activity:

The OS oil was found to be devoid of analgesic activity in experimental pain models (tail flick, tail clip and tail immersion methods). However, it was effective against acetic acid induced writhing method in mice in a dose dependent manner. The writhing inhibiting activity of the oil is suggested to be peripherally mediated due to combined inhibitory effects of prostaglandins, histamine and acetylcholine. [25]

 

Antipyretic activity:

The antipyretic activity of OS fixed oil was evaluated by testing it against typhoid-paratyphoid A/B vaccine-induced pyrexia in rats. The oil on ip administration considerably reduced the febrile response indicating its antipyretic activity. At a dose of 3 ml/kg, the antipyretic activity of the oil was comparable to aspirin. Further, the fixed oil possessed prostaglandin inhibitory activity and the same could explain its antipyretic activity. [26]

 

Memory enhancer activity:

The Alc extract of dried whole plant of OS ameliorated the amnesic effect of scopolamine (0.4 mg/kg) and aging-induced memory deficits in mice. Passive avoidance paradigm served as the exteroceptive behavioural model. OS extract increased step-down latency (SDL) and acetylcholinesterase inhibition significantly. Hence, OS can be employed in the treatment of cognitive disorders such as dementia and Alzheimer's disease. [27]

 

Hepatoprotective activity:

Oral administration of hydroethanolic extract of OS leaves @ 200 mg/kg in male Wistar albino rats gave protection against liver injury induced by paracetamol. The coldwater extract (3g/100 g, orally for 6 days) of OS was found to be effective against carbon tetrachloride (0.2 ml/100 g,) induced liver damage in albino rats. [28]

 

Antifertility activity:

Benzene extract of fresh OS leaves in male rats showed decreased total sperm count, sperm motility and weight of testis. The longterm feeding (up to3months) of OS leaves (200 and 400mg/kg) to adult male and female albino rats along with normal diet decreased sperm count, sperm motility and weight of male reproductive organs.[29]

 

Antidiabetic activity:

Oral administration of OS extract led to marked lowering of blood sugar in normal, glucose fed hyperglycemic and streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. A randomized, placebo-controlled, cross over single blind human trial indicated a significant decrease in fasting and postprandial blood glucose levels by 17.6% and 7.3%, respectively. Urine glucose levels showed a similar trend. Further, OS has aldose reductase activity, which may help in reducing the complications of diabetes such as cataract, retinopathy, etc. [30]

 

Antiulcer activity:

The fixed oil of OS administered intraperitoneally elicited significant antiulcer activity against aspirin, indomethacin, alcohol (ethanol 50%), histamine, reserpine, serotonin or stress-induced ulcers in rats. The fixed oil significantly possessed antiulcer activity due to its lipoxygenase inhibitory, histamine antagonistic and antisecretory effects.

 

Adaptogenic activity/antistress activity:

The immunostimulant capacity of OS may be responsible for the adaptogenic action of plant. The Alc extract of OS whole plant increased the physical endurance (survival time) of swimming mice, prevented stress induced ulcers and milk induced leucocytosis, respectively in rats and mice, indicating induction of non-specifically increased.[31]

 

Anticoagulant activity:

The OS fixed oil (3 ml/kg) demonstrates a prolongation in blood clotting time in a response that is comparable with aspirin (100 mg/kg). This is due to the anti aggregator action produced by Tulsi oil on platelets. [32]

 

Wound healing:

Wound healing activity of Ocimum sanctum is also proved by using two different types of concentration (200 and 400 mg/kg) in rats. The models of wound used for this study are: the excise, the incise and dead space wound model. By using Van Gieson and Masson Trichome strains in histological examination of determination of granuloma tissue, it is found that Ascorbic acid, Hexose amine, L-Hydroxyproline and Malondialdehyde isolated from Tulsi has wound healing activity.

 

Cough and Sore Throat:

Tulsi plant is very effective component of many Ayurvedic cough syrups. The leaves treat cold and flu when chewed. Boiled water of leaves is used in case of sore throat to impart a soothing effect. Since ancient times, tulsi is being used for minor throat infections and coryza cough as a inhalation without any adverse effects in children. [33]

 

Eye Disease:

The leaf juice of Ocimum sanctum along with triphala is used in ayurvedic eye drop preparations recommended for glaucoma, chronic conjunctivitis and other painful eye disease. In daily routine one may use about three drops of tulsi oil along with honey and it is supposed to improve eye sight.

 

 

Anti fertility activity:

The benzene and petroleum ether extracts of leaves of Tulsi have been reported to produce 80% and 60% antifertility activity respectively in female rats. In Kerala the local women as well as the Ayurvedic physicians have been reported to use the leaves of Tulsi for antifertility effect. One of the major constituents of the Tulsi leaves is ursolic acid and it has been reported that it possess anti-fertility effect. This effect has been attributed to its anti-estrogenic activity which may be responsible for arrest of spermatogenesis in males and due to inhibitory effect on implantation of ovum in females. This constituent may prove to be a promising anti-fertility agent devoid of side effects. In males, Tulsi leaves reduce spermatogenesis. [34]

 

CONCLUSION:

Ocimum has been used from many decades in Ayurveda because of its pharmacological importance. Basil, or Holy basil, is an integral ingredient in many Ayurveda preparations. It is regarded in Ayurveda as a kind of "elixir of life" and believed to promote longevity. It is an elixir for cough; the leaves when chewed after meals acts as a digestive agent. O.gratissimum have lots of pharmacological properties like antimicrobial, antifungal, antibacterial, antimalarial, antiviral, anesthetic, antiprotozoal, and anthelmintic agents. It also has antidiabetic, antifertility, anti-inflammatory and antistress. It can also be used to treat breast cancer very effectively. Ocimum gratissimum have been recommended for the treatment of diarrhea, fever, ophthalmic skin diseases and upper respiratory tract infections and for insect bite. Genome sequencing of Ocimum disclose the strong medicinal properties of the plant. The availability of the genome sequence will help to study the functional gene site of the important metabolic pathways.

 

Despite the lack of large-scale or longterm clinical trials on the effect of tulsi in humans, the findings from human studies published to date suggest that the tulsi is a safe herbal intervention that may assist in normalizing glucose, blood pressure and lipid profiles, and dealing with psychological and immunological stress. Furthermore, these studies indicate the daily addition of tulsi to the diet and or as adjunct to drug therapy can potentially assist in prevention or reduction of various health conditions and warrants further clinical evaluation.

 

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Received on 16.01.2020         Modified on 08.02.2020

Accepted on 18.02.2020  ©AandV Publications All right reserved

Res. J. Pharmacognosy and Phytochem. 2020; 12(1):. 37-46.

DOI: 10.5958/0975-4385.2020.00008.4