Botanical name:
ocimum sanctum,Family(Lamiaceae)

An erect and herbaceous branched plant, 1 meter high or less. Stems are 
covered with spreading hairs. Leaves are oblong-ovate and 2 to 4-5 cm long, with 
pointed or blunt tips, somewhat toothed margins. Flowers are pink or purplish,
 about 7 mm long, borne on racemes 5 to 14 cm long. Corolla is small. 
Nutlets rounded or broadly oblong, slightly compressed and smooth.

Found throughout India

Parts utilizedwhole plant
Properties and constituentsUsed as a mosquito repellant
 in India and South Africa.
Leaves yield a volatile oils or methyl homo anisic acid,

 plus cineol and linalool.
Seed decoction used as demulcent.
Leaves are expectorant and stomachic.
Considered to possess antifertility, anticancer, antidiabetic,

 antifungal, antimicrobial, hepatoprotective, cardioprotective,
 antiemetic, antispasmodic, analgesic actions.
Eugenol (1-hydroxy-2-methoxy-4-allybenzene), the active constituent, 

considered to be largely responsible for its therapeutic potential.

It is the most sacred plant in Hindu religion. 
In Malaya, leaves are eaten sparingly as salad., but not used

 for flavoring foods. Folkloric
Decoction of leaves used for aromatic baths.
Decoction of roots and leaves used for gonorrhea.
Used for rheumatic baths.
Dried plant used for croup, diarrhea, catarrh, bronchitis and diarrhea.
Decoction of roots used as diaphoretic for malarial fevers.
Leaf juice used for earache.
Infusion of leaves as stomachic and hepatic infections.
Fresh juice iinduces vomitiing and expels worms.
Mixed with honey, ginger and onion juice, used as expectorant

 for bronchitis and coughs.
In Java, used to increase milk secretion.
In India, leaf juice traditionally used for cough, bronchitis, asthma,

 malaria, dysentery, stress situations, worm infestations,
superficial fungal infections, and as diuretic.
 Radioprotective: The radioprotective effects of two flavonoids,

 orientin and vicenin from the leaves of OS were studied by 
evaluating chromosome aberration in bone marrow cells of
 irradiated mice. Results suggest ocimum flavonoids may 
be promising for human radiationn protection.
 Hypoglycemic:In a study, one of 24 of 30 medicinal plants, OS showed

 significant blood glucose lowering activity.
 Anti-anxiety: Ethanolic extract study showed leaves possess

 anti-anxiety effects probably through a central nervous system pathway
 that may involve the GABA-ergic system. Another study on
 noise-induced changes in rats were normalized with
 pretreatment with OS extract indicating its stress-alleviating effect. 
 Anti-tussive: Study shows an antitussive effect probably by 

central action mediated through both opiod and GABA-ergic system.
• :Antibacterial: Study of ethanol extracts showed 

antibacterial activity, greater in Gram positive bacter than gram-negative, 
esp against B subtilis and S aureus; comparatively less than
 Origanum majorana. Another study on OS essential oil showed 
marked antibacterial efficiency against all bacteria tested, maximum 
against S aureus and marked antibacterial efficacy against P mirabilis, 
P aeruginosa, Klebsiella sp and E coli.
 CNS-Protective: A study showed the ethanol leaf extract of 

O sanctum to have a protective effect against haloperidol-iinduced
 catalepsy and indicates that OS may be used to prevent drug-induced 
extrapyramidal effects.
 Antioxidant: A study showed the leaves of OS to possess

 both superoxide and hydroxyl free radical scavenging effect
 and attributes the antioxidant property to be responsible for its
 hypoglycemic effect.
 Myocardial Salvaging Effect: A study showed 

Ocimum sanctum has cardioprotecdtive effects against 
ISP-induced myocardial necrosis probably through improved 
ventricular function, augmentation of endogenous antioxidants 
and suppression of oxidative stress.
 Anti-cancer activity: Administration of aqueous and ethanolic 

extracts of Ocimum sanctum to mice with sarcomatous tumor resulted 
in a significant reduction in tumor volume and increase in lifespan.
 Anti-Fertility / Abortifacient: Leaves of O sanctum are said to be 
abortifacient in women. The benzene and petroleum ether extracts of 
leaves have been reported to produce 80% to 60% antifertility activity
 in female rats. In male rats, benzene extract of leaves has been reported 
to re4duce spermatogenesis by retarding sertoli cell activity.
 Anti-Ulcer activity: Study showed the extract of OS possess 

antiulcerogenic properties with reduction of the ulcer index, free and
 total acidity in rats. Seven days of treatment increased mucous secretion.
 Antidiabetic activity: A study indicated OS leaf extracts to have

 stimulatory effects on physiological pathways of insulin secretion
 to explain its antidiabetic action.
 Hepatoprotective activity: A study showed the leaf extract of 

OS to have a hepatoprotective effect on hepatotoxicty induced by 
antitubercular drugs. The exact mechanism has not been defined, 
but OS antioxidant activity seems to be the most important
 mode of its hepatoprotective effect.
 Eugenol: Ocimum sanctum is a cheaper source for the commercial 

extraction of eugenol. The aerial parts (leaves, flowers and stems)
 contain essential oils with good percentage of eugenol. The use
 of O sanctum in the treatment of gastric ulcer has been attributed to
 the antiulcerogenic action of eugenol and essential oil from leaves.
It has also been shown to be immunostimulant.
 Anti-Noise / Stress Alleviating: Study of ethanolic extract on 

noise stress induced changes in albino rats – leukopenia, increased 
corticosterone levels and enhanced neutrophil functions as indicated
 by increase in Candida phagocytosis and NBT reduction, showed
 normalization of the altered values by pretreatment with O S extract

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