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Since May 10th 2008

Initial O

Ocimum sanctum
Oenothera biennis



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Ocimum sanctum L. (Lamiaceae)

Moschosma tenuiflorum (L.) Heynhold, Ocimum album Blanco, O. anisodorum Muell., O. brachiatum Hasskarl, O. flexuosum Blanco, O. frutescens Burm., O. gratissimum Lour., O. inodorum Burm., O. monachorum L., O. nelsonii Zipp ex Span., O. tenuiflorum L., O. virgatum Blanco

Local names
Badrooj, basilic des moines, bazsalikom levél, daun lampes, garden balsam, green tulsi, holy basil, huong nhu t¡ia, jagu lu myah, kamimebouki, kaphrao, kaprao, kemangi, kemangi laki, kra phrao, lampas, monk’s basil, peihan, rayhhan, reihan, sacred basil, saling-kugon, saling-kugon ma, selaseh puteh, solasi, sulasi, sursa, tamole, thulasi, tjlsi, tulashi, tulasi, tulsi

A herb or shrub, up to 1m high, often much branched. Stem square, lower parts sub-serrate, higher parts slightly furrowed and more densely pubescent or subglabrous. Leaves simple, opposite, oblong, ovate or oval-oblong, 2.7–7.5cm long, 1–3 cm wide, with acute top, cuneate, obtuse to rounded base, margin entire, undulate or serrate, both surfaces thinly pubescent and dotted; petiole 0.2–3.0 cm long. Calyx 0.2–0.4 cm long, with or without long or short hairs, ciliate, densely glandulose; upper lip 2.0–3.5 mm long, oval short-acuminate; lower lip 1.0–2.5 mm long, dentate, teeth linear-acuminate from an equal- or unequal-sided triangular to ovate base, 2 anterior teeth equalling or slightly surpassing the upper lip; fruiting calyx not completely closed by teeth. Upper part of the corolla villous and glandulose in the upper part; lobes of upper lip rounded, lobes of lower lip obtuse to rounded. Nutlets obovoid, dark brown or black, 1–2 mm long; pericarp swells into a slimy mass when moistened

Plant material used
fresh or dried leaves

Chemical assays
Contains not less than 0.5% essential oil. Gas chromatography and gas chromatography–mass spectroscopy methods are available for qualitative and quantitative determination of volatile constituents

Major chemical constituents
The main components are tannins (4.6%) and essential oil (up to 2%) (1). The amounts of the primary constituents of the essential oil vary according to the geographical distribution and variety of the source plant material: eugenol (up to 62%), methyleugenol (up to 86%), and α- and β-caryophyllene (up to 42%). Also present are methylchavicol, linalool and 1,8-cineole

Medicinal uses
Uses supported by clinical data
None. Although there are some preliminary clinical data supporting the use of Folium Ocimi Sancti for the treatment of diabetes, further trials are needed to substantiate the data.

Uses described in pharmacopoeias and well established documents
Treatment of arthritis, asthma, bronchitis, common cold, diabetes, fever, influenza, peptic ulcer and rheumatism.

Uses described in traditional medicines
Treatment of earache, epilepsy, heart disease, malaria, sinusitis, snake bites, stomach ache and vomiting. Also as an anthelminthic, to stimulate lactation, to prevent hair loss, and as a tonic

Proven pharmacological activity
Animal studies
Analgesic, Antispasmodic, Antimicrobial, Anti-inflammatory, Antipyretic, Hypnotic, Immunostimulatory, Antiulcer, Hypoglycaemic

Human studies
Asthma, Hypoglicemic, Antihypercholestrolemic

Intragastric administration of eugenol (400–600mg/kg body weight) has been reported to produce liver damage in mice, whose livers were experimentally depleted of glutathione. It was also cytotoxic in isolated rat hepatocytes. However, no generalized toxicity was reported in mice after a 50% ethanol extract of the leaves was injected either intraperitoneally (1 g/kg body weight) or intradermally (10 g/kg body weight)

There are conflicting reports on the embryotoxicity of Folium Ocimi Sancti. The use of Folium Ocimi Sancti is therefore contraindicated during pregnancy and lactation.

No information available.

Drug interactions
One study has shown that eugenol may be hepatotoxic in mice with glutathione- depleted livers. Therefore, Folium Ocimi Sancti should be used with caution in patients taking drugs such as paracetamol (acetaminophen) that deplete glutathione.

Carcinogenesis, mutagenesis, impairment of fertility
A hot aqueous extract of fresh Folium Ocimi Sancti was not mutagenic in Bacillus subtilis H-17 (rec+) and M-45(rec-) at a concentration of 0.5 ml/disc. Intragastric administration of the leaves prevented implantation of the embryo in various animal models. Intragastric administration of the leaves (10% of feed) to male mice inhibited spermatogenesis.

Pregnancy: teratogenic effects
There are conflicting reports on the embryotoxicity of Folium Ocimi Sancti. In one study, a benzene leaf extract was neither teratogenic nor embryotoxic when administered intragastrically to rats (200mg/kg body weight). However, another study demonstrated that aqueous or benzene extracts of the leaves were embryotoxic when administered intragastrically to rats (100– 200mg/kg body weight). (See also Contraindications.)

Pregnancy: non-teratogenic effects
See Contraindications.

Nursing mothers
See Contraindications.

Other precautions
No information available on general precautions or precautions concerning drug and laboratory test interactions or paediatric use. Therefore, Folium Ocimi Sancti should not be administered to children without medical supervision.

Adverse reactions
No adverse reactions have been reported in clinical trials.

Dosage forms
Crude drug and preparations thereof.

(Unless otherwise indicated)
Daily dosage: 6–12 g crude drug as a decoction


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