Author(s): Prakash P, Gupta N
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Abstract The medicinal plants are widely used by the traditional medical practitioners for curing various diseases in their day to day practice. In traditional systems of medicine, different parts (leaves, stem, flower, root, seeds and even whole plant) of Ocimum sanctum Linn (known as Tulsi in Hindi), a small herb seen throughout India, have been recommended for the treatment of bronchitis, bronchial asthma, malaria, diarrhea, dysentery, skin diseases, arthritis, painful eye diseases, chronic fever, insect bite etc. The Ocimum sanctum L. has also been suggested to possess antifertility, anticancer, antidiabetic, antifungal, antimicrobial, hepatoprotective, cardioprotective, antiemetic, antispasmodic, analgesic, adaptogenic and diaphoretic actions. Eugenol (1-hydroxy-2-methoxy-4-allylbenzene), the active constituent present in Ocimum sanctum L., has been found to be largely responsible for the therapeutic potentials of Tulsi. Although because of its great therapeutic potentials and wide occurrence in India the practitioners of traditional systems of medicine have been using Ocimum sanctum L. for curing various ailments, a rational approach to this traditional medical practice with modern system of medicine is, however, not much available. In order to establish the therapeutic uses of Ocimum sanctum L. in modern medicine, in last few decades several Indian scientists and researchers have studied the pharmacological effects of steam distilled, petroleum ether and benzene extracts of various parts of Tulsi plant and eugenol on immune system, reproductive system, central nervous system, cardiovascular system, gastric system, urinary system and blood biochemistry and have described the therapeutic significance of Tulsi in management of various ailments. These pharmacological studies have established a scientific basis for therapeutic uses of this plant.
This article was published in Indian J Physiol Pharmacol
and referenced in Journal of Nutrition & Food Sciences