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About Author:
Dolly Prabhakar
Applied sciences deptt.(chemistry)
baddi university of emerging sciences and technology
baddi distt.solan (h.p.)

The medicinal plants are widely used by the traditional medical practitioners for curingvariousdiseases 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.
Ocimum sanctum described as sacred and medicinal plant in ancient literature, Tulsi is known as the “Queen of plants” which  is derived from ‘Sanskrit’, which means "the incomparable one"or “matchless one”. This plant belongs to the family Lamiaceae which is native throughout the Old World tropics and cultivated for religious and medicinal purposes. Tulsi have the various different species in the world .In this review we emphasized the pharmacological properties of five different species of Tulsi i.e. Ocimum sanctum/tenuliflorum,Ocimum gratissimum, Ocimum basilicum, Ocimum kilimandcharicum, Ocimum americanum/canum

Tulsi is also known as "the elixir of life" since it promotes longevity.
Several medicinal properties have been attributed to the plant not only in Ayurveda and Siddha but also in Greek, Roman and Unani. It is widely known across South Asia as a medicinal plant and an herbal tea. Thechemical constituents isolated from various parts of the plant include eugenol, cardinene, cubenol, borneol, linoleic acid, linolenic acid, oleic acid, palmitric acid, steric acid, Vallinin, Vicenin, Vitexin, Vllinin acid, Orientin, Circineol, Gallic Acid, vitamin A, vitamin C, phosphrous and iron. Ocimum sanctum has been shown to possess multifarious medicinal properties such analgesic activity, anti-ulcer activity, antiarthritic activity,immunomodulatory activity, antiasthmatic activity, antifertility activity, anticancer activity, anticonvulsant activity,antidiabetic activity, antihyperlipidemic activity, anti-inflammatory activity, antioxidant activity, antistress activity .

This review article will help the scientists working in the area of traditional medicines and medicinal food in their research.


The word ‘Tulsi’ gives the connotation of the incomparable one, its other name, Vishnupriya means the one that pleases Lord Vishnu. Found in most of the Indian homes and worshipped, its legend has Permeated Indian ethos down the ages. Known in English as Holy Basil and botanically called Ocimum sanctum, Tulsi belongs to plant family Lamiaceae. It has made important contribution to the field of science from ancient times as also to modern research due to itslarge number of medicinal properties. Tulsi has been described as of two types- vanya (wild) and gramya (grown in homes).

In view of the facts of its medicinal values, an attempt has been made to review on the various pharmacological activities of OS based on the experimental and clinical studies reported in different literatures.

In last fewdecades several studies have been carriedout by Indian scientists and researchers to suggest the role of essential oils & eugenol in therapeutic potentials of Ocimum sanctum L. (1, 3). Eugenol is a phenolic compound and major constituent of essential oils extracted from different parts of Tulsi plant.

The therapeutic potential of Tulsi has been established on the basis of several pharmacological studies carried out with eugenol and steam distilled, petroleum ether and benzene extracts of different parts of Tulsi plant (1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 11, 13–17).

Therapeutic uses of Ocimum sanctum Linn (Tulsi)Several medicinal properties have been attributed to Ocimum sanctum L. (6–17). Different parts of Tulsi plant e.g. leaves, flowers, stem, root, seeds etc. are known to possess therapeutic potentials and have been used, by traditional medical practitioners, as expectorant, analgesic, anticancer, antiasthmatic, antiemetic, diaphoretic, antidiabetic, antifertility, hepatoprotective, hypotensive, hypolipidmic and antistress agents. Tulsi has also been used in treatment of fever, bronchitis, arthritis, convulsions etc. Aqueous decoction of Tulsi leaves is given to patients suffering from gastric and hepatic disorders (3, 4). The leaf juice of Ocimum sanctum L. along with Triphala is used in Ayurvedic eye drop preparations recommended for glucoma, cataract, chronic conjunctivitis and other painful eye diseases. The juice of fresh leaves is also given to patients to treat chronic fever, dysentery, hemorrhage and dyspepsia (3, 4). A decoction of Tulsi leaves is a popular remedy for cold (3, 4). Tulsi leaves also check vomiting and has been as anthelmintic (1). a prophylactic against malaria, fresh Tulsi leaves are taken with black pepper in the morning (4).

Phytochemicals Present in Ocimum sanctum
S/No  Extracts   Phyto Chemicals  Plant Parts
1. Fixed oil 18
Linoleic acid, Linolenic acid, Oleic acid, Palmitric acid, Stearic  acid.

2. Essential oil 19, 20, 21

Aromadendrene oxide, Benzaldehyde, Borneol, Bornyl acetate,  Camphor, Caryophyllene oxide, cis-α-Terpineol, Cubenol, Cardinene, D-Limonene, Eicosane, Eucalyptol, Eugenol,

Farnesene, Farnesol, Furaldehyde, Germacrene, Heptanol, Humulene, Limonene, n-butylbenzoate, Ocimene, Oleic acid, Sabinene, Selinene, Phytol, Veridifloro, α-Camphene, α- Myrcene, α-Pinene, β-Pinene, α-Thujene, β-Guaiene, β- Gurjunene, methyl chavicol and linalool.

3. Mineral  Contents8 Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Calcium, Phosphours, Chromium, Copper, Zink, Iron.

Whole Plant
4. Alcoholic Extract 2 Aesculectin, Aesculin, Apgenin, Caffiec acid, Chlorgenic Acid, Circineol, Gallic Acid, Galuteolin, Isorientin, Isovitexin, Luteolin, Molludistin, Orientin, Procatechuic acid, Stigmsterol, Urosolic acid, Vallinin, Viceni, Vitexin, Vllinin acid.

Leaves/ Areal Parts

Medicinal Properties of Tulsi
S/No   Pharmacological Activity  Plant Parts Extracts
1. Analgesic Activity Leaves/seeds Aqueous Suspension / Fixed oil
2. Anti ulcer Activity Seeds Fixed oil
3. Antiarthritic Activity Seeds Fixed oil
4. Antiasthmatic Activity Leaves Hydroalcholic Extract
5. Antibacterial Activity Leaves Aqueous / Chloroform/ Alcohol  extract/ Fixed oil
6. Anticancer Activity Leaves Alcoholic extract
7. Anticataleptic Activity Leaves Alcoholic Extract.
8. Anticataract Activity Leaves Aqueous Extract
9. Anticoagulant Activity Fixed oil Fixed oil
10. Anticonvulsant Activity Stem/ Leaves Alcholic/ Chloroform extract
11. Antidiabetic Activity Whole Plant Aqueous decoction
12. Antiemetic Activity Leaves Leaf Extract
13. Antifertility activity Leaves Benzene extract
14. Antifungal Activity Leaves Essential oil
15. Anti-helminthic Activity Leaves Essential oil
16. Antihyperlipidemic Activity Seeds/Leaves Fixed oil, Essential oil
17. Antihypertensive Activity Seeds Fixed oil
18. Antiinflammatory Activity Whole Plant Alcholic extract/ fixed oil
19. Antioxidant Activity Whole plant Alcoholic extract
20. Antiplasmodial Activity Leaves Alcholic extracts
21. Antipyretic Activity Seeds fixed oil
22. Anti-spasmodicActivity Leaves Leaf infusion
23. Antistress Activity Whole Plant Alcholic extract
24. Antithyroidic Activity Leaves Leaf extract
25. Antitussive Activity Areal Parts Aqueous / Alcholic extract
26. Antianxiety Activity Leaves Alcholic extract
27. Antidepressant Activity Leaves Alcholic extract
28. Cardioprotective Activity Whole Plant Fixed oil
29. Chemopreventive Activity Seeds Fixed oil
30. Demulcent/Stimulant/expectorant. Leaves Leaf juice
31. Eye Disease Leaves Leaf juice
32. Genoprotective Activity Leaves Hydroalcholic extract
33. Hepatoprotective Activity Leaves Hydroalcholic extract
34. Immunomodulatory Activity Seeds/ Whole Plant Seed oil /Aquous extract
35. Memory Enhancer Activity Whole Plant/ Leaves Aquous / Alcoholic Extract.
36. Larvicidal Activity Seeds Fixed oil
37. Neuroprotective Activity Leaves Alcholic extract
38. Piles Seeds Fixed Oil
39. Radio-protective Activity Leaves Alcholic extract

Analgesic Activity:
Singh et al., in 1995 studied the analgesic activity of fixed oil from the seeds of Ocimum sanctum (OS) in mice and rats using the tail flick, tail clip, tail immersion and acetic acid-induced writhing methods. It was found it be effective against acetic acid induced writhing in dose dependent manner, suggesting that writhing inhibiting activity of the oil is peripherally mediated due to combined inhibitory effects of prostaglandins, histamine and acetylcholine.22


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