Ocimum sanctum is commonly known as ‘holy basil’, ‘tulsi’ (sometimes spelled ‘thulasi’) or tulsi, is an aromatic perennial plant in the family ‘Lamiaceae’. It is native plant of the Indian subcontinent and widespread as a cultivated plant throughout the Southeast Asian tropics.
Tulasi is cultivated for its essential oil and for religious and traditional medicine purposes. It is widely used as an herbal tea, commonly used in ‘Ayurveda’, and has a place within the Vaishnava tradition of Hinduism, in which devotees perform worship involving holy basil plants or leaves.
GENUS: Ocimum L.
SPECIES: Ocimum sanctum L.
BIOLOGICAL AND GEOGRAPHICAL SOURCES:
Tulsi plant consist of fresh and dried leaves of Ocimum sanctum, belonging to family ‘Lamiaceae‘
It is herbaceous plant, branched, annual and found throughout the India. It is considered as sacred plant by Hindus. The plant is commonly cultivated in garden and grew near the temples. It is propagated by seeds.
The plant grows up to 30 to 75 centimeter in height. Entire plant of tulasi have medicinal properties, especially fresh and dried leaves.
Leaves are oblonged, acute with serrate margin, pubescent on both the sides and gland dotted. Leaves are green in colour with aromatic smell and pungent taste, flowers are purple in colour and seeds are reddish black.
Tulsi leaves contains bright yellow colored and pleasant volatile oil (0.1 to 0.9%). The oil contains Eugenol (70%), Carvacrol (3%) and Eugenol methyl ester (20%).
It also contains cryophillin. The plant is also reported to contain alkaloids, Glycosides, Tannins, vitamin C and traces of citric acid and tartaric acid.
- The fresh leaves, its juice and volatile oil of tulsi are used for various purposes.
- Tulsi oil has an antibacterial and anti-insecticidal property.
- Leaves are used as stimulant (It can improve appetite) to digestion, aromatic and diaphoretic (Used for kidney problem).
- The juice is used as important constituent for several preparations of skin and ear care.
- The hot extract of leaves is used as stomachache.
- In general tulsi drug is considered as good immune modulatory agent.
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