Home >> Ethnobotany Plants: Part-O >> Ocimum tenuiflorum L.

Ocimum tenuiflorum L.

Synonyms: Ocimum sanctum L.

Group: Dicot
Family: Lamiaceae - Mint family
Duration: Perennial
Growth Habit: Forb/herb

Bangla/Vernacular Name: Tulsi.

Tribal Name: Nung Na, Nung Gri (Marma), Song-herma (Murang), Tulshi (Rakhaing), Tulosi, Ramal (Tanchangya), Tulshi, Mida phular gaas (Tripura).

English Name: Sacred Basil, Holy Basil.

Description of the Plant:

A much-branched aromatic herb, woody at the base; branches subquadrangular. Leaves elliptic-oblong, obtuse or acute, entire or serrate, pubescent on both sides.Flowers in racemes in close whorls; corolla 4 mm long, purplish.Nutlets broadly ellipsoid, yellow with small black markings.

Chemical Constituents:

The plant contains alkaloids, glycosides, flavonoids, triterpene, saponins and citric, tartaric, ursolic and malic acids. Seeds contain a fixed oil composed of palmitic, stearic, linolenic, linoleic and oleic acids. Stigmasterol, ß-sitosterol, and triacontanol ferulate have been isolated from stem bark. Leaves yield a bright yellow essential oil containing methyl eugenol, isoeugenol, eugenol acetate, ß-elemene, a-guaine, carvacrol, cineol, linalool, phenols. (Ghani, 2003). Eugenol (major constituent), its methyl ether, nerol, caryophyllene, terpinen-4-ol, decylaldehyde, ?-selinene, ß-pinene, camphene and a-pinene have also been identified in essential oil (Rastogi and Mehrotra, 1993).

Mode of Uses:

  • Juice prepared from the leaves is taken for the treatment of coughs, colds and bronchitis. An infusion of the leaves is used as a stomachic in gastric disorders in children (Marma).
  • Paste of leaves is used in cough and cold. Inflorescence is used as ear ring.Planted as a sacred (Murang).
  • Extract of leaf, taken one to two spoonfuls twice daily until cured to treat cough (Rakhaing).
  • A leaf extract is eaten for fever and a paste of the leaves is eaten with sugar four times daily for the treatment of malaria (Tanchangya).
  • Extract of leaf, taken one or two spoonful twice daily untill cured to treat cough and catarrh.A leaf extract is warmed and taken for the treatment of coughs in children (Tripura).


Cultivated throughout the Country.

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