Therapeutic uses of Ocimum Sanctum (Tulsi)

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Medicinal plants are widely used by traditional health professionals for the treatment of various diseases in their routine practice. Ocimum Sanctum is very much famous in traditional medical system. Ocimum Sanctum is also known as Tulsi in Hindi and is found throughout India. Tulsi is known as “Queen of Plants” in ancient literature. “Tulsi” name is derived from Sanskrit language which means “the incomparable one” or “matchless one”. Ocimum Sanctum is belongs to Lamiaceae family. These plants have many different species in the world but mainly five species are known to have known pharmacological properties. These species are Ocimm Sanctum, Ocimm gratissimum, Ocimum basilicum, Ocimum kilimandcharicum, Ocimum americanum. Many medicinal properties have been described not only in Ayurveda and Siddha but also in Greek, Roman and Unani. Chemical constituents isolated from the various parts of the plant include eugenol, cardinene, cubenol, borneol, linoleic acid, linolenic acid, oleic acid, palmitric acid, steric acid, vallinin, vicenin, vitamin A and vitamin C. Ocimum Sanctum has many medicinal properties such as analgesic, anti-ulcer, antiarthritic, immunomodulatory, antiasthmatic, antifertility, anticancer, anticonvulsant, antidiabetic, antihyperlipidemic, antioxidant.

The word “Tulsi” means “the incomparable one” or “matchless one”. Its other name, “Vishnupriya” means the one that pleases Lord Vishnu. Botanically, tulsi is known as Ocimum Sanctum which belongs to Lamiaceae family.

Ocimum Sanctum possesses several medicinal properties. In last few decades, several studies have been carried out by scientists and researchers to suggest role of essential oils and eugenol of this plant. Eugenol is a phenolic compound which is extracted from different parts of Tulsi. Therapeutic potentials of Tulsi have been established on the basis of different pharmacological studies.

Therapeutic use:

Several medicinal properties have been attributed to Ocimum Sanctum. 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 the treatment of fever, bronchitis, arthritis, convulsions etc. aqueous decoction of Tulsi leaves is given to patients suffering from gastric and hepatic disorders. The leaf juice of Ocimum Sanctum along with Triphala is used in Ayurvedic eye drop preparations recommended for glaucoma, cataract, chronic conjuctivits and other painful eye diseases. The juice of fresh leaves is also given to patient to treat chronic fever, dysentery, hemorrhage and dyspepsia. A decoction of Tulsi leaves is a popular remedy for cold. Tulsi leaves also check vomiting and has been anthelmintic. 

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