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Abstract

Ocimum basilicum is a common herb that is known for its ornamental and therapeutic importance. The chemical constituents which have been isolated from the plant include terpenoids, alkaloids, flavonoids, tannins, saponin glycosides and ascorbic acid. It has been reported to be hepatoprotective, immunomodulatory, antihyperglycemic, hypolipidemic, antitoxic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antifungal. The present review is aimed to cover the phytochemical study and pharmacological investigations on this important medicinal herb.
Pak. J. Chem. 2(2):78-85, 2012 Full Paper
ISSN (Print): 2220-2625
ISSN (Online): 2222-307X
*Corresponding Author Received 29th April 2012, Accepted 16th May 2012
Ocimum Basilicum: A Review on Phytochemical and Pharmacological Studies
*S. Khair-ul-Bariyah, 1D. Ahmed and 2M. Ikram
1Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Organic Chemistry, Forman Christian College, Lahore.
Department of Chemistry, Forman Christian College, Lahore.
2Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Biochemistry, Forman Christian College, Lahore.
Email: *skbariyah@gmail.com
ABSTRACT
Ocimum basilicum is a common herb that is known for its ornamental and therapeutic importance. The chemical constituents
which have been isolated from the plant include terpenoids, alkaloids, flavonoids, tannins, saponin glycosides and ascorbic acid. It
has been reported to be hepatoprotective, immunomodulatory, antihyperglycemic, hypolipidemic, antitoxic, anti-inflammatory,
antibacterial and antifungal. The present review is aimed to cover the phytochemical study and pharmacological investigations on
this important medicinal herb.
Keywords: Ocimum basilicum, phytochemical study, pharmacological investigations
1. INTRODUCTION
Plant kingdom presents the richest source of remedies to diverse human ailments. The WHO survey shows that 80%
of the populations in the developing countries use herbal medicine for their health needs. Realizing the importance of
plants in the discovery of new and safer therapeutic agents, screening of herbs for pharmacological activities and
phytochemical constituents is one of the active fields of research round the world today.
Ocimum basilicum L., commonly known as Sweet Basil, belongs to the genus Ocimum of the family
Lamiaceae. Ocimum (from Greek ozo for smell) is appropriate for the genus since its various species are known for
their peculiar strong odours. Basilicum is the Latin translation of the Greek basilikon meaning king and due perhaps
the same reason the herb is called "Herbe Royale" in French. The Urdu/Punjabi name Niazbo is also reflective of its
pleasant fragrance.
2. TAXONOMICAL CLASSIFICATION
Kingdom: Plantae, Phylum: Magnoliophyta, Class: Magnoliopsida, Order: Lamiales, Family: Lamiacaea, Genus:
Ocimum, Species: basilicum
3. VERNACULAR NAMES
English: Sweet basil, Hindi: Bawari bawai, Sanskrit: Berbery, Gujarati: Sabja, Persian: Furrunji-i-mushk, Punjabi:
Niazbo, Baluchistan: Drar khatori
4. MORPHOLOGY OF PLANT PARTS
Seed colour: Black, Seed shape: Oval, Leaf colour: Green, Leaf margin: Slightly undulate, Type of inflorescence:
erticellaster, Flowering: October-December, Parts used: Leaves, flowering tops, essential oil
Ocimum basilicum is a herb of medium size, strong scent with smooth or velvety touch. Leaves of the herb are
opposite, simple, entire and ovate. They are toothed often, 3-5 cm long and petiole is slender. Its flowers are 8-12 mm
long in cluster-like circles of 6-10 flowers. The colour of the petals can be white, pink or purplish. Glandular as well
as non-glandular hair are found on both sides of the leaves of the herb.
Ocimum basilicum that is considered to have originated in the warmer parts of the Indo-Malayan regions, is
abundantly found in tropical and hotter parts of the Indo-Pakistan subcontinent. It grows in habitats like wastelands
and on hills and due to its ornamental and therapeutic significance it is also grown as pot plant. The pollination is
through the aid of insects (entono-phylical).
Nitrogen fertilization has effect in different stages of development of the herb on the leaves of O. basilicum. Mass,
chlorophyll and essential oil yield significantly increases with nitrogen fertilization. By using four treatments (i.e.
control and irrigated with full soil water capacity (SWC). Treatment 1, 50% SWC, treatment 2, 30% SWC and
treatment 3, 10 % SWC) O. basilicum was subjected to deficit irrigation control. Reduced irrigation increases oil
content to a value of 26.10 % in a very low irrigation rate (10 % SWC) compared to 19.50% of control in seeds. As
compared to full irrigation control, photosynthesis pigments and oil content of deficit irrigation treatments did not
notably reduce1.
5. PHYTOCHEMICAL STUDIES
Due to different combinations of the essential oils, various varieties of O. basilicum differ in fragrance. Different
chemo varieties are found in different regions of the world. According to one study, the essential oil composition of
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79
O. basilicum was eucalyptol (1.79%), linalool (12.63%), α-terpineol (0.95%), eugenol (19.22%), β-elemene (2.68%),
α-bergamotene (3.96%), α-guaiene (2.33%), germacrene D (8.55%), cubenol (1.78%), tau-cadinol (15.13%), camphor
(0.70%), bornil acetate (1.97%), β-cariophylene (0.61%), α- cariophylene (1.67%), elixen (2.59%), β-cadinene
(0.80%), α-copaene (0.33%), metil eugenol (0.76%), β-farnesene (0.58%), epibiciclosesquiphelandrene (0.76%), tau
muralol (0.96%), α-bisabolol (0.35%), δ-gurjunene (5.49%) and δ-cadinene (5.04%)2. In leaves extract, the total
phenolic content has been found to be 32.23 ± 4.453. From Northwest Iran the hydro distilled essential oil from aerial
parts of O. basilicum was analyzed by GC/MS. Forty seven components making 97.9% of oil were detected. Among
them, monoterpenoids were (77.8%), sesquiterpenoids (12.8%), oxygenated monoterpenes (75.3%), menthone
(33.1%), estragol (21.5%), isoneomenthol (7.5%), menthol (6.1%), pulegone (3.7%), Limonene (1.5%), sesquiterpene
hydrocarbons (8.8%), trans-caryophyllene (2.2%), germacrene D (1.4%), trans-β-farnesene (1.1%), α-amorphene
(1.1%), α-Cadinol (2.9%), menthyl acetate (5.6%) and Methyl eugenol (1%)4. Phytochemical screening of aqueous
extract and elemental analysis of O. basilicum showed the presence of saponins, tannins and cardiac glycosides. There
were potassium, calcium, sodium and magnesium in the concentration of 28770mg/kg, 17460mg/kg, 280mg/kg and
266mg/Kg, respectively. It is therefore concluded that, O. basilicum contains bioactive compounds and minerals that
could enhance the curative process of health5. From Togo four chemotypes of estragol, methyl eugenol,
linalool/estragol and methyl eugenol/ (E)-anethol have been reported6. From Sudan seven chemotypes with major
components greater than 50%, their names being linalool/methyl cinnamate, linalool/geraniol, methyl chavicol,
linalool, geraniol, methyl cinnamate/linalool and eugenol/linalool have been detected7. From Mississippi major
chemotypes of the plant reported are bergamotene, methyl cinnamate/linalool, methyl chavicol/linalool, methyl
eugenol/linalool, linalool, methyl chavicol, linalool/eugenol8. From Hungary, germacrene D and β-elemene were
introduced as the main components of sweet basil oil9. From China, Croatia, Israel, Republic of Guinea, Nigeria,
Egypt, Pakistan and Malaysia, (z)cinnamic acid methyl ester, linalool, eugenol, estragol, bergamotene, 1,8-cineol, α-
cadinol, methyl cinnamate and limonene has been listed as major components of the essential oil of sweet basil.
Essential oil composition of the sweet basil cultivated in Romania was reported to be constituted of nineteen
components. In one sample, linalool was identified as the main component (46.95%) and the other components were
elemene (7.84%), farnesene (6.86%) and guaiene (5.26%). Second sample contained epibicyclo sesquiphellandrene,
cadinene, farnesene and elemene as the major sesquiterpenoid hydrocarbons (52.97%) 10. For the first time, the
presence of chicoric acid (dicaffeoyltartaric acid), which is a caffeic acid derivatized with tartaric acid, in basil leaves
was reported11. Oil composition and yield of 38 basil genotypes in Mississippi was reported. In dry herbage, oil
content varied from 0.07% to 1.92% and on the ground of oil constituents seven classes were made12. Chicoric acid
levels in commercially available O. basilicum and the products of Echinacea purpurea were found. In fresh leaves,
dried leaves and capsules and extracts of E. purpurea the concentration of chicoric acid varied from 6.48-242.50
mg/100 or 100 ml. It was found that basil was an economical source of the specified acid13. The phenolic compounds
known to be reported the most in basil are phenolic acids and flavonol-glycosides14. Phenolic acid class in the form of
caffeic acid derivatives has been identified in sweet basil14,15,16.
6. PHARMACOLOGICAL STUDIES
Compounds extracted from plants have been used in medicine, either as they are or after chemical modification17. O.
basilicum has immense ethnomedicinal applications. The essential oil of O. basilicum was tested against bacterial
strains S.aureus, E. faecalis, E. coli, P. aeruginosa and the yeast Candida albicans. Among other Ocimum species the
oil of O. basilicum showed best MIC against C.albicans18. It has been reported to be Antiviral, larvicidal,
antinociceptive, antimicrobial18, 19, 20.It has been used for thousands of years for the treatment of digestive and nervous
disorders and has been found to be anthelmintic, antipyretic, stomachic, taste improving agent, cardioprotective and
cure for blood diseases21. It is also known for its use in different ailments such as muscle cramps, insecticidal, diabetes
and respiratory disorders. It is active as an antioxidant22, 23, anti-inflammatory agent, feverish illness, nausea, migraine,
abdominal cramps, gonorrhea, dysentery, headache, colic, dizziness, piles, cough, paralysis, nervous temperament and
numbness24. The essential oil is used for acne, snake bites and insect stings. It is known to be antitoxic and cure for
kidney and respiratory ailments. Basil tea cures diarrhea, vomiting, constipation and for mental fatigue and hyssop for
cough25. The chemical composition of the essential oil of O. basilicum has been under study since 1930s26 and more
than 200 chemical components have been identified.
6.1 Immunomodulatory Activity
O. basilicum was administrated in wister albino rat in low and high dose. SRBC titre method was applied for antibody
titre. RBC, WBC, Haemoglobin count and antibody titre value was increased. For immunomodulatory effect, O.
basilicum showed increase in body weight than the control animal27. Immunomodulatory activity of ethanolic and
aqueous extracts of the leaves of O. basilicum in rats was reported. Both types of extracts were given orally at the
level of 400 mg/kg/day body weight. Delayed type hypersensitivity (DTH), haemagglutination antibody (HA) titer,
neutrophil adhesion test and carbon clearance test were used for checking immunomodulatory activity for both
specific and non-specific immunity. Immunostimulating agents used were cyclophosphamide (100 mg/kg/day, p.o.)
Khair-ul-Bariyah et al, 2012
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and levamisole (50 mg/kg/day, p.o.). A noteable increase in circulating antibody titer production in comparison to
sheep red blood cells (SRBCs) was seen when given orally. In primary and secondary HA titer an increase was
observed (p<0.01), higher than control group. In mice, O. basilicum potentiated the DTH reaction. It also showed
increase (p<0.01) in percentage neutrophil adhesion to nylon fibres along with increase in phagocytic activity. The
immunostimulant activity of O. basilicum is due to the flavonoid content28. Lymphocyte proliferation in rats induced
by methanolic and aqueous extracts of the Mexican plants has been reported. Persea americana, Plantago virginica,
Rosa spp. and O. basilicum. Methanolic extracts of P. americana, P. virginica, Rosa spp. and O. basilicum showed
lymphoproliferation up to 16%, 69%, 66% and 80% respectively and for aqueous extracts it was 48%, 31%, 83% and
83% respectively in comparison to untreated controls. The effect of O. basilicum aqueous extract at concentrations of
31.25, 62.5, 125 and 250 µg/ml was different than that for Persea americana at the same concentrations. The solvents
had no effect on lymphocyte proliferation activity. The Immunostimulating effect had benefit in increasing
lymphocytes in patients suffering from immune deficiency29.
6.2 Antioxidant Activity
Methanolic extracts of O. gratissimum and O. basillicum were studied for antioxidant potential by using standard
methods. O. basillicum showed very weak activity in DPPH assay as compared to O. gratissimum. Percentage radical
scavenging activity was concentration dependent30. Acetone and ethanol extracts of A. indica, and O. basilicum were
studied for antioxidant activity at concentrations of 50, 100, 250 and 500 in μg/mL. Antioxidant activities were
concentration dependent. By ferric thiocynate (FTC) ethanol extract of O. basilicum at the concentration of 500 μg/mL
showed 75.87%, an antioxidant activity very close to that of 500 μg/mL of α-tocopherol (82.14%), the reference
compound31. Antioxidant activity of basil by different methods like 1,1-diphenyl-2-picryl-hydrazyl (DPPH) free
radical scavenging, hydrogen peroxide scavenging, ferric thiocyanate method, reducing power, scavenging of
superoxide anion radical-generated non-enzymatic system, reducing power and metal chelating activities was studied.
Two types of extracts were investigated: water extracts (WEB) and ethanol extracts (EEB). The antioxidant effects
were found to be concentration dependent. Ferric thiocyanate method was used for total antioxidant activity. The
inhibition effect of WEB on peroxidation of linoleic acid emulsion for the concentration of 50 µg/ml came to be
94.8%. For the same concentration, it was 97.5% for EEB. With the concentration of 50 µg/ml for BHT, BHA and α-
tocopherol it came to be 98.5%, 97.1% and 70.4% , respectively. Other assays also gave effective results. Reference
antioxidants used were BHA, BHT and α-tocopherol. Total phenolic content was analysed as gallic acid equivalent
and was determined as equivalent32.
6.3 Antihyperglycemic and Hypolipidemic Activity
Prevention of induced hyperlipidemia in Wister albino rats by O. suave (OS) and O. basilicum (OB) was investigated.
High fat diet, constituting 31% fat, was given to groups of rats daily oral doses being 800 mg/kg of extracts of O.
suave or O. basilicum for 21 days period. In the HFD control rats, as compared to the normal feed fed rats (7% fat)
significant (p < 0.05) increases in serum levels of total cholesterol (HDL and LDL), was seen but significantly (p <
0.05) reduced the serum triacylglycerols. Significant prevention of HFD induced increases in serum total cholesterol
and partial decrease of the HFD induced decrease in serum triacylglycerols was noticed by the administration of
aqueous extract of O. suave or O. basilicum. Lipitor® the standard hypolipidemic drug was used to compare the
results33. Anti-hyperglycemic and hypolipidemic effects of the aqueous extracts from O. basilicum in rats were
reported. Aqueous extract of the whole plant was taken and both the effects were analysed in normal rats as well as
streptozotocin (STZ) diabetic rats. One oral dose of O. basilicum lowered blood glucose level in normal (p<0.01) and
diabetic rats (p<0.001). For 15 days this oral administration was carried out. It was seen that in diabetic rats there was
considerable reduction in blood glucose level (p<0.001) and less reduction in normal rats (p<0.05). By this repeated
practice, plasma cholesterol levels and triglyceride levels were also reduced. Besides that body weight and plasma
insulin levels remained unaffected. Hence, it was seen that aqueous extract showed anti-hyperglycemic and
hypolipidemic effects without affecting body weight and insulin levels34.
6.4 Anti-herpes Simplex Virus Activity
Anti-herpes simplex virus activity of dichloromethane and methanol extracts of O. sanctum, O. basilicum and O.
americanum was studied. Before viral infection, dichloromethane extract of O. americanum and the methanol extract
of O. sanctum had protective effect on green monkey kidney cells against HSV-2 infection. The therapeutic indexes
(TI) values of 1.865 and 1.644, respectively, were noted. Treatment of cells with methanol extracts of O. americanum,
O. sanctum and O. basilicum inhibited HSV-2 infection. TI values noted were 2.345, 2.473 and 1.563, respectively.
With dichloromethane extracts of O. americanum and O. basilicum TI values noted were 2.623 and 1.835,
respectively. After viral adsorption the methanol extract of O. americanum and the dichloromethane extract of O.
basilicum inhibited HSV-1F. TI values noted were 1.63 and 2.215, respectively. At other stages of viral replication,
the extracts of the three plants exhibited their anti-viral potential35.
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6.5 Anti-inflammatory Activity
Petroleum ether fraction (400mg/kg, p.o) and ethanolic fraction (400mg/ kg, p.o) of the seeds of O. basilicum were
used to cure inflammation induced by histamine and prostaglandins in 60 rats divided in 10 groups. The index of
inflammation used was the increase in paw edema. Significant inhibition of the paw edema produced by histamine and
PGF2-a proved that the seeds of O. basilicum possess potential anti-inflammatory activity36. Anti-inflammatory
activity of the alcoholic extract of O. basilicum in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) of human was
reported. PBMC of healthy individuals were taken and anti-inflammatory activity of crude methanolic extracts was
tested. In mitogenic lymphocyte proliferation assays, the extract showed significant inhibitory effect on proliferative
response of PBMC. Besides that, gene expression studies were also carried out on lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induced
production of proinflammatory cytokines such as Interleukin-1 β (IL-IB), Tumor necrosis factor –α (TNF- α). Down
regulation of the markers was shown by IL-2. The induction of the inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) along with
production of nitric oxide (NO) in LPS-stimulated RAW 264.7 macrophages was suppressed by it in a time-dependent
manner. The result was drawn that crude methanolic extracts inhibit proinflammatory cytokines and mediators, which
shows that the extracts have anti-inflammatory activity37.
6.6 Hepatoprotective and Lipid Peroxidation Activity
Hepatoprotective and antioxidant activities of O. basilicum and Trigonella foenum-graecum was reported against
hepatotoxicity in liver of goat which was induced by H2O2 and CCl4. Leaves of both the plants were dried and ground.
Extracts were prepared in petroleum ether, chloroform, alcohol and water. Ethanolic extracts were dried in rotary
evaporator and were reconstituted in 0.5% Tween-80 up to the strength expected. They were named as OB and TF,
respectively. The extracts were screened for analyzing the constituents present. Goat liver was washed in saline
solution to remove the fat present. Liver (0.25 g) was cut into rectangular slices about 8-9 mm each. The pieces were
washed in Hanks balanced salt solution (HBSS) using suitable buffer. The slices were treated with oxidants in
presence as well as absence of extracts. After incubating for an hour at 37oC, the components were analysed.
Hepatotoxicity was induced by H2O2 by first dividing the animals in 5 groups. Group 1 was called normal control,
group 2 was toxin control which was treated with H2O2 (2 ml/kg), Groups 3 and 4 were given OB/TF (100 mg/kg, po)
and finally group 5 was given Silymarin (hepatoprotective agent) for a period of 6 days. H2O2 (2 ml/kg) was given to
groups 2-6 on the fifth day. Hepatotoxicity was also induced by CCl4. Five groups of animals were made. Group 1 was
called the normal group and was given a single dose of 0.5% Tween-80 (1 ml) on a daily basis for the first five days
and then was given olive oil (1 ml/kg) on second and third day. Group 2 was called the CCl4 control group and was
given a single dose of 0.5% Tween-80 (1 ml) po everyday, except for second and third day when they were given 2
ml/kg of CCl4: olive oil 1:1 mixture. Groups 3 and 4 were given OB/TF (100 mg/kg, po) for all the five days and on
second and third days they were given a single dose of 2 ml/kg CCl4 : olive oil in the ratio of 1:1 in the form of
mixture, but they were given OB/TF 30 minutes before. For five days group five was given Silymarin (100 mg/kg, po)
and on second and third days it was given a single dose of CCl4: olive oil 1:1 mixture after 30 minutes of Silymarin
intake. After 48 hours passed, the animals were sacrificed and blood samples were collected for anti-oxidant studies
and liver slices for histopathological analysis. The activities of catalase (CAT) peroxidase (PEO), glutathione
reductase (GTR), superoxide dismutase (SOD), polyphenol oxidase (PPO), glutathiones transferase (GST), ascorbic
acid (Vit C), tocopherol (Vit E), vitamin A, total phenols, carotenoids and lycopenes were determined and analysed.
Liver function marker enzymes like alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (ALT) etc were also
analysed. For determination of lipid peroxidation liver tissue was weighed up to 0.5 g. Then it was mixed in 10 ml of
150 mM KCl-Tris-HCl buffer which had pH of 7.2. The final reaction mixture contained 50 µl liver homogenate,
buffer, 3 mM FeSO4 and 0.05 ml of the extracts from both plants which were of varying concentrations. A blank was
also prepared. The experimental medium had liver homogenate whereas the assay medium had all the constituents
except plant extract and it corresponded to 100% oxidation. The tubes were incubated for an hour at 37oC. Along with
incubation 500 µl of 70% ethanol was added in every tube to hold the reaction. 1 ml of 1% TBA was added in tubes
which were kept for boiling in a water bath for a period of 20 min. The tubes were then cooled and centrifuged to get
supernatants. To the supernatants 50 µl of acetone was added and for determination of thiobarbituric acid reactive
substances (TBARS) it was run at 535nm in a spectrophotometer. The hepatotoxins caused significant damage to the
liver. It was shown by an increase in the level of antioxidant enzymes of the toxin groups. The extracts reduced the
high values of these enzymes and the hepatoprotective activity was comparable to that of silymarin. The extracts
showed inhibition of lipid peroxidation at 100 µg/ml in comparison to normal controls. Glutathione activities were
reduced in intoxicated goat liver as compared to normal control groups. Maximum inhibition of superoxide free
radical (88.02%) and nitric oxide free radical (85.47%) was observed at 400 µg/ml38.
6.7 Insect Repellent and Larvicidal Activity
Larvicidal activity of O. basilicum was noted by combining, in varying ratios, its petroleum ether leaf extract with
synthetic nicotinoid insecticide, imidacloprid against malaria vector, Anopheles stephensi. Binary mixture of 1:1 ratio
was most effective as compared to 1:2 and 1:4 against mosquito larvae. This effective ratio was safe for aquatic
Khair-ul-Bariyah et al, 2012
82
mosquito predator, Anisops bouvieri and Cyclops with LC50 values 12.351 and 5.290 ppm, respectively, after 24 h of
exposure. Individual constituents were not that effective as compared to the tested combination39. Larvicidal and
repellent activity of O. basilicum along with Vetveria zizanioides and the pesticide spinosad against Anopheles
mosquito which is known as a vector against malaria was observed. Synthetic pesticides cause a lot of hazards both to
environment and human beings. Therefore, microbial insecticides are recommended as they are non-toxic to other
animals and human beings. The above mentioned plants showed considerable repellent activity against the malarial
vector, Anopheles stephensi Liston, which showed 85% mortality rate. This rate supports the use of extracts of the
plants as bio-insecticides40. Repellent activity against malarial vector Anopheles of the essential oil of O. basilicum
four Sudanese accessions was also reported. Accessions were taken as seeds and these seeds were then sown at the
University of Gezira farm, Wad Medani, Sudan. Human-bait technique confirmed all four essential oils to be mosquito
repellent. 0.1 ml of the essential oil applied at the volunteers arm showed repellency against mosquito for 1.5 to 2.5
hours. Bioassay time affected the repellency. Quantity of 0.1 ml of essential oil was considered ideal as mosquito
repellent41.
6.8 Central Nervous System Activity
Protection of central nervous system against oxidative damages of electromagnetic field (EMF) by using O. basilicum
has been reported. Forced swimming test was used to check antidepressant activity of O. basilicum extract in 30
albino male Wistar rats that were exposed to 50 Hz, electromagnetic field for a period of 8 weeks. After eight weeks,
rats which were fed with O. basilicum extract (1.5 g/kg body weight), showed decreased immobility score (P < 0.001)
and increased swimming (P < 0.001), as compared to control group. Hence, basil proved to have CNS activity42.
Anticonvulsant activity of the essential oil of Ocimum basilicum leaves was reported. Ocimum basilicum and many
other herbs belonging to the genus Ocimum are used as treatment for the diseases related to the central nervous
system. Varieties of experimental models have been used to analyze the CNS depressant and anticonvulsant activity of
the essential oil obtained from leaves. GC/MS and GC-FID showed seven compounds which constituted 98.8% of the
oil as a whole. Linalool, geraniol and 1, 8-cineole was the major constituents which were present up to 92.9%.
Decrease of spontaneous activity, sedation, ataxia and ptosis was seen at all doses of the oil along with a considerable
increase of sleep time (p<0.05) and decrease in latency to sleep (p<0.01). The latency for development of convulsions
in pentylenetetrazol (PTZ) and picrotoxin tests was increased (p<0.05). Flumazenil reversed the effects of oils in case
of PTZ. For strychnine no interference was seen with the convulsions. So, essential oils were active as CNS depressant
and this activity could be mediated by central GABAergic receptors43.
6.9 Antimicrobial Activity
The antibacterial activity of O. basilicum essential oil extracted from leaves was studied against gram-negative and
gram-positive bacteria including Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Bacillus cereus, Staphylococcus aureus,
respectively. Minimal inhibition concentration (MIC), Agar disk diffusion and minimum bactericidal concentration
(MBC) were detected. For P. aeruginosa the maximum inhibition zones were noted by agar disk diffusion tests. S.
aureus showed 29.20-30.56 mm, B. cereus 10.66-16.11 mm and E. coli 17.48-23.58 mm inhibition zones. For gram-
positive bacteria the MICs were: B. cereus ranging 36-18 μg/mL, S. aureus 18 μg/mL, and for gram-negative bacteria
the MICs were: E. coli and P. aeruginosa were 18-9 μg/Ml44. Alcoholic, hydroalcoholic and aqueous extracts from O.
basilicum, Satureja hortensis and Anethum graveolens were tested against pathogenic microorganisms Escherichia
coli, Staphyloccocus aureus, Streptococcus cricetus and Candida albicans and inhibitory zone diameter was the
evaluation indicator for antimicrobial activity. Except Satureja hortensis aqueous extract for Streptococcus cricetus,
for all aqueous extracts Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus cricetus showed resistance. When O. basilicum
aqueous extract was evaporated at 80oC the largest inhibition zone diameter was noted for Escherichia coli and in case
of alcoholic extracts for Candida albicans. average inhibitory zone diameter for tested pathogenic microorganisms
was noted for other extracts45. By using agar diffusion and agar dilution methods the antimicrobial activities of the
volatile oils of O. basilicum and O. gratissimum were recorded. At a concentration of 0.51% in the agar, the volatile
oils of both plants separately inhibited the growth of Streptococcus viridian ;Staphylococcus albus; and Klebisiella
pneumonia Pseudomonas aeruginosa at 10.0%. Proteus vulgaris was inhibited at 0.67% by O. basilicum
and 0.53% by O. gratissimum. By using volatile oil of both herbs separately in tooth pastes (2 and 5 %), antibacterial
activities comparable to a commercial tooth paste were shown. at a concentration of 0.5% in mouth washes, complete
inhibition of the growth of organisms was observed46. By using disk-diffusion and minimal inhibition concentration
(MIC) method ethanol, methanol, and hexane extracts from O. basilicum were tested for antimicrobial potential. The
three extracts varied in terms of their antimicrobial potential. The hexane extract showed the strongest spectrum of
antimicrobial activity47.
6.10 Antifungal Activity
O. basilicum extract [0.35 and 0.70% (v/v)] proved to have antifungal potential against Fusarium oxysporum, F.
proliferatum (33.37 and 44.30%, respectively), F. subglutinans (24.74 and 29.27%, respectively), and F.
verticillioides. The fungal strains were isolated from cakes by the agar plate method. At the concentration of 1.50%
Pakistan Journal of Chemistry 2012
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(v/v) the growth of Fusarium spp. was completely inhibited and at concentrations of 0.35 and 0.70% (v/v) aerial
mycelium growth reduced over all. Hyphae deformations, thickenings, fragmentations and diminished sporulation
were also observed48. Antifungal activity of O. basilicum and O. gratissimum oil was tested against seven species of
rice pathogenic fungi namely Alternaria brassicicola, Aspergillus flavus, Bipolaris oryzae, Fusarium moniliforme,
Fusarium proliferatum, Pyricularia grisea and Rhizoctonia solani. The techniques used were mycelium growth and
spore germination inhibition. Unused oil was used as control and the efficiency of essential oils was recorded at 0.4,
0.6, 0.8, 1.0 and 2.0% v/v. In vitro study was carried out using potato dextrose agar (PDA) with 3 replications. The
data of mycelium growth inhibition showed that sweet basil oil showed inhibition of F. moniliforme (100%), F.
proliferatum (49.6%) and P. grisea (100%) at a concentration of 0.6% v/v. B. oryzae, A. brassicicola and A. flavus
was inhibited up to 97.40%, 94.62% and 59.25% respectively at 2.0% v/v. The result recorded for spore germination
inhibition showed that F. moniliforme was inhibited up to 91.31% and A. brassicicola 99.74% at 0.8% v/v. F.
proliferatum, P. grisea, B. oryzae, R. solani and A. flavus were inhibited at 2.0% v/v. O. gratissimum also showed
inhibition of fungi strains by both methods. Hence, the plants had antifungal activity which depended on testing
conditions49.
6.11 Antimutagenic Activity
Antimutagenic property of O. basilicum essential oil and pure substances linalool, 1,8-cineole and β-myrcene in
Salmonella typhimurium TA 100, TA 98 and TA 102 with and without using microsomal fraction of rat liver (S9 mix)
was reported. No activity was observed in any strain tested and then Ames test was carried out using S. typhimurium
TA 100. Mutagenesis was induced by chemical mutagens namely 4-nitroquinoline-N-oxide (4NQO), 2-nitropropene
(2-NP) and benzo (a) pyrene (B (a) P) and UVC irradiation. All derivatives of basil reduced mutations induced by UV
radiations, maximum inhibition recorded to be 64-77%. 4NQO inhibitory potential was similar to UV (52-67%).
Moderate inhibition of 2-NP induced mutagenesis was shown by essential oil and 1, 8-cineole while the latter showed
moderate inhibition against B(a)P induced mutagenesis and linalool showed high co-mutagenic effect with B(a)P.
Essential oil and β-myrcene showed no effect against B(a)P induced mutagenesis50.
6.12 Antierythmic and Depigmenting Activity
Topical cream (with 3% concentrated extract of basil) of O. basilicum against its base (without extract) as control on
skin erythma and skin melanin was tested on the cheeks of 11 healthy human volunteers for a period of 12 weeks.
After every two weeks time, pigment (melanin) and erythma was noticed. The formulation showed statistically
significant result whereas the base proved to be insignificant (p≥0.05) against skin erythma. Similar results were
noticed for skin pigmentation (melanin) thus proving the efficacy of new formulation51.
6.13 Antitoxic Activity
In albino rats deltamethrin induced several histopathological alterations in the kidney like degeneration of epithelial
lining cells, dilation and congestion of renal blood vessels, infiltration of intertubular spaces by inflammatory
leucocytic cells and elevation in urea and serum creatinine. Superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) in renal
tissue became more or less inactive and the concentration of malondialdehyde (MDA) increased remarkably. The
animals were then treated with aqueous extract of basil along with deltamethrin. It led to curing histopathological
ailments. Activities of CAT and SOD were found to increase and creatinine and urea level became normal whereas
MDA level lessened52.
7. CONCLUSION
The importance of medicinal plants has increased with the passage of time because synthetic medicines have a number
of side effects besides many benefits they offer. These plants have recorded and known pharmacological applications
which we have got in heritage. The present review is meant to describe the importance of Ocimum basilicum in the
field of herbal medication. Phytochemical and pharmacological studies of the herb are given along with botanical
characteristics. Various effects like immunomodulatory, hyperglcaemic, hypolipidemic, anti-inflammatory,
hepatoprotective, antimutagenic, antimicrobial, antifungal, antioxidant, lipid peroxidation, insect repellency, antiviral,
antierythmic, depigmenting, antitoxic and CNS activity analysis reports are mentioned. The wide range of study on
this herbal plant shows that it is very beneficial for the improvement of current drugs and more work can be done to
take advantage of the potential remedial qualities of it.
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... Chloroform, ethanol and acetone extract does not showed the presence of alkaloids phenols and flavonoids [22]. Various effects like immunomodulatory, hyperglycaemic, hypolipidemic, anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective, antimutagenic, antimicrobial, antifungal, antioxidant, lipid peroxidation, insect repellence, antiviral, antierythmic, depigmenting and antitoxic effects of O. tenuiflorum has been reported from all over [6]. Presence of alkaloids, anthraquinones, carbohydrates and terpenoids was detected in all extracts of Ocimum basilicum. ...
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... Present day emphasis is on low persistence and off-target toxicity of pesticides in food commodities (Ogendo et al., 2008). Ocimum, a genus of family Lamiaceae known for their strong aroma are spread across tropical and sub-tropical regions of Asia, Africa, Central and South America (Bariyah et al., 2012;Padalia et al., 2014;Srivastava et al., 2021). Six species of genus Ocimum: O. tenuiflorum, O. gratissimum, O. americanum, O. basilicum, O. kilimandschericum and O. sanctum are found to be medicinally important and commonly found species in India (Chowdhary et al., 2018;Prakash & Gupta, 2005;Vasudevan et al., 1999). ...
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This review paper involves Ethnomedicinal, Phytochemical and Pharmacological survey of Ocimum kilimandscharicum Guerke. a medicinal plant of genus Ocimum having immense therapeutic potential.
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Many nations of the world have traditional medicine. Arabs were the first to distil alcohol. The existence and use of plants to treat human diseases is as old as man. Some plants have opportunity, either to be or of being transferred from their original natural environment to another. To determine whether traditional medicines were available for the treatment of diseases in Arabian Pennisula, a literature review of the plants used by Arabs was completed which led to identification of about 150 medicinal plants used in the treatment of human diseases in the Pennisula. Some of the listed plants are already available in Nigeria perhaps as a result of interaction between Arabs/Jews from Middle East and Arab-Barbas, Tuaregs, Fulanis and Hausas in Africa through trans Sahara trade and pilgrimages.
Book
Use of medicinal plants is as old as human civilization and continuous efforts are being made to improve medicinal plants or produce their products in high amounts through various technologies. About 200,000 natural products of plant origin are known and many more are being identifed from higher plants and microorganisms. Some plant-based drugs have been used for centuries and there is no alternative medicine for many drugs, such as cardiac glycosides. However, natural products research was sidelined to pave the way for com- natorial chemistry, which was expected to produce large numbers of synthetic compounds for high-throughput screening (HTS). This line of work has failed to deliver desirable results. Moreover, it is not possible for all pharmaceutical companies and institutions to adopt costly HTS technology. Therefore, medi- nal plants and their bioactive molecules are always in demand and are a central point of research. While planning this book, we endeavored to incorporate - ticles that cover the entire gamut of current medicinal plants research. The aim of this book was to review the current status of bioactive molecules and medicinal plants research in light of the surge in the demand for herbal medicine. The chapters focus on bioactive molecules (e.g., stilbenes and p- toestrogens) and on medicinal plants as a whole (e.g., Bacopa monnierie). We hope that this book will be useful for researchers in academia, industry, and agriculture planning.
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The aim of present study was to explore the antioxidant and antimicrobial scope of Ocimum basilicum essential oil. Present investigation depicted that O. basilicum essential oil posses significantly high antioxidant activity at all concentrations studied i.e. 20%- 100% showing percent inhibition of DPPH ranging from 90.04% to 96.16%.Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) was used as positive control. The antioxidant activity of sweet basil essential oil at 100% concentration was recorded to be 12.33 % higher than the corresponding level of BHT. The results of antimicrobial assay showed that O.basilicum essential oil was active against all Gram positive and Gram negative microbial strains tested. It is evident from this study that Ocimum basilicum essential oil is more potent against tested organisms as compared to the standard antibiotics used as positive control.
Article
OBJECTIVE: To study the immunomodulatory activity of aqueous and ethanolic extracts of leaves of Ocimum basilicum Linn. (Family: Lamiaceae) in mice. METHODS: The aqueous and ethanolic extract of leaves of Ocimum basilicum was administered orally at the dosage levels of 400 mg/kg/day body weight in mice. The assessment of immunomodulatory activity on specific and nonspecific immunity were studied by haemagglutination antibody (HA) titer, delayed type hypersensitivity (DTH), neutrophil adhesion test and carbon clearance test. In order to induced immunosuppresion in mice by using cyclophosphamide (100 mg/kg/day, p.o.) and levamisole (50 mg/kg/day, p.o.) used as immunostimulating agents. RESULTS: Oral administration of Ocimum basilicum (OB) showed a significant increase in the production of circulating antibody titer in response to sheep red blood cells (SRBCs). A significant (p<0.01) increase in both primary and secondary HA titer was observed while compared to control group, whereas in cyclophosphamide treated group OB showed significant (p<0.01) increase in HA titer. OB showed significantly (p<0.01) potentiated the DTH reaction by facilitating the footpad thickness response to SRBCs in sensitized mice. Also OB evoked a significant (p<0.01) increase in percentage neutrophil adhesion to nylon fibres and phagocytic activity. CONCLUSION: The study demonstrates that OB triggers both specific and non-specific responses to a greater extent. The study comprised the acute toxicity and preliminary phytochemical screening of OB. From the results obtained and phytochemical studies the immunostimulant effect of OB could be attributed to the flavonoid content.
Article
Aim: Immunomodulatory effect of O. basilicum was studied. Methods and Results: Low and high dose of O. basilicum was administrated in wister albino rat. Antibody titre was estimated by SRBC titre method. RBC, WBC, Haemoglobin count was recorded. The biochemical parameters also estimated in treated and control animals. It enhanced the antibody titre value. It improves the RBC and haemoglobin count. Biochemical results were good when compared to control. Conclusion: O. basilicum showed immunomodulatory effect.