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Biological and Pharmacological Properties of the Sweet Basil (Ocimum basilicum)

Authors:

Abstract

Ocimum basilicum L. (sweet basil) a member of Lamiaceae family, is native throughout the old World and cultivated for religious and medicinal purposes. Basil was originated in Asia and Africa. Basil is used in both Ayurvedic and Unani system of medicine and is also popular for its culinary and ornamental uses. Various parts of the plant of sweet basil have been widely used in traditional medicine. The leaves and flowers of basil are used in folk medicine as a tonic and vermifuge. Basil tea is good for treating nausea, flatulence and dysentery. The oil of the plant has been found to be beneficial for the alleviation of mental fatigue, colds, spasm, rhinitis, and as a first aid treatment for wasp stings and snakebites. Studies showed that basil possesses central nervous system (CNS) depressant, anticancer, cardiac stimulant, hepatoprotective, hypoglycemic, hypolipidemic, immunomodulator, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, antiulcerogenic, chemomodulatory and larvicidal activities. The present review article provides up-to-date information on basil chemical properties, therapeutic benefits and pharmacological studies.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________
*Corresponding author: Email: mueen.ahmad@pharm.uol.edu.pk;
British Journal of Pharmaceutical Research
7(5): 330-339, 2015, Article no.BJPR.2015.115
ISSN: 2231-2919
SCIENCEDOMAIN international
www.sciencedomain.org
Biological and Pharmacological Properties of the
Sweet Basil (Ocimum
basilicum)
Mueen Ahmad Ch
1*
, Syeda Batool Naz
1
, Asifa Sharif
1
, Maimoona Akram
1
and
Muhammad Asad Saeed
1
1
Pharmacology Section,
Faculty of Pharmacy, The University of Lahore, Lahore, Pakistan.
Authors’ contributions
This work was carried out in collaboration between all authors. Author MAC designed the study and
wrote the draft of the manuscript in collaboration with author SBN. Authors AS and MA managed the
literature searches. Author MAS segregated the literature and also helped in manuscript writing.
All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
Article Information
DOI: 10.9734/BJPR/2015/16505
Editor(s):
(1) Nawal Kishore Dubey, Centre for Advanced Studies in Botany, Banaras Hindu University, India.
(2)
George D. Geromichalos, Department Cell Culture, Molecular Modeling and Drug Design, Symeonidion Research Center,
Theagenion Cancer Hospital, Greece.
Reviewers:
(1) Anonymous, National Research Centre, Egypt.
(2)
Anonymous, “Iuliu Hatieganu” University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Romania.
(3)
Anonymous, King Institute of Preventive Medicine and Research, Chennai, India.
Complete Peer review History:
http://sciencedomain.org/review-history/9954
Received 4
th
February 2015
Accepted 16
th
March 2015
Published 29
th
June 2015
ABSTRACT
Ocimum basilicum L. (sweet basil) a member of Lamiaceae family, is native throughout the old
World and cultivated for religious and medicinal purposes. Basil was originated in Asia and Africa.
Basil is used in both Ayurvedic and Unani system of medicine and is also popular for its culinary
and ornamental uses. Various parts of the plant of sweet basil have been widely used in traditional
medicine. The leaves and flowers of basil are used in folk medicine as a tonic and vermifuge. Basil
tea is good for treating nausea, flatulence and dysentery. The oil of the plant has been found to be
beneficial for the alleviation of mental fatigue, colds, spasm, rhinitis, and as a first aid treatment for
wasp stings and snakebites.
Studies showed that basil possesses central nervous system (CNS) depressant, anticancer,
cardiac stimulant, hepatoprotective, hypoglycemic, hypolipidemic, immunomodulator, analgesic,
anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, antiulcerogenic, chemomodulatory and larvicidal
activities. The present review article provides up-to-date information on basil chemical properties,
therapeutic benefits and pharmacological studies.
Review Article
Ahmad Ch et al.; BJPR, 7(5): 330-339, 2015; Article no.BJPR.2015.115
331
Keywords: Basil; antidiabetic; antihyperlipidemic; antimicrobial; anticancer; hepatoprotective;
pharmacological studies.
1. INTRODUCTION
Plants are of the important sources of medicine
and a large numbers of drugs in use today are
derived from plants. O. basilicum L. commonly
known as Sweet basil (Lamiaceae) is used in
both Ayurvedic and Unani system of medicine
[1]. It is also popular as ornamental crop [2].
Sweet basil is indigenous to lower hills of Punjab
in India, Persia and Sindh but also grown in
several Mediterranean countries including Turkey
[3]. O. basilicum is being known by different
names in different languages around the world.
In Hindi and Bengali, it is known as Babui Tulsi
[3,4]. In English, it is known as Basil, Common
Basil or Sweet Basil [5]. In Arabic the plant is
known as Badrooj, Hebak or Rihan; as Nasabo
or Sabje in Gujrati and as Jangli Tulsi in Urdu.
Tohrakhurasani and Okimon are the names of
the plant in Persian and Unani languages
respectively [6].
1.1 Etymology and History of Basil
Basil was originated in Asia and Africa [7]. In
Hindu houses, basil is used to protect the family
from evil spirits [8]. In early 1600s, the English
used basil in their food and in doorways to ward
off uninvited pests, such as flies as well as evil
spirits. Sweet basil has been grown and sold in
New York State since the end of the 18th century
[9].
1.2 Botanical Description of Basil
Sweet basil is an autogamous, aromatic and
herbaceous plant that is annual and perennial
[10], grows 1-2 feet in height [11]. Basil produced
large green leaves around 2 inches in length,
throughout the summer [12]. Basil flowers are
commonly removed to increase yield of leaves
[13]. Calyx is five mm long, enlarging in fruit and
very shortly pedicels. Its lower lip with the two
central teeth is longer than the rounded upper lip.
The bracts are stalked (shorter than the calyx),
ovate and acute. Corolla is 8-13 mm long and
white, pink or purplish in color. Nut lets are about
two mm long, ellipsoid, black and pitted [6].
Sepals of flower are five and remain fused into a
2-lipped calyx. Ovary is superior and is a 2-
carpellary, 4-locular and a 4-partite fruit of four
achiness [5].
1.3 Traditional Uses
Basil is well-known for its folk medicinal value
and is accepted officially in a number of countries
[14]. The leaves and flowers of basil are used in
folk medicine as a tonic and vermifuge, and basil
tea is good for treating dysentery, nausea and
flatulence. The oil of the plant is beneficial for the
alleviation of spasm, rhinitis mental fatigue, cold,
and as a first aid treatment for wasp stings and
snakebites [15]. It has been used as a folk
remedy for boredom and convulsion [16,17,18].
Basil cures headache, improves digestion and is
also good for toothache, earache and for curing
epistaxis when used with camphor. Infusion of
plant is effective in cephalagia, gouty joints,
fever, otitis and snake bite [6]. The plant is
effective in treatment of stomach problems,
fever, cough, gout and given internally to treat
cystitis, nephritis and in internal piles [3]. Infusion
of basil seed is used to treat gonorrhea, chronic
diarrhea and dysentery. Plant is also used to
keep away insects and snakes [19].
2. PHARMACOLOGICAL PROPERTIES
2.1 Analgesic and Anti-inflammatory
Activity
Methanolic extract of O. basilicum leaves
showed analgesic activity at 200 mg/Kg
concentration evaluated in Swiss Albino mice
and its analgesic activities was comparable with
aspirin [20]. In another study evaluating the
antinociceptive effects of O. basilicum’s essential
oil in mice by acetic acid-induced writhing test, it
was observed a reduction of the abdominal
contraction at 50, 100 and 200 mg/Kg body
weight. In hot plate test, essential oil at 50
mg/body wt. increased the latency of pain. The
results of peripheral and central antinociceptive
effects of essential oils are related to the
inhibition of the biosynthesis of pain mediators,
such as prostaglandins, prostacyclins and opioid
receptors interaction [21].
The effects of O. basilicum tincture (1:10) in
acute inflammation induced with turpentine oil in
Wistar male rats were examined and compared
with diclofenac. O. basilicum tincture markedly
suppressed the total leukocyte count, activation
of circulating phagocytes and monocyte
percentage but had a mild inhibitory effect on NO
Ahmad Ch et al.; BJPR, 7(5): 330-339, 2015; Article no.BJPR.2015.115
332
synthesis. O. basilicum tincture presented a
smaller inhibitory effect on all tested parameters
as compared to diclofenac [22].
2.2 Hypoglycemic and Hepato-protective
Activity
In-vitro hypoglycemic activity of basil aqueous
extract in mice was investigated. The extract
showed significant dose-dependent inhibition
against rat intestinal sucrose, maltose and
porcine pancreatic α-amylase. The inhibition was
marked against maltose as compared to sucrose.
These effects may be due to the high level of
total polyphenol content and flavonoid contents.
The results showed that basil aqueous extract
via antioxidant and possibly α-glucosidase and α-
amylase inhibiting activities, offered good
response to control diabetes [23].
The ethanolic extract of leaves of O. basilicum
showed hepatoprotective effects against H
2
O
2
and CCl
4
induced liver damage. The extract
exhibiting significant activity in superoxide radical
and nitric oxide radical scavenging, indicated
their potent antioxidant effects and also showed
significant anti-lipid peroxidation effects [24].
The effect of methanolic leaf extract of
O. basilicum after induction of hematotoxicity by
benzene in Swiss albino mice, was evaluated by
following the hematological parameters (Hb%,
RBC and WBC counts), cell cycle regulatory
proteins expression and DNA fragmentation
analysis of bone marrow cells. It was observed
an up-regulation of p53 and p21 and down-
regulation of levels of CDK2, CDK4, CDK6 and
cyclins D1 and E. DNA was less fragmented. The
secondary metabolites of basil leaf extract,
comprising essential oil monoterpene geraniol
and its oxidized form citral as major constituents,
presented modulatory effect in hematological
abnormalities and cell cycle deregulation induced
by benzene in mice [25].
2.3 Antihyperlipidemic and Anti-
Ulcerative Activity
Lipid lowering effects of aqueous O. basilicum
extract in Triton induced hyperlipidemic rats were
investigated. At 24 hr following O. basilicum
administration, total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol
and triglycerides levels decreased by 56%, 68%
and 63%, respectively in comparison with the
Triton treated group, but HDL-cholesterol was
not increased markedly. The antihyperlipidemic
effect exerted by O. basilicum extract was
significantly stronger than the effect induced by
Fenofibrate treatments. Moreover, O. basilicum
aqueous extract also showed a very high
antioxidant property [26].
Ethanolic and aqueous extracts of O. basilicum
whole plant prevented the development of
cysteamine hydrochloride induced gastric and
duodenal ulceration and increased healing of
gastric ulceration in rat models [27]. In
experimental animal models, O. basilicum’s fixed
oil presented significant antiulcer activity against
aspirin, indomethacin, alcohol, histamine,
reserpine, serotonin and stress-induced
ulceration. It was found that antiulcer activity
could be due to the lipoxygenase inhibiting,
histamine antagonistic and anti-secretory effects
of the oil [28]. Methanolic and aqueous extract of
Aerial parts of O. basilicum reduced the ulcer
index in aspirin induced gastric ulcer in rats.
Gastric mucosal strength is enhanced due to
reduction in acid and pepsin outputs [29].
2.4 Cardioprotective and Stimulant
Activity
The effects of ethanolic extract of aerial parts of
basil on cardiac functions and histopathological
changes produced in isoproterenol-induced
myocardial infarction (MI) were examined. All
doses of the extract notably reduced the ST-
segment elevation induced by isoproterenol.
Basil extract markedly improved fibrosis and
myocardial necrosis, suppressed left ventricular
contractility and significantly increase left
ventricular end-diastolic pressure. In addition to
in vitro antioxidant activity, the extract
significantly reduced the elevation of
malondialdehyde levels both in the myocardium
and the serum. The results of the study showed
that basil strongly protected the myocardium
against isoproterenol-induced infarction and
explain that the cardioprotective effects could be
related to antioxidative activities [30].
The alcoholic extract of aerial parts of basil
produced marked negative chronotropic and
positive ionotropic actions on frog heart. A
notable decrease in membrane Mg
+2
ATPase and
increase in Ca
+2
and Na
+
/K
+
ATPase are the
basis for the cardiotonic effect. The aqueous
extract produced positive ionotropic and positive
chronotropic effects. The cardiotonic and ß-
adrenergic effects were produced by the
aqueous and alcoholic extracts respectively [1].
Ahmad Ch et al.; BJPR, 7(5): 330-339, 2015; Article no.BJPR.2015.115
333
2.5 Sedative, Hypnotic and
Anticonvulsant Activity
The aerial part essential oil of O. basilicum was
screened for its sedative, hypnotic,
anticonvulsant and local anesthetic activities in
mice. Motor impairment was produced at higher
doses. The convulsions and percent of colonic
seizures increased in a dose-dependent manner
of O. basilicum oil. All doses of the essential oil
higher than 0.2 ml/Kg increased Pentobarbitone
sleeping time in mice. The ED
50
values of the
basil oil were 1.27 ml/Kg, 0.43 ml/Kg, and 0.61
ml/Kg, against convulsions induced by
strychnine, picrotoxin and pentylene tetrazole,
respectively. A nerve block model was used in
study to evaluate local anesthetic activity of the
O. basilicum oil by using frog, revealed that it had
no local anesthetic effect [16]. In another study
essential oil did not interfere with the convulsions
induced by strychnine. An interaction with central
GABAergic receptors could be responsible for
CNS depressant and anticonvulsant properties
[17]. The effects of essential oils fragrance on
humans inhaling was observed by a sensory test,
a portable forehead surface electro-
encephalographic (IBVA-EEG) measurement
and a multi-channel skin thermometer study.
Impression of basil was more effective after work
than before work, leading to decreased arousal
response [31].
2.6 Memory Retention and Stroke
Preventive Activity
Hydroalcoholic extract of green basil markedly
increased memory retention and retrieve memory
in mice with 400 mg/kg. The results showed that
memory enhancing effects of basil are due to
antioxidant activity of flavonoids, tannins and
terpenoids [32].
The effects of ethyl acetate extract of
O. basilicum leaves on ischemia and reperfusion-
induced cerebral damage and motor
dysfunctions in mice, were investigated. Pre-
treatment with basil extract significantly reduced
lipid peroxidation and cerebral infarct size,
restored glutathione (GSH) content and
attenuated impairment in motor coordination and
short-term memory. The results of this study
suggested that basil could be useful clinically in
the prevention of stroke [33].
2.7 Antimicrobial Activity
The antibacterial activity of the essential oils was
examined against multi resistant Escherichia coli
strain ATCC 25922, as well as 60 other clinical
strains of Escherichia coli also including
extended spectrum β-lactamase positive
bacteria. Test showed that basil oil has a greater
ability to inhibit bacterial growth but not effective
in resistant strains in nosocomial infections [22].
In another study, methanolic, ethanolic and
aqueous extracts of O. basilicum stem bark
elicited antimicrobial activities with zones of
inhibition ranging from 8 to 20, 5 to 12 and 0 to 8
mm for methanol, ethanol and water extracts,
respectively. The minimum inhibitory
concentration (MIC) of the ethanol extract ranged
from 0.5 to 6.25 mg/ml and methanol extract was
between 0.5 to 10 mg/ml. The minimum
bactericidal concentration (MBC) for methanol
extract ranged between 2.0 and 20 mg/ml, while
for ethanol ranged from 2.0 to 12.50 mg/ml. All
the extracts exhibited significant activity against
Candida albicans is an indication of their broad
spectrum antimicrobial potential [34]. Ethanol,
methanol, and hexane extracts from O. basilicum
were examined for their in vitro antimicrobial
properties. Out of three extracts of O. basilicum,
hexane extract showed a greater and broader
spectrum of antibacterial activity [34]. The
antibacterial activity of essential oils and
methanol extract of leaves and stem of
O. basilicum was examined for controlling the
growth of food-borne pathogenic bacteria.
O. basilicum displayed a greater potential of
antibacterial activity against Bacillius cereus,
B. subtilis, B. megaterium, Staphylococcus
aureus, Listeria monocytogenes, Escherichia
coli, Shigella boydii, S. dysenteriae, Vibrio
parahaemolyticus, V. mimicus, and Salmonella
typhi [36]. In another study, essential oil obtained
from the aerial parts of O. basilicum showed a
strong inhibitory effect against multidrug resistant
clinical isolates from the genera Staphylococcus,
Pseudomonas and Enterococcus [37]. Essential
oils and linalool, the most abundant component,
exhibited antibacterial activity against bacterial
strains: S. aureus, E. coli, Mucor mucedo,
Fusarium solani, Botryodiplodia theobromae,
B. subtilis, Pasteurella multocida and pathogenic
fungi Aspergillus niger, Rhizopus solani [38]. In
other study, essential oils from leaves of basil
plant were found effective against B. cereus and
S. aureus with MICs ranging 36-18 μg/mL and 18
μg/mL and E. coli and P. aeruginosa 18-9 μg/mL
[39]. Gel formulations of essential oils and acetic
acid and keratolytic medication were examined in
different combinations for their antimicrobial
effectiveness in patients affected by acne. The
results were found good especially for the acetic
acid mixture, which achieved improvements of
Ahmad Ch et al.; BJPR, 7(5): 330-339, 2015; Article no.BJPR.2015.115
334
75%. This appeared to be a result of their joint
keratolytic activity and antiseptic [40].
2.8 Antimycobacterial and Antiviral
Activity
The crude methanolic extract from the aerial
parts and nine compounds were investigated for
antituberculosis activity against Mycobacterium
tuberculosis H37Rv that exhibited up to 49%
inhibition of M. tuberculosis at 6.25 μg/ml,
supports the use of this plant in ethnomedicine
as a treatment for symptoms of tuberculosis [41].
Crude aqueous and ethanolic extracts of
O. basilicum and its selected purified
components, namely linalool, apigenin and
ursolic acid, exhibited a broad spectrum of
antiviral activity. Among these compounds,
ursolic acid showed the greatest activity against
DNA viruses: herpes viruses-1, enterovirus71
and RNA viruses: coxsackie virus B1 and
adenoviruses-8. Linalool showed strongest
activity against AVD-II, while apigenin exhibited
increased activity against HSV-2, ADV-3,
hepatitis B surface antigen and hepatitis B
antigen [42]. In another study the aqueous
extracts of O. basilicum showed potent anti-HIV-
1 activity with an ED
50
of 16 µg/ml [43].
2.9 Larvicidal and Antiparasitic Activity
85% mortality was observed in case of
O. basilicum against the malarial vector and the
methanolic extract can be used as bio-pesticide
[18]. Repellency against the adult females of
Culex pipiens was observed by essential oils
extracted from the dried foliage of O. basilicum
[44]. Significant toxic effect was observed by the
essential oil against late third-stage larvae of
Culex tritaeniorhynchus, Aedes albopictus and
Anopheles subpictus with LC
90
values of 23.44,
21.17 and 18.56 ppm and LC
50
values of 14.01,
11.97 and 9.75 ppm respectively [45].
The effects of O. basilicum essential oil on
Giardia lamblia and interaction of these parasites
by peritoneal mouse macrophage were
examined. The essential oil (2 mg/ml) and its
purified substances; Linalool (300 µg/ml)
exhibited antigiardial activity by clearly inhibiting
cysteine proteases [46]. In another study, the
effects of O. basilicum oil on Trichomonas
vaginalis trophozoites were examined. The
minimal lethal concentration of O. basilicum oil
was 30 μg/ml after 24 hr incubation, 20 μg/ml
after 48 hr and 10 μg/ml after 96 hr. Basil oil was
responsible for significant damage of the
membrane system of the trophozoites and
extensive vacuolization of the cytoplasm, leading
to inhibition of growth of T. vaginalis trophozoites
[47].
2.10 Chemopreventative and Chemo-
modulatory Activity
Ethanolic and aqueous extract of O. basilicum
caused the alterations in O,6-methylguanine-
DNA methyl transferase (MGMT) activity and
expression in human peripheral blood
lymphocytes and cancer cell lines. Increased
MGMT activity is considered beneficial
chemoprevention strategy. It also elevated
glutathione S-transferase-pi (GSTP1) expression
but to a lesser extent than MGMT [48].
The effects of hydroalcoholic extract of the fresh
leaves of O. basilicum on the liver of 8-9 weeks
old Swiss albino mice were examined. Basil leaf
extract, showed anticarcinogenic potential at
peri-initiational level and found very effective in
inhibiting carcinogen-induced tumor. Basil leaf
extract inhibited the Phase I enzyme activity and
augmented chiefly the Phase II enzyme activity
that is associated with detoxification of
xenobiotics. Basil extract induced antioxidant
level by prominent reduction of lipid peroxidation
and lactate dehydrogenase formation [49].
2.11 Anticancer Activity
The oil samples of O. basilicum at different
concentrations ranging from 0.019 to 4.962
mg/ml were examined on human mouth
epidermal carcinoma (KB) and murine leukemia
(P388) cell lines for anti-proliferative activity of
essential oil by using MTT assay. The highest
anti-proliferative activity was observed with IC
50
value of 0.0362 mg/ml (12.7 times less potent
than 5-fluorouracil (5FU) in P388 cell line [50]. In
another study, essential oil against the human
cervical cancer cell line (HeLa), human laryngeal
epithelial carcinoma cell line (HEp-2) and NIH
3T3 mouse embryonic fibroblasts is investigated
by using a methyl thiazol tetrazolium. The IC
50
values obtained were 90.5 and 96.3 µg/ml,
respectively and the results showed that basil oil
has potent cytotoxic effect [51].
2.12 Cytoprotective and Immuno-
modulatory Activity
The cytoprotective effects of rosmarinic acid
against aflatoxin, mycotoxin and ochratoxin
Ahmad Ch et al.; BJPR, 7(5): 330-339, 2015; Article no.BJPR.2015.115
335
induced cytotoxicity and carcinogenicity was
investigated in hepatoma-derived cell line
(HepG2) of human. Rosmarinic acid dose
dependently inhibited DNA and protein synthesis.
Apoptosis cell death was prevented by reduction
of DNA fragmentation and inhibition of caspase-3
activation [52].
The aqueous and ethanolic extracts derived from
the basil leaves showed a marked increase
circulating antibody titer in response to sheep red
blood cells (SRBCs) at 400 mg/kg/day in mice.
As compared to control group, basil showed a
significant increase in both primary and
secondary haemagglutination (HA) titer in
cyclophosphamide treated group. Basil
prominently potentiated the delayed type
hypersensitivity (DTH) reaction by favoring the
footpad thickness response to SRBCs in
sensitized mice. Also basil produced a marked
increase in percentage neutrophils adhesion to
nylon fibers and phagocytic activity. It was
suggested that immunostimulant effect of basil
could be due to the flavonoid content [53].
2.13 Antioxidant Activity
In vitro antioxidant activities of ethanolic, carbon
tetrachloride and chloroform extract of
O. basilicum was evaluated by using DPPH,
hydroxyl and nitric oxide radical scavenging
assay and reducing power assay. Ethanolic
extract of O. basilicums showed more antioxidant
activity as compared to standard antioxidants
[34]. To investigate the formulation antioxidant
effect, formulation having 3% of the concentrated
extract of Basil was tested. Formulation showed
prominent effects on skin moisture volume, skin
roughness, skin wrinkles, skin scaliness and skin
smoothness and showed a prominent increase in
energy. The results elicited that formulation
containing extract of Basil exert anti-aging effects
after topical application [54]. A similar study was
done on ethanolic extract of leaves of
O. basilicum which display significant nitric oxide
and superoxide radical scavenging activity,
indicating their potent antioxidant effects [24]. In
another study, it was observed that aqueous and
ethanolic extracts from O. basilicum increased
the O6-methylguanine-DNA methyl transferase,
responsible for antioxidant effects in human cells,
also increased glutathione S-transferase-P1 to a
smaller extent [48]. At the doses of 200 and
400 mg/Kg body weight of hydroalcoholic extract
of the fresh Basil leaves was very effective in
elevating antioxidant enzyme response by
prominently increasing the hepatic glutathione
reductase, superoxide dismutase and catalase
activities. Induction in antioxidant level was also
observed that correlates with the significant
suppression of lipid peroxidation and lactate
dehydrogenase formation [49]. The essential oils
from aerial parts of basil exhibited good
antioxidant activity as measured by DPPH free
radical-scavenging ability, inhibition of linoleic
acid oxidation and bleaching β-carotene in
linoleic acid system [38]. Water, acetone and
ethanolic extracts from leaves and flowers of
basil were tested in vitro for their antioxidant
ability. The results exhibited antioxidant activity
which may be due to its lipid peroxidation
inhibition, metal chelating activities and radical
scavenging properties [55]. The antioxidant
properties of five different extracts of
O. basilicum were studied. Ethyl acetate n-
butanol and aqueous extracts showed very
strong free radical scavenging activity. The
antioxidant activity was also explained by the
levels of phenolics and flavonoids contents in the
extract [56].
2.14 Effect on Testicular Toxicity and
Fertility
The efficacy of O. basilicum extracts, with
antioxidant properties, against testicular toxicity
induced by cadmium was examined. Treatment
with aqueous basil extract led to an improvement
in morphometrical, immunohistochemical and
histological changes induced by cadmium. The
beneficial effects of Basil extract could be due to
its antioxidant properties [57].
O. basilicum hydroalcoholic extract of leaves at
doses 364 mg/Kg and 624 mg/Kg was screened
for its anti-ovulatory, anti-implantation and
abortifacient activities in adult female cyclic
Wistar rats. A prominent increase in duration of
diestrus phase and estrus cycle was observed.
Ovarian weight decreased and significant
increase in ovarian tissue cholesterol level was
also observed. Weight of uterus was decreased.
According to histological report large corpora
lutea in ovarian parenchyma was found. Rats
treated with both the doses of extract have no
anti-implantation and abortifacient effect. Normal
ovulation affected by basil extract was due to
changes in estrus cycle and prolonging diestrus
phase thus, has a potential of being developed
into a female contraceptive [58].
2.15 Acute and Sub-chronic Toxicity of
Basil
The safety assessment of O. basilicum
hydroalcoholic extract in Wister rats was
Ahmad Ch et al.; BJPR, 7(5): 330-339, 2015; Article no.BJPR.2015.115
336
examined. The results of acute study showed
that LD
50
of O. basilicum is greater than 5 mg/Kg.
In sub-chronic study, no adverse effects were
observed on serum parameters. The
hematological results elicited a reduction in the
platelets; hematocrit and red blood cells (RBC)
[59].
3. CONCLUSION
Plants have been used for the treatment of
enormous number of diseases throughout the
world. “Sweet basil” is used in both Ayurvedic
and Unani system of medicine and also popular
for its culinary and ornamental uses. From
medicinal point of view, the vast survey of
literature showed that O. basilicum has a huge
spectrum of pharmacological activities. Crude
extracts and essential oil of various parts of
plants have been used for their antibacterial,
anticancer, anticonvulsant, antidiabetic,
antihyperlipidemic, anti-inflammatory, anti-
oxidant, antistress, hepatoprotective and
immunomodulatory properties. Sweet basil with
diverse biological potentials has a great scope
for further new area of investigations. Future
research should be emphasized on O. basilicum
for evaluation of its pharmacological properties
and for control of various diseases especially in
cancer, cardiac, neuropsychological disorders for
the welfare & service of mankind.
CONSENT
It is not applicable.
ETHICAL APPROVAL
It is not applicable.
COMPETING INTERESTS
Authors have declared that no competing
interests exist.
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... Leaves and flowers of O. basilicum were used as tonic and vermifuge, and can also be used as a tea to treat nausea, flatulence, and dysentery. O. basilicum contains essential oils that are commonly used to treat colds, seizures, and treatment of wasp stings and snakebites [44]. The polysaccharide component of O. basilicum was traditionally used as cancer treatment in China [45,46]. ...
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... According to vernacular knowledge, basil has wound-healing properties and its leaves and flowering tops are used for preparing infusions claimed to have sedative, antispasmodic, stomachic, diuretic, and antimicrobial effects (Ahmed et al., 2019;Amor et al., 2021). Furthermore, it is also used to treat indigestion and as a vermifuge due to its bioactive content and high nutraceutical value (Ch et al., 2015). These secondary metabolites of aromatic herbs are a precious reservoir of bioactive molecules that the pharmaceutical industry could use to develop new drugs and improve their natural chemical diversity (David et al., 2015). ...
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Purple basil is among the most important basil varieties and its essential oil is used for several purposes including medicinal and aromatic uses. Soil types may impact the plant growth, development, and essential oil composition. Hence, it is important to find the most suitable soil type which may produce basil plants having essential oil with the best composition and concentration. For this reason, plant samples of purple basil that were grown in areas with clay, loamy sand, and sandy-clay loam soil types were collected and evaluated to determine the changes in the yield and essential oil components. Essential oil contents were determined with the Clevenger Device, and essential oil compositions were determined by using GC and GC/MS analysis. The highest essential oil yield according to soil types was obtained from the plant samples that were grown in the loamy sand soil. It was also found that the main compounds present in Arapgir town purple basil were methylcinnamate and linalool that was also present in all Turkish purple basil under all types of soil. According to the soil types, the highest concentration (46.03%) of methylcinnamate was observed in loamy sand soils, and the lowest (42.33%) was obtained from sandy-clay loam soils and found to be significantly different. Data regarding correlations between soil types and essential oil ratios showed that organic matter and P2O5 had a significant negative correlation with methylcinnamate. The present study will help researchers and farmers to choose the most suitable soil type to achieve maximum essential oil production from purple basil.
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The considerable therapeutical problems of persistent infections caused by multidrug-resistant bacterial strains constitute a continuing need to find effective antimicrobial agents. The aim of this study was to demonstrate the activities of basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) and rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.) essential oils against multidrug- resistant clinical strains of Escherichia coli. A detailed analysis was performed of the resistance of the drug to the strains and their sensitivity to the tested oils. The antibacterial activity of the oils was tested against standard strain Escherichia coli ATCC 25922 as well as 60 other clinical strains of Escherichia coli. The clinical strains were obtained from patients with infections of the respiratory tract, abdominal cavity, urinary tract, skin and from hospital equipment. The inhibition of microbial growth by both essential oils, presented as MIC values, were determined by agar dilution. Susceptibility testing to antibiotics was carried out using disc diffusion. The results showed that both tested essential oils are active against all of the clinical strains from Escherichia coli including extended-spectrum β-lactamase positive bacteria, but basil oil possesses a higher ability to inhibit growth. These studies may hasten the application of essential oils in the treatment and prevention of emergent resistant strains in nosocomial infections.
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The present study examined the efficacy of Ocimum basilicum (basil) extract, a natural herb, with antioxidant properties, against testicular toxicity induced by cadmium (Cd), which is one of the most important toxic heavy metals. The intoxicated rats showed significant alterations in the testicular tissue including decreased seminiferous epithelium height and changes in the arrangement of spermatogenic layers. Hypospermatogensis with cytoplasmic vacuolization and pyknotic nuclei were observed. Intertubular hemorrahage and absence of spermatozoa were noted. Decreased cell proliferation was reflected by a decrease in Ki-67 expression, whereas the increase in apoptotic rate was associated with a decrease in the Bcl/Bax ratio. Concomitant treatment with aqueous basil extract led to an improvement in histological, morphometrical and immunohistochemical changes induced by Cd. The beneficial effects of basil extract could be attributed to its antioxidant properties.
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Objective: To evaluate the cardiac effects of extracts derived from the aerial parts of Ocimum basilicum Linn. Material and Methods: The aerial parts of Ocimum basilicum Linn. were extracted with 95% ethanol and double distilled water. The extracts were screened for their effects on frog-heart in situ preparation. Enzyme studies such as Na+/K+ ATPase, Ca2+ATPase and Mg2+ATPase were done on the heart tissue aspartate transaminase (AST), alanine transaminase (ALT), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and creatine phosphokinase (CPK) were estimated in the heart tissue and serum of albino rats after administering the extracts for 7 days. Results: The alcoholic extract produced significant positive ionotropic and negative chronotropic actions on frog heart. The positive ionotropic effect was selectively inhibited by nifedipine. A significant decrease in membrane Na+/K+ ATPase, Mg2+ATPase and an increase in Ca2+ATPase pointed the basis for the cardiotonic effect. The aqueous extract produced positive chronotropic and positive ionotropic effects which were antagonized by propranolol indicating that these might have been mediated through β-adrenergic receptors. Nifedipine also blocks the'action of the aqueous extract. Conclusion: The alcoholic extract exhibited a cardiotonic effect and the aqueous extract produced a β -adrenergic effect.
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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.
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Chemical composition, antioxidant and antimicrobial activities of the essential oils from aerial parts of basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) as affected by four seasonal, namely summer, autumn, winter and spring growing variation were investigated. The hydro-distilled essential oils content ranged from 0.5% to 0.8%, the maximum amounts were observed in winter while minimum in summer. The essential oils consisted of linalool as the most abundant component (56.7-60.6%), followed by epi-α-cadinol (8.6-11.4%), α-bergamotene (7.4-9.2%) and γ-cadinene (3.2-5.4%). Samples collected in winter were found to be richer in oxygenated monoterpenes (68.9%), while those of summer were higher in sesquiterpene hydrocarbons (24.3%). The contents of most of the chemical constituents varied significantly (p<0.05) with different seasons. The essential oils investigated, exhibited good antioxidant activity as measurements by DPPH free radical-scavenging ability, bleaching β-carotene in linoleic acid system and inhibition of linoleic acid oxidation. Evaluation of antimicrobial activity of the essential oils and linalool, the most abundant component, against bacterial strains: Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Bacillus subtilis, Pasteurella multocida and pathogenic fungi Aspergillus niger, Mucor mucedo, Fusarium solani, Botryodiplodia theobromae, Rhizopus solani was assessed by disc diffusion method and measurement of determination of minimum inhibitory concentration. The results of antimicrobial assays indicated that all the tested microorganisms were affected. Both the antioxidant and antimicrobial activities of the oils varied significantly (p<0.05), as seasons changed. Copyright © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.