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Abstract

Basil is an aromatic plant that encompasses scores of species of herb and shrub species belonging to the genus Ocimum L. (Lamiaceae). The name basil comes from the Greek basileus or "king." Common basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) leaves have had culinary importance for centuries. Several Ocimum species, collectively known as Tulsi in India and Nepal, are used in Ayurvedic and other traditional medicine systems. Purported uses for Tulsi and other Ocimum species include relief of stress and treatment of respiratory, gastrointestinal, and kidney ailments, as well as blood disorders and skin and eye diseases, to name a few. The present report is intended to provide a brief summary based on human studies from the scientific literature of the potential health benefits of basil relating to alleviating metabolic disorders, cognitive enhancement, strengthening the immune system, and oral and skin health.
Basil: A Brief Summary of Potential Health
Benefits
Keith W. Singletary, PhD
Basil is an aromatic plant that encompasses scores of
speciesofherbandshrubspeciesbelongingtothe
genus Ocimum L. (Lamiaceae). The name basil comes
from the Greek basileus or ‘‘king.’’ Common basil (Ocimum
basilicum L.) leaves have had culinary importance for cen-
turies. Several Ocimum species, collectively known as Tulsi
in India and Nepal, are used in Ayurvedic and other tradi-
tional medicine systems. Purported uses for Tulsi and other
Ocimum species include relief of stress and treatment of
respiratory, gastrointestinal, and kidney ailments, as well as
blood disorders and skin and eye diseases, to name a few.
The present report is intended to provide a brief summary
based on human studies from the scientific literature of
the potential health benefits of basil relating to alleviating
metabolic disorders, cognitive enhancement, strengthen-
ing the immune system, and oral and skin health. Nutr
Today. 2018;53(2):92Y97
There are numerous herbs and shrubs included in
the term basil, which collectively belong to the
genus Ocimum L. (Lamiaceae). The name basil
comes from the Greek basileus or ‘‘king.’’ Common basil
(Ocimum basilicum L.) leaves have had culinary im-
portance for centuries. More than 20 cultivars have been
identified with designations that include Napoletano,
Reunion, Genovese, sweet, oriental, Mexican, anise, and
purple basils, to name a few. This herb is cultivated widely
in Asia, Africa, South America, and the Mediterranean. In
foods, dried and fresh basil leaves season tomato dishes,
vegetables, fish, meat, soups, salads, and pizza. The es-
sential oils and aromatic extracts from Ocimum varieties
are also important components of dental products, phar-
maceuticals, cosmetics, and flavoring agents.
1Y4
Basil plants can differ substantially in genotype and
chemical profiles, although they may present similar
morphologies. Generally, basil essential oils can be
grouped into several chemotypes, each characterized by
their most prevalent phytochemicals. Such a group clas-
sification is monoterpenoids (eg, linalool, camphor),
phenylpropanoids (eg, eugenol, methyleugenol, estragole,
and methyl cinnamates), and sesquiterpenoids (eg, A-
caryophyllene, >-bergamotene).
5Y8
Phenolic profiles also
have been reported.
9,10
The variation in essential oil com-
position depends on region and conditions of cultiva-
tion,
11,12
species and cultivar,
13Y15
season of growth,
11,16
age or position of leaves selected,
17,18
harvesting pro-
cedures,
19,20
light exposure,
11,21,22
and methods of
extraction.
23Y26
Information about typical human intakes and bioavail-
ability of basil is limited. A Food Frequency Question-
naire completed by Norwegian adults determined intake
of fresh and dried basil to be approximately 2.2 g/mo.
27
To determine metabolites from basil, volunteers consumed
5 mL of a brewed basil beverage prepared from 500 g
basil.
28
Estragole, trans-anethole, and para-anisaldehyde
levels were then determined in plasma and urine after
consumption. The estragole concentrationinplasmasam-
ples at 8 hours following consumption was 324.7 Kg/mL or
60% of the initial amounts absorbed. Likewise, urine con-
centration of estragole at 9 hours was 59% of the initial dose
administered.
An Ocimum plant of note is holy basil, composed of
Ocimum tenuiflorum (previously Ocimum sanctum)and
sometimes Ocimum gratissimum species, also known as
Tulsi in India and Nepal, where it is used in Ayurvedic and
other traditional medicine systems. In South America, the
term altavaca refers to Ocimum used in traditional
medicines. Purported health benefits for Tulsi and other
Ocimum species include relief of stress and treatment of
respiratory, gastrointestinal, and kidney ailments, as well
as blood disorders and skin and eye diseases, to name a
few.
3,4,29
The present report is intended to provide a brief
Spices Series
92 Nutrition Today
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Volume 53, Number 2, March/April 2018
Keith W. Singletary, PhD, is professor emeritus of nutrition in the De-
partment of Food Science and Human Nutrition at the University of Illinois.
From 2001 to 2004, he was the director of the Functional Foods for Health
Program, an interdisciplinary program between the Chicago and Urbana-
Champaign campuses of the University of Illinois. Dr Singletary received
bachelor and master’s degrees in microbiology from Michigan State Uni-
versity and his doctor of philosophy degree in nutritional sciences from the
University of Illinois. Dr Singletary’s primary research interests are in molec-
ular carcinogenesis and cancer chemoprevention, specifically identifying and
determining the mechanism of action of phytochemicals in fruits, vegeta-
bles, and spices as cancer-protective agents. He has been recognized with
the Senior Faculty Award for Excellence in Research by the College of
Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences at the University of
Illinois. Dr Singletary currently resides in Florida.
Funding for the preparation of this article was provided by McCormick
and Co.
The author has no conflicts of interest to disclose.
Correspondence: Keith W. Singletary, PhD (kws@illinois.edu).
Copyright *2018 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.
DOI: 10.1097/NT.0000000000000267
Copyright © 2018 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.
summary of the potential health benefits of basil as iden-
tified from published scientific investigations involving
humans and to identify areas for additional research.
METHODS
A search of the PubMed database identified more than 100
relevant reports published prior to 2017. Search terms in-
cluded Ocimum, basil, altavaca, and Tulsi. Full reports of
English-language publications and English-language ab-
stracts of foreign-language articles from peer-reviewed
journals were the primary sources of information. Al-
though the quality of human studies varied consider-
ably, all published human investigations identified were
included in this discussion, so that the totality and diversity
of information can be evaluated, and issues for future re-
search can be identified.
Human Studies
As a component of Ayurvedic medicine for several millenia,
Tulsi was extensively studied in humans, especially in India.
A recent comprehensive review
29
of human trials systemat-
ically evaluated the efficacy of Tulsi in the treatment of
metabolic disorders, in modulation of the immune system,
and in improving neurocognition. For this published review,
the term Tulsi included both the O tenuiflorum (Osanctum)
and O gratissimum species. The current, brief summary
highlights select findings on topics covered by this com-
prehensive review and also adds newer information not
included for these Tulsi topics. In addition, biological actions
in humans of other Ocimum species are presented in the
current summary.
Metabolic Disorders
Seventeen Tulsi trials, conducted between 1964 and 2016,
were selected for the referenced, critical review publica-
tion.
29
The study populations numbered between 3 and
100. The form of Tulsi leaves administered varied con-
siderably (whole plant, powdered leaves, juice, and water
and ethanol extracts), as did the dose (300 mg/d to 6 g/d)
and frequency. Taken together, these studies observed
significant decreases in fasting and postprandial blood
glucose, improved lipid profiles, and lower blood pres-
sure in diabetic and obese participants. Those trials with
longer duration of intervention (12Y13 weeks) tended to
report more substantial beneficial changes. Where mea-
sured, hemoglobin A1C (HbA
1c
) and body mass index
(BMI) of obese participants were reduced. Only 1 ran-
domized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was among
the studies evaluated, and this trial observed an improve-
ment in lipid profiles for 6 of 22 participants. No adverse
events were reported in any trial.
In a separate study of a different Ocimum species, seeds of
Ocimum canum (or OamericanumL.), also known as
hairy basil, were given to nonYinsulin-dependent (n = 14)
and insulin-dependent (n = 2) Thai patients with dia-
betes.
30
Thirty grams of dried seeds was consumed after
meals in divided doses for 1 month. Compared with
baseline values, the blood glucose concentration curves
determined from the oral glucose tolerance test were
significantly suppressed after 1 month of treatment. These
seeds provided approximately 24 g/d dietary fiber, which
the authors suggested contributed to the lowering of
postprandial glucose levels and long-term improvement
in glucose tolerance in both the nonYinsulin-dependent
and insulin-dependent patients with diabetes.
In another trial
31
with Ocanum, effects on body compo-
sition and metabolic parameters in obese and overweight
subjects were examined. Obese patients (n = 5) were
instructed to decrease total energy intake to achieve 20%,
30%, and 50% of total caloric intake as protein, fat, and
carbohydrate, respectively. After 4 weeks, individuals were
provided basil seed extract (4 g/d swollen in water) for
12 weeks. Compared with baseline values, there were
significant but small decreases of 2.3% and 2.4% for weight
and BMI, respectively. No changes in serum lipid and
blood glucose levels and in body fat were observed. No
adverse effects were detected, and hematologic, renal,
and electrolyte parameters were normal.
The high-fiber seeds of O basilicum were also investi-
gated for effects on anthropometric measures in patients
with nonalcoholic fatty liver.
32
For this randomized,
parallel, single-blind trial, patients (n = 18) consumed
10 g/d of seeds for 12 weeks. Compared with controls,
no significant effect of seed consumption was seen for BMI,
percent body fat, and lean body mass. The authors attrib-
uted this lack of effect to the lower dose of seeds given to
the subjects.
Neurocognition
Four clinical trials evaluating the effect of Tulsi on
neurocognition were selected for the published sys-
tematic review.
29
Twoofthe4trialswererandomized,
double-blind, placebo-controlled designs. The form of
Tulsi provided included ethanolic extracts, whole plant,
or leaves, and doses varied from 300 mg/d to 6 g/d. All
trials were similar in outcomes, observing some degree
of positive changes, with benefits that included reduced
stress,anxiety,sexualproblems,anddepression,aswell
as enhanced working memory and cognitive attention.
No adverse events were reported.
A separate inhalation trial examined the impacts of basil (O
basilicum) or peppermint essential oils on mental work.
33
Adult volunteers were evaluated, in a single experimental
run, for changes in sensory perception and mental work
following use of inhalers loaded with the essential oils.
For basil, there was a positive association between inha-
lation of the essential oil and mental work, which was
accompanied by a significant increase in fingertip skin
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temperature and an increase in magnitude of Awaves of
the brain. The authors suggested that these responses
for basil demonstrated this fragrance’s capacity to trigger
neurophysiologic stimuli and elevate the alert state, find-
ings consistent with those reported by others.
34
Immunomodulation and Inflammation
For this topic, 5 clinical trials were selected for the critical
review.
29
Doses of ethanolic or aqueous extracts of Tulsi
leaves varied from 300 mg/d to 10 g/d, and durations of
intervention were shorter (1Y4 weeks). Beneficial immune
responses included increased natural killer and T-helper
cells in healthy adults and improved immune response to
viral infections. Patients with asthma reported enhanced
vital capacity and relief from asthmatic symptoms. Only 1
randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study was
among the 5 trials evaluated, and it found higher circu-
lating levels of select cytokines and interferons among the
22 subjects. The studies reported no adverse events.
Oral Health and Healing
Seven human studies evaluated basil for its effects on
oral cavity health in patients in India and Brazil. For 1
investigation,
35
the teeth and gums of 50 adult patients
weretreatedwithanextractofO basilicum (250 mg/d)
for 3 weeks. Before and after treatment, plaque and soft
matter in the gingival area were quantitated (referred to
as a plaque index), as were changes in purulent dis-
charges and gingival bleeding and reports of adverse
effects. A significant 12% reduction in the plaque index
was reported after 3 weeks, compared with the initial
scores. The authors also observed a significant treatment-
associated reduction in the populations of several oral
bacteria, and in 80% of the patients, there was a substantial
improvement in gingival bleeding and purulent discharge.
No adverse effects were noted.
In India, a randomized, crossover, Latin squareYdesigned
study evaluated schoolchildren (n = 45) for the efficacy
of 0.2% chlorhexidine, Listerine, and 4% Tulsi extract
mouth rinses in reducing salivary Streptococcus mutans
levels.
36
All 3 rinses significantly decreased salivary S mutans
levels, with mean reductions for chlorhexidine, Listerine,
and Tulsi of 53%, 45%, and 43%, respectively, compared
with baseline values. The only adverse effect of the Tulsi
rinse was a bitter taste, which the authors attributed to the
higher 4% concentration chosen. Two other studies also
evaluated the oral health benefits of holy basil (Osanctum).
A triple-blind, randomized, parallel-design, controlled trial
(30-day duration) among medical student volunteers ex-
amined the strength of a 4% ethanolic extract of Tulsi
(prepared from dried, powdered leaves), 0.12% chlor-
hexidine, and saline (n = 36/group) in decreasing plaque
and gingival inflammation.
37
Both holy basil and chlor-
hexidine treatments significantly decreased supragingival
plaque and gingivitis, compared with saline controls, and
no significant difference in efficacy was observed between
the 2 treatment groups. Similarly, in a single-blind, ran-
domized, parallel-design study,
38
a 4-day treatment with a
water extract of holy basil was found to significantly sup-
press plaque regrowth among 30 adult volunteers, com-
pared with water controls, and showed similar clinical
efficacy to 0.2% chlorhexidine.
Using O gratissimum samples, a randomized, parallel,
double-blind trial
39
evaluated the effectiveness of a mouth
rinse containing an extract of this basil species in inhibiting
de novo development of dental plaque and gingival in-
flammation, compared with a rinse containing 0.12% chlor-
hexidine digluconate (CLX). Following tooth polishing to
remove existing plaque, subjects (n = 10/group) brushed
teeth and rinsed with one of the formulations (3 times per
day) for 3 months. Compared with controls (no antiseptic
agents) at 90 days, the plaque index for basil and CLX rinses
significantly decreased by 43% and 64%, respectively. The
gingival bleeding index also significantly decreased by 63%
and 77% for the basil and CLX groups, respectively, com-
pared with controls. Taken together, these results indicate
similar efficacy of basil and CLX groups, and no adverse
effects were recorded for those using the basil rinse. In a later
clinical study by the same research group,
40
a crossover,
double-blind trial design was used to evaluate the effec-
tiveness of mouth rinses of this basil and CLX on plaque
regrowth in the absence of tooth brushing. Dental plaque
remnants were removed from subjects (n = 15), who then
rinsed twice daily with control, basil (10% vol/vol essential
oil) and CLX (0.12%) formulations for 3 days, while
abstaining from mechanical cleaning of teeth. Compared
with controls, both basil and CLX rinses significantly
inhibited de novo plaque growth, but the efficacy of the
CLX rinse was significantly better than that of the basil rinse.
For a clinical trial in India,
41
individuals with jaw (man-
dibular) fractures (n = 9) consumed 2.5 g of an alcoholic
extract of Tulsi (O sanctum) leaves (4 times per day)
during the period of jaw immobilization and healing
(4Y6 weeks). Compared with placebo controls (starch
powder, n = 9), subjects given Tulsi extract showed a
significant 32% reduction in time of immobilization.
Comparable evidence of complete clinical healing among
the 2 groups was demonstrated radiologically and by
identical bite force tensile strength results. No adverse
effects were reported.
Skin Health
Asingle-blindstudy
42
of male volunteers (n = 11) was
conducted evaluating a facial skin cream formulation
containing 3% concentrated ethanol extract of basil leaves
and flowers, compared with the base formulation without
basil. Subjects applied the 2 creams at night on separate
cheeks for 12 weeks. Biophysical measurements of skin
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Copyright © 2018 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.
smoothness, moisture, and wrinkle prevalence were de-
termined. Compared with the base cream, the formulation
with basil significantly enhanced moisture content, de-
creased roughness, and suppressed wrinkling. No harm-
ful effects were noted. Dermatology outpatients in India
were randomly assigned to control (n = 26) and treatment
(n = 25) groups in a single-blind controlled study.
43
The
control group was administered a standard treatment for
acne consisting of oral tetracycline (500 mg, 2 times per
day) and a facial sulfur lotion (2 times per day), and the
treatment group members were instructed to manually
crush fresh Obasilicumleaves, smear the resulting juice
onthefacialacnelesions,andleavethiscoveringover-
night until washing with mild soap the next morning. Both
groups continued these protocols for 8 weeks. The re-
sponses of the acne lesions (comedones, papules, pus-
tules, and cysts) to treatment indicated that the basil
treatment was just as effective as the standard acne drug. A
randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial evaluated a
series of 16 O gratissimumYcontaining formulations (n =
7/formulation) on management of acnes vulgaris in uni-
versity students in Nigeria.
44,45
Test samples were pre-
pared from 1 of 4 doses of O gratissimum essential oil
along with 1 of 4 base blends and applied to the face
topically (2 times per day) for 4 weeks. Compared with
the lesion counts prior to the study, at 4 weeks the essential
oil preparations, especially at the higher doses, were sig-
nificantly more efficacious than a reference drug product
(10% benzoyl peroxide lotion) in reducing the number
of papules and pustules. Adverse effects were reported
to be minimal, with some higher doses producing skin
irritation.
Safety
As reported in numerous human trials, adverse effects of
Tulsi appear to be minimal. This, along with its long his-
tory of use in Ayurvedic medicine, suggests that it has no
oral toxicity at the doses used.
1
Toxicological experiments
in animals of the essential oil and of alcoholic extracts
demonstrated no toxic effects of oral administration up to
the highest doses tested.
46,47
Some reports led to a con-
cern that excessive consumption of cultivars with high
contents of estragole could be problematic,
48,49
but ad-
verse effects are unlikely at typical levels of human con-
sumption.
28
There are reports suggesting dietary Tulsi can
affect the reproductive behavior of male rats and rab-
bits,
50,51
although the relevance of the doses examined to
human intakes is not known.
CONCLUSIONS
Portions of the basil plant, especially the leaves, and its
extracts demonstrated health benefits in a variety of clinical
settings (Table). All the species tested, O tenuiflorum/O
sanctum,O basilicum, and Ocanum, showed some level
of benefit, with the magnitude of change depending on the
end point examined and the experimental methods. The
benefits identified include improving glucose homeostasis
and lipid profiles for patients with diabetes, strengthening
TABLE Reports Some of the Purported Benefits of Ocimum Species From Human Studies
Topic Ocimum Dose
a
Potential Benefits Adverse Events Ref.
Metabolic disorders 300 mg/d to 6 g/d
(whole plant, leaves,
seeds, extracts)
Improvement in blood
glucose regulation and
lipid profiles
None
29,31,32
Memory and cognition 300 mg/d to 6 g/d
(whole plant, leaves,
extracts, essential oil)
Reduced stress
response, anxiety,
depression; improved
mental performance
None
29,33,34
Immunity and
inflammation 300 mg/d to 10 g/d
(extracts of leaves) Improved immune
responses and relief
from asthmatic
symptoms
None
29
Oral health and healing 250 mg/d, various oral
formulations (essential
oil, extracts of plant)
Decreased plaque
deposition, less gingival
inflammation and
bleeding, enhanced
healing jaw fractures
None
35Y41
Skin health 3% cream, various skin
formulations (leaves,
essential oil)
Decreased wrinkling,
improved acne
treatment
None
42Y45
a
Duration of dosing varied from 1 to 13 weeks depending on clinical trial.
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95
Copyright © 2018 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.
of the immune system, alleviating stress and anxiety, and
enhancing memory. Oral and skin health and healing were
reported. Comparisons of beneficial effects among Ocimum
species exhibiting different chemotypes are difficult to make
at this point. The number of clinical trials evaluating specific
health issues vary greatly among species. Only 2 studies
were reported for Ocanumin which inconsistent responses
of postprandial glucose levels to basil administration were
noted. Similarly, only 4 reports indicated benefits for O
basilicum in mental performance, treatment of acne, and
tooth health, with no effect seen for BMI and percent body
fat. In contrast, at least 34 clinical trials have been conducted
for Tulsi (Osanctum,O tenuiflorum,Ogratissimum)in
which benefits were observed toward metabolic disorders,
mental and immune health, gingival inflammation and
tooth decay, and skin health. Valid comparisons of health
benefits among these species await more reports of trials
using species other than those in Tulsi.
Despite no adverse events being detected at the doses
and durations of basil evaluated in these human in-
vestigations, any adverse effects from long-term intake
of basil and its extracts need to be carefully documented.
Although there is encouragement to include basil in the
diet to improve management of diabetes and the meta-
bolic syndrome,
52
several issues need to be more thor-
oughly addressed when assessing all these purported
health benefits. As Jamshidi and Cohen
29
have pointed
out, only a minority of the published studies can be
considered high-quality, and approximately only 13%
of the trials incorporated a double-blind approach. The
methodological concerns, as well as the widespread lack
of details about the basil cultivars, dosage form, and
chemical composition of the test samples, suggest that
there are still insufficient data to support specific recom-
mendations for use. Additional studies are needed with
larger subject populations, longer periods of intervention,
and better characterization of the effective forms and the
active dietary doses of basil. Studies should report chem-
ical composition of samples, and, in any trials using basil
for adjunct or complementary treatments, data on in-
teractions with commonly prescribed drugs should be
provided.
29
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Volume 53, Number 2, March/April 2018 Nutrition Today
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... The amino acid INTRODUCTION Basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) is an annual plant belonging to the Lamiaceae family growing in the tropical and subtropical regions of America, Africa, Asia, and the southern areas of Europe (Kwee and Niemeyer, 2011). Basil has considerable commercial importance not only as a fresh-market herb for culinary and ornamental purposes but also for the production of phytochemicals used for medicinal scopes (Singletary, 2018). The medicinal properties of basil can be mainly ascribed to the presence of a plethora of biologically active compounds in its leaves, characterized by different chemical structure, encompassing for instance phenolic acids (i.e., rosmarinic and caffeic acids), flavonol glycosides (quercetin and kaempferol), and anthocyanins (Flanigan and Niemeyer, 2014;Ghasemzadeh et al., 2016;Złotek et al., 2016;Singletary, 2018). ...
... Basil has considerable commercial importance not only as a fresh-market herb for culinary and ornamental purposes but also for the production of phytochemicals used for medicinal scopes (Singletary, 2018). The medicinal properties of basil can be mainly ascribed to the presence of a plethora of biologically active compounds in its leaves, characterized by different chemical structure, encompassing for instance phenolic acids (i.e., rosmarinic and caffeic acids), flavonol glycosides (quercetin and kaempferol), and anthocyanins (Flanigan and Niemeyer, 2014;Ghasemzadeh et al., 2016;Złotek et al., 2016;Singletary, 2018). Other important components contained in both basil leaves and flowers are essential oils, which play a pivotal role in the medicinal and food application of this plant (Avetisyan et al., 2017;Burducea et al., 2018). ...
Article
Full-text available
Sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) is one of the most produced aromatic herbs in the world, exploiting hydroponic systems. It has been widely assessed that macronutrients, like nitrogen (N) and sulfur (S), can strongly affect the organoleptic qualities of agricultural products, thus influencing their nutraceutical value. In addition, plant-growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) have been shown to affect plant growth and quality. Azospirillum brasilense is a PGPR able to colonize the root system of different crops, promoting their growth and development and influencing the acquisition of mineral nutrients. On the bases of these observations, we aimed at investigating the impact of both mineral nutrients supply and rhizobacteria inoculation on the nutraceutical value on two different sweet basil varieties, i.e., Genovese and Red Rubin. To these objectives, basil plants have been grown in hydroponics, with nutrient solutions fortified for the concentration of either S or N, supplied as SO42– or NO3–, respectively. In addition, plants were either non-inoculated or inoculated with A. brasilense. At harvest, basil plants were assessed for the yield and the nutraceutical properties of the edible parts. The cultivation of basil plants in the fortified nutrient solutions showed a general increasing trend in the accumulation of the fresh biomass, albeit the inoculation with A. brasilense did not further promote the growth. The metabolomic analyses disclosed a strong effect of treatments on the differential accumulation of metabolites in basil leaves, producing the modulation of more than 400 compounds belonging to the secondary metabolism, as phenylpropanoids, isoprenoids, alkaloids, several flavonoids, and terpenoids. The primary metabolism that resulted was also influenced by the treatments showing changes in the fatty acid, carbohydrates, and amino acids metabolism. The amino acid analysis revealed that the treatments induced an increase in arginine (Arg) content in the leaves, which has been shown to have beneficial effects on human health. In conclusion, between the two cultivars studied, Red Rubin displayed the most positive effect in terms of nutritional value, which was further enhanced following A. brasilense inoculation.
... Sweet basil, one of the most economically important aromatic culinary herbs, is widely used as seasoning in the form of fresh and dried herbs (Bączek et al., 2019). It has been reported by Singletary (2018) that basil has commercial importance for the production of phytochemicals used for medicinal purposes, as well as being a culinary and ornamental fresh market herb. On the other hand, since flowering basil herb contains much-appreciated fragrance components used in cosmetics such as linalool, citronellol, geraniol and limonene (Pitman, 2004;Sharmeen et al., 2021), the cosmetic industry uses basil oil in shampoos, soaps, lotions, and perfumes. ...
... Like most aromatic herbs, they grow quickly, indoors or outdoors. They are known for their culinary and medicinal usage, namely to alleviate metabolic disorders, cognitive enhancement, strengthening the immune system, and oral and skin health [12]. ...
Conference Paper
The European Project Semester (EPS) is a multicultural, multidisciplinary teamwork and project-based learning framework offered to engineering, business and product design undergraduates by a network of European Higher Education institutions, including the Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto (ISEP). In the spring of 2021, five EPS@ISEP students from distinct countries and fields of study joined efforts to address the smart and sustainable food production issue. This paper reports their research and development of Wormify, a solution based on vermicomposting. The main goal of the project was to design, simulate, test and build a prototype following ethical and sustainable practices. Wormify aims to minimize the problem of feeding the growing global population, and to prevent food waste from going to landfills. These objectives were pursued by designing a smart modular system for urban rooftops or small balconies. Several modules can be connected to form a place for residents to meet and socialize. The smart system allows monitoring through an app/website. This paper presents the background studies, the concept and design, the development and final results.
... The application of basil in Malaysia is closely related to basil seeds that is used as drinks' ingredient. Some of the benefits of drinking beverages containing basil seeds are, it can treat skin infections, lower the body temperature, overcome digestive problems and others (Singletary, K. W, 2018). The suitable potential research is dietary test to find out the appropriate dosage needed for diabetes patients and others. ...
Article
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Flora is nature's valuable treasure. The importance of flora in preserving the ecosystem is undeniable. Furthermore, there are several plants that have been mentioned in the Quran and hadiths. Some of them are camphor, basil, jujube, henna and pomegranate. The question is what are the characteristics of each plants mentioned above for them to have been placed in the religious texts? Thus, this research focusses on the potential scientific elements present in the plants to investigate its specialties. Based on the literature reviewed, it is found that previous research on camphor, basil, jujube, henna and pomegranate proved that each of the plants mentioned contains its own benefits. Hopefully, this article will open doors to further research that will bring profitable results for Malaysia.
... Basil is one of the most commonly produced aromatic herbs in the world (Kwee and Niemeyer, 2011). It is a commercial product with a high importance as an herb for culinary as well as for medicinal and ornamental use (Singletary, 2018). ...
Article
Horticultural production systems are under pressure to find environmentally friendly growing media. Peat is currently the most popular substrate for fresh potted herbs production; however, this raw material is not sustainable due to the large amount of greenhouse gases released during its harvesting. Therefore, the goal of the study was to test the performance of various commercial wood fiber products and compare them with peat and coir in an ebb-and-flow production system with basil (Ocimum basilicum L. 'Marian'). Basil plants were grown in three different pot sizes (6, 9 and 12 cm in diameter) and under various fertigation regimes (EC 1, 2 and 3). Height and biomass of the plants were recorded when the best performing plants reached the commercial stage. The tallest plants and greatest biomass were produced in peat and coir, however, the results confirm that wood fiber can be a promising substrate alternative. Further research is needed to study, among others topics, how to modify some properties of wood fibers to fulfil their potential as a replacement for non-sustainable growing media in production of herbs in pots. © 2021 International Society for Horticultural Science. All rights reserved.
... The variation and concentration of components is based on region, method of cultivation and methods of extraction [27]. While being used predominantly as a flavoring, basil and it's essential oil have garnered research in the field of antioxidants due to some of its primary components (phenolic and polyphenolic compounds) [28] being used as preservatives for food and other non-shelf stable items (pharmaceuticals).The preservatives made from basil oil are created using antioxidant molecules in sacrificial reactions to reduce the amount of oxidation within an oxidation reaction known as lipid oxidation (autoxidation). ...
Thesis
Full-text available
Plasma agriculture is an increasingly diverse field, where effects of nonthermal or cold plasma are measured by their influence on plant physiology and growth rate. Effects range from sterilization, germination, increased growth rate, cell metabolism, and so forth. This study aims to investigate the understanding of the generation of specific reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (RONS) from a nonthermal atmospheric DBD helium-based plasma jet and identify quantifiable effects that can directly translate to different applications related to plasma agriculture. Basil plants were separated into treated and control groups and grown hydroponically. The treated plants received a 30 second exposure treatment biweekly treatment with an atmospheric pressure plasma jet (APPJ). Plants were analyzed during the growing phase and then harvested after 8 weeks where steam distillation was utilized to extract essential oil from the leaves. The plasma jet was analyzed to characterize the excited species being produced using emission spectroscopy within the range of 300 - 800 nm. The change in pH from interactions with these excited species was measured by exposing water to the plasma jet and measuring pH. The extracted oil was analyzed using the DPPH antioxidant scavenging assay to determine percent antioxidant activity (AA%). The change in pH when using the plasma jet in water, determined that there is a substantial increase, then a decrease in pH over time when using the plasma jet to treat water. This is further supported by emission spectroscopy being able to identify the components of OH-, O-, N+, N2+ and He metastable which leads to the chemical formation of other reactive species such as NO, NO2,, and O2. These chemical species lead to the pH change seen when treated in water, and the effects noted throughout the study (growth rate increase, changes in AA%) are also supported in literature to be attributed to these different reactive species coming in contact with plant material. When compared to other research, these effects overlap with different plants as well as different jet treatments being used in the plasma agricultural research field. Through DPPH scavenging assay, the extracted oil from plasma treated basil plants had a higher average AA% (about 1 – 2%) which is hypothesized to be attributed from the different antioxidant components (Eugenol, Limonene, Ocimene) present in the basil being increased. While concentrations of these components were not measured, it is proposed that the increase in AA% can be attributed to them based on previous research with plasma-treated basil.
... Preclinical evidence shows herbs and spices affect glucose and lipid metabolism and have antiinflammatory and antioxidant properties. [10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21][22] Despite in vitro and animal research suggestive of cardiometabolic benefit, it is less well established how intake of herbs and spices affects risk factors for cardiometabolic diseases in humans. ...
Article
Herbs and spices are recommended to increase flavor and displace salt in the diet. Accumulating evidence suggests herbs and spices may improve risk factors for cardiometabolic diseases. In this narrative review, an overview of evidence from human clinical trials examining the effect of herbs and spices on risk factors for cardiometabolic diseases is provided. Human clinical trials examining supplemental doses of individual spices and herbs, or the active compounds, have yielded some evidence showing improvements to lipid and lipoprotein levels, glycemic control, blood pressure, adiposity, inflammation, and oxidative stress. However, cautious interpretation is warranted because of methodological limitations and substantial between-trial heterogeneity in the findings. Evidence from acute studies suggests intake of mixed herbs and spices as part of a high-saturated fat, high-carbohydrate meal reduces postprandial metabolic impairments, including lipemia, oxidative stress, and endothelial dysfunction. Limited studies have examined the postprandial metabolic effects of incorporating mixed herbs and spices into healthy meals, and, to our knowledge, no trials have assessed the effect of longer-term intake of mixed herbs and spices on risk factors for cardiometabolic diseases. To inform evidence-based guidelines for intake of herbs and spices for general health and cardiometabolic disease risk reduction, rigorously conducted randomized controlled trials are needed, particularly trials examining herb and spice doses that can be incorporated into healthy dietary patterns.
... cinammom, O. anisatum, O. purpurescens, O. album, O. thyrsiflorum and O. gratissimum. It has been demonstrated that they present chemical compounds such as oxygenated monoterpenes and phenylpropanoids [19]. According to previous studies, these compounds present antibacterial and antifungal biological activity. ...
Article
Full-text available
The extraction of bioactive compounds has become one of the most interesting areas of modern chemistry. For therapeutic reasons, it´s important to obtain antimicrobial agents from natural origin. The objective of the present study was to determine the inhibitory effect of ethanolic extract of basil (Ocimum basilicum L. var. Red Rubin) subjected to different concentrations of potassium (K +) on the activity of three bacterial strains that are pathogens in humans. Susceptibility was evaluated by inhibition surface and these results were compared to two antibiotics: Gentamicin (GE) and Ciprofloxacin (CPF) for their efficacy against each bacterial strain. Analyzed variables presented significant difference (p ≤ 0.05). According to the results, basil extract evaluated showed positive antibac-terial activity against the three strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Listeria monocytogenes and Staphylococcus aureus on Mueller Hinton agar. It was observed highest inhibition areas of different diameters (15.3 mm, 21.3 mm and 21.6 mm respectively) when the extract used was obtained from the plants with the highest concentration of potassium (13 mmol L-1). These values were even superior to the highest values showed on the treatments with the antibiotic gentamicin.
Article
Tungsten oxide (WO3) nanoparticles were prepared hydrothermally by basil leaves extract, and Activated Carbon (AC) was prepared by the carbonization of date pits. Moreover, 1, 2 and 3% of AC doped WO3 nanoparticles have been fabricated under hydrothermal conditions. The obtained samples have been characterized by using different techniques such as x-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), simultaneous thermogravimetric analysis (TG-DTGA), Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR), BET surface area, and Ultra-Violet spectroscopy (UV-Vis). It was observed that band-gap energy of the fabricated materials decreases by increasing AC amount. Similarly, BET surface area and porosity results showed increasing the content of AC, surface area, pore size and pore volume were decreased. The functional groups, determined by FT-IR, played a significant role in the photocatalytic performance. The photocatalytic performance of fabricated samples was used for the degradation of methylene blue (MB) at neutral pH under visible light radiations, and it is observed that WO3/3%AC photocatalyst showed the highest degradation of MB. Both, capped phytochemicals of basil extract and the nanocomposites, were improved the photocatalytic performance, about 94% photodegradation was observed within 25 min under the reaction conditions. The photocatalyst was stable and about 85 and 81% photodegradation of MB were found under the two times of reusability tests.
Article
The present study was to analyze the in vitro antibacterial activity and the effects on cholesterol esterase activity of the methanol extract from Basil leaves and its hexane, ethyl acetate, butanol, and aqueous fractions. The highest total phenolic and flavonoid contents were recorded in the methanol extract. Total 92 compounds were determined by using GC‐MS belong to hydrocarbons, fatty acids, alcohols, esters, and phenols which reportedly have a variety of biological activities such as antibacterial, antiviral, anti‐inflammatory, and anti‐carcinogenic activities. This study evaluated the antibacterial activity of the Basil methanol extract and its fractions based on the inhibitory concentrations of Escherichia coli at 50 mg/mL. The best results were obtained with the methanol extract, hexane, and ethyl acetate fractions, which exhibited anti‐cholesterol esterase activity.
Article
Full-text available
Five varieties of Ocimum basilicum L. namely lettuce, cinnamon, minimum, latifolia, and violetto were separately cultivated in field and greenhouse in the island Kefalonia (Greece). The effect of successive harvesting to the essential oil content was evaluated. In total 23 samples of essential oils (EOs) were analyzed by GC-FID and GC-MS. Ninety-six constituents, which accounted for almost 99% of the oils, were identified. Cluster analysis was performed for all of the varieties in greenhouse and field conditions, in order to investigate the possible differentiation on the chemical composition of the essential oils, obtained between harvests during growing period. Each basil variety showed a unique chemical profile, but also the essential oil composition within each variety seems to be differentiated, affected by the harvests and the cultivation site.
Article
Full-text available
Basil (Ocimum L.) species are used as medicinal plants due to their essential oils exhibiting specific biological activity. The present work demonstrated that both the variety and season/conditions of cultivation had a significant effect on (i) the produced amount (extraction yield), (ii) qualitative, as well as (iii) quantitative profile of basil essential oil. Among studied basil varieties, a new variety, ‘Mánes’, was characterized for the first time. Based on our quantitative evaluation of GC-MS profiles, the following chemotypes and average concentrations of a main component were detected in the studied basil varieties: ‘Ohře’, ‘Lettuce Leaf’, ‘Purple Opaal’, ‘Dark Green’ (linalool, 5.99, 2.49, 2.34, 2.01 mg/mL, respectively), and ‘Mammolo Genovese’, ‘Mánes’, ‘Red Rubin’ (eucalyptol, 1.34, 0.96, 0.76 mg/mL, respectively). At the same time, when considering other compounds identified in GC-MS profiles, all the studied varieties, except from ‘Lettuce Leaf’, were methyl eugenol-rich with a strong dependence of the eugenol:methyl eugenol ratio on the seasonal changes (mainly solar irradiation, but also temperature and relative humidity). More complex and/or variable (depending on the season and cultivation) chemotypes were observed with ‘Lettuce Leaf’ (plus estragole, 2.27 mg/mL), ‘Dark Green’ (plus eucalyptol, 1.36 mg/mL), ‘Mammolo Genovese’ (plus eugenol, 1.19 mg/mL), ‘Red Rubin’ (plus linalool and eugenol, 0.46 and 0.56 mg/mL, respectively), and ‘Mánes’ (plus linalool and eugenol, 0.58 and 0.40 mg/mL, respectively). When considering superior extraction yield (ca. 17 mL·kg−1, i.e., two to five times higher than other examined varieties) and consistent amounts (yields) of essential oil when comparing inter-seasonal or inter-year data (RSD and inter-year difference in mean yield values ˂2.5%), this new basil variety is very promising for use in the pharmaceutical, food, and cosmetic industries.
Article
Full-text available
Tulsi, also known as holy basil, is indigenous to the Indian continent and highly revered for its medicinal uses within the Ayurvedic and Siddha medical systems. Many in vitro, animal and human studies attest to tulsi having multiple therapeutic actions including adaptogenic, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, cardioprotective, and immunomodulatory effects, yet to date there are no systematic reviews of human research on tulsi’s clinical efficacy and safety. We conducted a comprehensive literature review of human studies that reported on a clinical outcome after ingestion of tulsi. We searched for studies published in books, theses, conference proceedings, and electronic databases including Cochrane Library, Google Scholar, Embase, Medline, PubMed, Science Direct, and Indian Medical databases. A total of 24 studies were identified that reported therapeutic effects on metabolic disorders, cardiovascular disease, immunity, and neurocognition. All studies reported favourable clinical outcomes with no studies reporting any significant adverse events. The reviewed studies reinforce traditional uses and suggest tulsi is an effective treatment for lifestyle-related chronic diseases including diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and psychological stress. Further studies are required to explore mechanisms of action, clarify the dosage and dose form, and determine the populations most likely to benefit from tulsi’s therapeutic effects.
Article
Full-text available
Background The plants belonging to the Ocimum genus of the Lamiaceae family are considered to be a rich source of essential oils which have expressed biological activity and use in different area of human activity. There is a great variety of chemotypes within the same basil species. Essential oils from three different cultivars of basil, O. basilicum var. purpureum, O. basilicum var. thyrsiflora, and O. citriodorum Vis. were the subjects of our investigations. Methods The oils were obtained by steam distillation in a Clevenger-type apparatus. The gas chromatography mass selective analysis was used to determine their chemical composition. The antioxidant activities of these essential oils were measured using 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl assays; the tyrosinase inhibition abilities of the given group of oils were also assessed spectophotometrically, and the antimicrobial activity of the essential oils was determined by the agar diffusion method, minimal inhibitory concentrations were expressed. Results According to the results, the qualitative and quantitative composition of essential oils was quite different: O. basilicum var. purpureum essential oil contained 57.3% methyl-chavicol (estragol); O. basilicum var. thyrsiflora oil had 68.0% linalool. The main constituents of O. citriodorum oil were nerol (23.0%) and citral (20.7%). The highest antioxidant activity was demonstrated by O. basilicum var. thyrsiflora essential oil. This oil has also exhibited the highest tyrosinase inhibition level, whereas the oil from O. citriodorum cultivar demonstrated the highest antimicrobial activity. Conclusions The results obtained indicate that these essential oils have antioxidant, antibacterial and antifungal activity and can be used as natural antioxidant and antimicrobial agents in medicine, food industry and cosmetics.
Article
Full-text available
The profile and bioactivity of essential oil (EO) depends on genetic, environmental, and other factors. We hypothesized that the basil EO may be influenced by the distillation methods. Hence, a study was conducted to evaluate the effect of steam distillation (SD) and hydrodistillation (HD) extraction method on the yield, composition, and bioactivity of EO of sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum) and holy basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum). In both basil species, the EO yield (content) was significantly higher from SD than from HD. There were significant differences in the compounds’ concentrations of EO obtained from SD and HD as well, however, the same compounds were identified in the EO from HD and SD. In the EO of O. basilicum, the concentration of 74% of the identified compounds were higher in SD than HD, whereas in the EO of O. tenuiflorum, the concentration of 84% of identified compounds were higher in SD than in HD. However, the concentrations of two of the major compounds of O. basilicum EO (estragole and methyl cinnamate) and a major compound of O. tenuiflorum EO (methyl eugenol) were significantly higher in HD than in SD. The type of distillation did not affect the antioxidant capacity of basil EO within the species. This study demonstrated that the type of distillation may significantly affect oil yield and composition but not the antioxidant capacity of the EO from sweet and holy basil. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Article
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The aim of this study was to evaluate the antiplaque effect of Ocimum gratissimum (Og) by in vivo investigation. Fifteen healthy volunteers participated in a crossover, double-blind clinical study, using a 3-day partial-mouth plaque accumulation model. The participants abolished any method of mechanical oral hygiene and they were randomly assigned to initially use just the following mouthrinses: distilled water (DW solution), 0.12% chlorhexidine digluconate (CLX solution) or 10% Og (Og solution). The plaque index (PLI) was recorded in all mandibular teeth at the end of the trial and the Kruskal-Wallis (α=0.05) and Mann-Whitney (α=0.05) tests were used to estimate the difference among groups. The clinical results showed statistically significant difference among the groups (p<0.05), favoring the CLX solution and Og solution, but the first was more effective (p<0.05). The mouthrinses containing 0.12% chlorhexidine digluconate and 10% Og were able to inhibit plaque re-growth, however Og showed more limited results in comparison to CLX. © 2016, Associacao Brasileira de Divulgacao Cientifica. All rights reserved.
Article
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Background Due to the attribution of fatty liver with some chronic diseases such as obesity, finding a way to control obesity can be useful for the management of fatty liver. This study was performed to assess the effects of Plantago psyllium (PP) and Ocimum basilicum (OB) on anthropometric measurements in people with hepatic steatosis. Methods All patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) were enrolled in this four-arm parallel, randomized, and single blind trial. They randomly assigned into four groups receiving (1) OB 10 g/day; (2) PP 10 g/day; (3) mix of OB and PP 10 g/day; and (4) control group without placebo for 12 weeks. Anthropometric measurements were assessed during study baseline and after 12 weeks intervention. The data were analyzed using paired sample t-test for within group and analysis of covariance for between groups. Results In within group analysis, weight and body mass index show a significant reduction after 12 weeks intervention. In addition, soft lean mass and lean body mass were decreased in PP and mixed of PP and OB groups significantly; another group (OB) shows the same result for mass body fat. Although in intervention groups, we see considerable reduction, between group changes did not demonstrate the same consequences. Conclusions The results of this study showed that administration of OB, PP, or mix of them for 12 weeks does not affect any of the anthropometric measures in NAFLD.
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