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Holy Basil (Ocimum Sanctum) - Health Benefits, Medicinal Properties, Uses, Dosage

ocimum sandum natural herbs

English: Sacred basil, holy basil

Hindi: Tulsi

Sanskrit: Surasa, vrinda

In Indian mythology the plant is considered to extirpate all sins and purify the body when touched. It is often grown outside dwellings and worshipped daily. It is said to daunt Yama, the god of death, but has a close affinity with Lord Krishna who is reputed to have grown the herb. If offered to Lord Krishna it is said to lead to salvation and is considered to have mystical powers of protection from death, disease and misfortune. Tulsi Capsules, Holy Basil, Holy Basil Products, Holy Basil Medicinal Uses

Tulsi Capsules

Tulsi Capsules

Purely 100% vegetarian, herbal, Effective for chronic infections, acute sore throat. Other medicinal values of Tulsi are uses in Diabetes and even Cancer.

It is infact one of the most powerful remedies for Diabetes and low immunity conditions.

We are one of the best quality suppliers and manufacturers of Tulsi Capsules and Tulsi based products. Tulsi is a small herb, popularly known as Holy basil in west. It is in fact have very religious importance for Hindu community in India. Hindu's worship Tulsi for many reasons. It can heal diseases like Diabetes, Cancers as well.

It is most popular as a decoction or tea useful for acute sore throat or cough. The sinusitis or throat inflammation , fever goes away within a day or two.

We are using Tulsi extract, which is conentrated form of the raw herb. Instead of using 10 kilogram of raw herb powder, we have to use only 1 kilogram of extract and that makes it very very effective.This is why products made with herbal extracts are effective than made by herbal powders. Read more

Tulsi Dietary Supplement: Vegetable Capsules

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The plant grows wild all over India and elsewhere in the tropics, ascending to a height of 1800 m, and is also widely cultivated.

Botanical description

An erect, annual herb or shrub, reaching a height of 0.5-1.5 m (Plate 40). The leaves are elliptical, oblong, acute or obtuse, pubescent on both sides. The flowers are very small, purplish or crimson, in long, close racemes. The fruits or nutlets are small, subglobose or broadly ellipsoid, pale brown or reddish with small markings.

Parts used

Leaves, seeds, root.

Traditional and modern use

The leaves are used as a demulcent, diaphoretic and expectorant in bronchitis, cough, cold and fever. It is an insecticide, anthelmintic and deodoriser and has also been used as a laxative, stimulant, antiinflammatory, cardiotonic and blood purifier in hepatic disorders. It can be used for indigestion, diminished appetite and all types of malaise. The oil is applied externally for chronic ulcers, inflammation and skin disorders.

Ethnoveterinary usage

The whole plant is used in glossitis, ulcers, maggots in wounds, anthrax, pneumonia, indigestion, tympanitis, pain in the abdomen, constipation, stoppage of urination, liver fluke, loss of appetite, stomach pain, dog bite, cold and cough, cannabis poisoning, opacity of cornea, swelling of lungs, tachycardia, sprains and sore eyes. The leaves are used in bleeding, coughs and cold, eye disease, udder infection and wound healing in ruminants.

Major chemical constituents
Essential oil

The leaf and flower contain an essential oil composed of eugenol, eugenal, carvacrol, methyl chavicol, linalool, caryophyllene, elemene and others.

Fatty acids

Stearic, myristic, palmitic, oleic, linoleic and linolenic acids2 and their methyl esters.

Triterpenes and sterols

Ursolic acid, campesterol, cholesterol, stigmasterol, ?-Sitosterol and others.

Flavonoids and polyphenols

Vicenin-2, rosmarinic acid, galuteolin, cirsilineol, gallic acid, gallic acid methyl and ethyl esters, protocatechuic acid, vanillic acid, 4-hydroxybenzoic acid, vanillin, 4-hydroxybenzaldehyde, caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid and phenylpropane glucosides.

Medicinal and pharmacological activities

Immunomodulatory activity: An ethanolic extract of the leaves of Ocimum sanctum was evaluated on the activities of the enzymes cytochrome P450, cytochrome B5 and aryl hydrocarbon hydroxylase in the liver and glutathione-S-transferase and reduced glutathione levels in the liver, lung and stomach of the mouse. Administration of the extract at a dose of 400 and 800 mg/kg for 15 days significantly increased the activities of these, all of which are important in the detoxification of both carcinogens and mutagens. An increase in extrahepatic glutathione-S-transferase and reduced glutathione levels in the liver, lung and stomach tissues was also observed as well as stimulation of humoral immunological response, as indicated by an increase in antibody titre in both the Widal and sheep erythrocyte agglutination tests. An increase in cellular immunological response, represented by E-rosette formation and lymphocytosis, was seen with the methanolic extract (100 and 250 mg/kg) and an aqueous suspension (500 mg/kg) of Ocimum sanctum leaves in rats. In an in vitro test, a significant inhibition of antigen-induced histamine release from peritoneal mast cells of sensitised rats was produced with an increase in anti-SRBC haemagglutination titre and IgE antibody titre. These results indicated that 0. sanctum modulated the humoral immune responses by acting at various levels in the immune mechanism such as antibody production, release of mediators of hypersensitivity reactions and tissue response to the mediators in the target organs.

Antistress activity: The plant extract exhibited antistress activity by improving SOH levels in albino rats.s It also showed a marked protective and inhibitory effect on stress-induced gastric ulcer in albino rats. Microscopical and histopathological findings, such as congestion, erosion, discrete and multiple haemorrhages, ulcers and perforation in the control group of rats served as a measure for scoring the intensi? of the lesions. An ethanolic extract of the leaves prevented changes in plasma levels of corticosterone induced by the exposure to both acute and chronic noise stress in rats. Antimicrobial activity: Spinach mosaic virus (SMV) was inhibited by an extract in a dose-dependent manner.

Antiinflammatory activity: The fixed oil extracted from the leaves exhibited significant antiinflammatory activity against carrageenan and other mediator-induced paw oedema in rats. Using various inflammation models, it was inferred that the antiinflammatory activity was due to inhibition of both the cyclooxygenase and lip oxygenase pathways of arachidonic acid metabolism and the active principle responsible was found to be linolenic acid.

Antiasthmatic activity: A 50% hydroalcoholic extract and the volatile oil extracted from fresh leaves were evaluated against histamine- and acetylcholine-induced preconvulsive dyspnoea in pigs. Both the extract and the oil exhibited a significant dose-dependent antiasthma tic activity, with the percentage protection shown by 200 mg/kg of ethanol extract of fresh leaves equivalent to 0.5 ml of volatile oil. The volatile constituents of the fresh leaves were thought to be the main factor responsible for the activity.

Anticarcinogenic activity: The essential oil showed a significant inhibition of benzo(a)pyrene-induced squamous cell carcinoma in the stomach of Swiss mice. The chemopreventive potential of the oil was studied by assessing its effect on the carcinogen detoxitying enzyme, glutathione-S-transferase, and 3,4-benzo(a)pyrene-induced neoplasia in Swiss mice.
Hypoglycaemic and hypolipidaemic activity: Ocimum sanctum leaf powder at a level of 1 % was fed to normal and diabetic rats for one month. A significant reduction in cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the liver, a reduction of total lipids in the kidney and a fall in total cholesterol and phospholipids in the heart were observed.

Enhancement of bone marrow radioprotection: The radioprotective effect of a leaf extract of Ocimum sanctum in combination with WR-2721 was evaluated on bone marrow of adult Swiss mice. Mice were injected intra peritoneally with the extract (10 mg/kg daily for 5 consecutive days) or 100-400 mg/kgWR-2721 (single dose) or a combination of the two, and the whole body of the mouse exposed to y-irradiation. A significant free radical scavenging activity in vitro was observed with the leaf extract and WR-2721 , which was further enhanced by combining the two, and resulted in a higher bone marrow protection. Significant protection of chromosomes was obtained by a combination of leaf extract and WR-2721 , with a reduction in the toxicity of the latter at higher doses, indicating that the combination may have promise for radioprotection in humans.

Hypotensive activity: Administration of the leaf extract resulted in a fall of both diastolic and systolic pressure to normal levels, with no adverse side effects.

Analgesic activity: The fixed oil showed significant analgesic activity in mice, using the acetic acid-induced writhing test, suggesting a possible mechanism related to the peripheral system.

Safety profile

Few side effects, except for constipation, were reported for patients administered powdered leaves at 5-7 g/day for 3 months. Large doses of leaf extract induced an antispermatogenic activity in animals. The maximum tolerated dose of the 50% hydroalcoholic leaf extract was 1000 mg/kg body weight in albino rats.


  • Leaf infusion: 4-12 ml
  • Decoction: 28-56 ml
  • Seed powder: 1.5-2 g

Ayurvedic properties

  • Rasa: Katu (pungent), tikta (bitter)
  • Guna: Laghu (light), ruksha (dry)
  • Veerya: Ushna (hot)
  • Vipaka: Katu (pungent)
  • Dosha: Pacifies kapha and vata