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Tulsi

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Ocimum sanctum (Syn.Ocimum tenuiflorum) generally known as tulsi or Holy Basil. It belongs to the family Lamiaceae which is native throughout the old world tropics and widespread as a cultivated plant and an escaped weed. It is an erect, much branched sub shrub 30–60 cm tall with hairy stems and simple opposite green leaves that are strongly scented. Flowers are purplish in elongate racemes in close whorls. There are two main morphotypes cultivated in India green-leaved and purple-leaved. Tulsi is cultivated fhttp://www.konarkindex.com/K-Index/or religious and medicinal purposes, and for its essential oil.
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Botanical Names
Ocimum sanctum
Indian Names
Sanskrit : Tulasee Bengali : Tulsi Gujarati : Tulsi Hindi : Tulsi, kala tulsi Malayalam : Vishnu Tulasi, kari Tulasi, sri Tulasi Marathi : Tulas, Kannada : Tulasa, Tulasi chajadha Tamil : Thulasi Telugu : Tulasi, Krishna Tulasi, Kari Tulasi, Sri Tulasi
Chemical Constituents
Major constituents include Volatile oil containing chiefly eugenol and -caryophyllene. (Eugenol content reaches maximum in spring and minimum in autumn. Other constituents are a number of sesquiterpenes and monoterpenes viz., bornyl acetate, -elemene, methyleugenol, neral, -pinene, camphene, -pinene etc.; ursolic acid, campesterol, cholesterol, stigmasterol, -sitosterol and methyl esters of common fatty acids.
Pesticide Limits
A limit for pesticide is one of the major issues in standardization of medicinal plants and products in view of the worldwide widespread use of pesticides in cultivated plants. The presence of pesticides in extracts increase the health risk by many folds. The pesticides can be extremely irritant on skin as well as in the internal organs, it is essential to monitor its concentration as a part of GMP. Various analytical methods for the quantitative determination of pesticides by gas chromatography coupled with mass-spectrophotometer are in use. Konark Research Foundation (KRF), a NABL certified lab is well equipped with the latest technology and instruments and monitors the pesticide limit as part of its GMP.
Chromatographic Profile
From the pharmacopoeial perspective, a better quality control of raw material can be achieved by specifying a quantitative test procedure for the determination of the range or a minimum content by specifying a quantitative test procedure for the determination of the range or a minimum content of the marker substances or the ‘active’ ingredient. A chromatographic finger profile represents qualitative/ quantitative determination of various components present in a complex plant extract irrespective whether or not their exact identity is known. Thin layer chromatographic technique is the simplest and least expensive method that provides plenty of information on the composition of raw herbs and its preparation. For quantitative analysis of active ingredients or marker substances with simultaneous separation and detection High Pressure liquid chromatography is the best technique. We use the latest model of HPLC for all its analysis.
Limits of Impurities
A test requirement for foreign organic matter would ensure the extent of contamination of extraneous matters such as filth and other parts of botanicals not covered by the definition of the herbal drug. Since sand and soil are predictable contaminants of botanicals, test requirements for ‘total ash’, water soluble ash’, ‘acid soluble ash’, residue on ignition and sulphated ash would be expected to limit such contaminants. Test requirement for heavy metals in botanical raw material are probably more relevant for parts of plants growing under ground than for the aerial parts of the plant. The presence of high levels of minerals interacts with the final product there by affecting its keeping quality.
Microbial Limits
If the raw herb is to be used directly without boiling in water prior to consumption, restrictive limits on microbial contaminants are required for pathogens such as Salmonella sp. Enterobacter and E.coli which are causative agent for various gastro-intestinal diseases. A lower level of yeasts and molds and a limit on total aerobes are considered appropriate in plant material for topical use. The presence of aflatoxins detected by chemical means is generally independent of the number of viable molds that are detected using microbiological methods. Aflatoxins in microgram quantity are capable of giving serious hypersentivity reactions which can be extremely harmful to human health.
Pharmacology
Different parts of Ocimum sanctum plant e.g. leaves, flowers, stem, root, seeds are known to possess therapeutic potentials. It is used as expectorant, analgesic, anticancer, anti asthmatic, antiemetic, diaphoretic, anti diabetic, anti fertility, hepato protective, hypotensive, hypolipidmic and anti stress agents. It is also used in treatment of fever, bronchitis, arthritis, convulsions etc Ocimum sanctum is found throughout the semitropical and tropical parts of India. This is used as medicinal plant in Ayurveda and Siddha systems of medicine. It has anti-inflammatory, analgesic and immuno stimulatory properties. The Ocimum sanctum leaves has numerous pharmacological activities like hypoglycaemic, immunomodulatory, antistress, analgesic, antipyretic, anti-inflammatory, anti ulcerogenic, antihypertensive, Central Nervous System depressant, radio protective, anti tumor and antibacterial.
Health Benefits
The use of natural resources e.g. medicinal plants may prove to be useful approach towards the management of stress-linked mental health problems. Traditionally, fresh juice or decoction of Ocimum sanctum leaves is used to promote health and in treatment of various disorders as advocated in Ayurveda, the Indian system of Medicine. In Ayurveda, Ocimum sanctum is described as ‘rasayana’. It has been reported to exhibit several medicinal properties. This reputed medicinal plant has recently been shown to possess very interesting pharmacological properties. Scientific investigations have shown that different extracts of Ocimum sanctum possess significant anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti stress properties. Flavonoids are isolated from the aqueous extract of Ocimum sanctum have been shown significant anti oxidant activity, both in vivo and in vitro. Ocimum sanctum leaf extract showed strong protective effects against radiation injury. The ethanolic extract of Ocimum sanctum leaves was found to prevent noise induced oxidative stress in discrete regions of the brain. The anti-stressor effect of essential oil from leaves and seeds of OS in rats exposed to restrained stress has been reported.
Application in Cosmetics
Ocimum sanctum is recommended for the treatment of various health ailments as well as skin diseases. It posesess good antibacterial activity thus its paste or herbal formulations are used to treat various skin infections. It is also used to treat acne. It is used in most of the herbal formulations meant for skin care.
Research References
1) www.pubmed.gov • Antifungal activities of Ocimum sanctum essential oil and its lead molecules.(Khan A, Ahmad A, Manzoor N, Khan LA.Nat Prod Commun. 2010 Feb;5(2):345-9.PMID: 20334156). • Induction of resistance to respiratory tract infection with Klebsiella pneumoniae in mice fed on a diet supplemented with tulsi (Ocimum sanctum) and clove (Syzgium aromaticum) oils.Saini A, Sharma S, Chhibber S.J Microbiol Immunol Infect. 2009 Apr;42(2):107-13.PMID: 19597641). • Ayurveda for comprehensive healthcare.( Rastogi S. Indian J Med Ethics. 2009 Apr-Jun;6(2):101-2. No abstract available. PMID: 19517655 ) • Ocimum sanctum extracts attenuate hydrogen peroxide induced cytotoxic ultrastructural changes in human lens epithelial cells.(Halder N, Joshi S, Nag TC, Tandon R, Gupta SK.Phytother Res. 2009 Dec;23(12):1734-7.PMID: 19441070) • Leishmanicidal active constituents from Nepalese medicinal plant Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum L.).(Suzuki A, Shirota O, Mori K, Sekita S, Fuchino H, Takano A, Kuroyanagi M.Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo). 2009 Mar;57(3):245-51.PMID: 19252314). • Sustainable Traditional Medicine: Taking the Inspirations from Ancient Veterinary Science.(Rastogi S, Kaphle K.Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2008 Nov 2). • In vitro and in vivo studies of the use of some medicinal herbals against the pathogen Aeromonas hydrophila in goldfish.( Harikrishnan R, Balasundaram C.J Aquat Anim Health. 2008 Sep;20(3):165-76.PMID: 18942593 ). • Mechanism of in vitro percutaneous absorption enhancement of carvedilol by penetration enhancers.(Amin S, Kohli K, Khar RK, Mir SR, Pillai KK.Pharm Dev Technol. 2008;13(6):533-9.PMID: 18720242). • Improvement in bioavailability of transdermally applied flurbiprofen using tulsi (Ocimum sanctum) and turpentine oil.(Charoo NA, Shamsher AA, Kohli K, Pillai K, Rahman Z.Colloids Surf B Biointerfaces. 2008 Sep 1;65(2):300-7. Epub 2008 May 8.) • Improved shelf life of protein-rich tofu using Ocimum sanctum (tulsi) extracts to benefit Indian rural population.(Anbarasu K, Vijayalakshmi G.J Food Sci. 2007 Oct;72(8):M300-5.PMID: 17995609). • Antistressor activity of Ocimum sanctum (Tulsi) against experimentally induced oxidative stress in rabbits.(Jyoti S, Satendra S, Sushma S, Anjana T, Shashi S.Methods Find Exp Clin Pharmacol. 2007 Jul-Aug;29(6):411-6.PMID: 17922070). • Study on beta-galactosidase enzymatic activity of herbal yogurt. (Chowdhury BR, Chakraborty R, Raychaudhuri U.Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2008 Mar;59(2):116-22.PMID: 17852503). • Modulatory effect of distillate of Ocimum sanctum leaf extract (Tulsi) on human lymphocytes against genotoxicants.(Dutta D, Devi SS, Krishnamurthi K, Kumar K, Vyas P, Muthal PL, Naoghare P, Chakrabarti T.Biomed Environ Sci. 2007 Jun;20(3):226-34.PMID: 17672214). • Biological activities of Ocimum sanctum L. fixed oil--an overview. Singh S, Taneja M, Majumdar DK.Indian J Exp Biol. 2007 May;45(5):403-12. Review.PMID: 17569280). • Quantitative detection of promoter hypermethylation as a biomarker of acute kidney injury during transplantation.(Mehta TK, Hoque MO, Ugarte R, Rahman MH, Kraus E, Montgomery R, Melancon K, Sidransky D, Rabb H.Transplant Proc. 2006 Dec;38(10):3420-6). • Effect of herbal polyphenols on atherogenic transcriptome.(Kaul D, Shukla AR, Sikand K, Dhawan V.Mol Cell Biochem. 2005 Oct;278(1-2):177-84.PMID: 16180103). • Therapeutic uses of Ocimum sanctum Linn (Tulsi) with a note on eugenol and its pharmacological actions: a short review.(Prakash P, Gupta N.Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 2005 Apr;49(2):125-31. Review.PMID: 16170979). • Caudal regression syndrome--case report and review of literature. (Singh SK, Singh RD, Sharma A.Pediatr Surg Int. 2005 ul; 21(7):578-81. Epub 2005 Jun 24. Review.PMID: 15977017). • Anti-cataract activity of Pterocarpus marsupium bark and Trigonella foenum-graecum seeds extract in alloxan diabetic rats.(Vats V, Yadav SP, Biswas NR, Grover JK.J Ethnopharmacol. 2004 Aug;93(2-3):289-94.PMID: 15234767). • Knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and practices regarding measles in a rural area of Delhi.(Aggarwal K, Kannan AT, Chhabra P, Kumar P, Trikha VK.J Commun Dis. 2002 Jun;34(2):128-34.PMID: 14768831).
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