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Introduction: Ocimum tenuiflorum, commonly called 'Tulsi' plant or Indian holy basil is an important symbol in the Hindu religious tradition. Tulsi is a venerated herb and has many medicinal properties. Tulasi is cultivated for religious and medicinal purposes, and for its essential oil. It is widely known across the Indian Subcontinent as a medicinal plant and an herbal tea, commonly used in Ayurveda.


Medicinal Uses: Traditionally, Tulsi is taken in many forms: as herbal tea, dried powder, fresh leaf or mixed with ghee. Tulsi or the Holy Basil has amazing healing power. It can used as a herbal medicine in numerous ailments, including fever, common cold, coughs, sore throat, respiratory disorder, kidney stone, heart problem, stress, mouth infections, insect bites, skin disorders and so on. Essential oil extracted from Karpoora Tulsi is mostly used for medicinal purposes and in herbal cosmetics, and is widely used in skin preparations and for fever, colds and infections. For centuries, the dried leaves have been mixed with stored grains to repel insects. In Sri Lanka this plant is used as a mosquito repellent.


Pharmacology: Some of the main chemical constituents of Tulsi are: oleanolic acid, ursolic acid, rosmarinic acid, eugenol, carvacrol, linalool, β-caryophyllene (about 8%), β-elemene (c.11.0%), and germacrene D (about 2%). Recent studies suggest tulasi may be a COX-2 inhibitor, like many modern painkillers, due to its high concentration of eugenol. The fixed oil has demonstrated antihyperlipidemic and cardioprotective effects in rats fed a high fat diet. Some laboratory experiments on extracts of Ocimum tenuiflorum have indicated they may have potential in future pharmaceutical applications in the field of cancer treatment, and mitigating the effects of radiation exposure.

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