Ocimum gratissimum

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African Basil
Starr 030202-0053 Ocimum gratissimum.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Ocimum
Species: O. gratissimum
Binomial name
Ocimum gratissimum

Ocimum gratissimum, also known as Clove Basil, African Basil,[1] and in Hawaii as Wild Basil,[2] is a species of Ocimum. It is native to Africa, Madagascar, southern Asia, and the Bismarck Archipelago, and naturalized in Polynesia, Hawaii, Mexico, Panama, West Indies, Brazil, and Bolivia.[3]

Other names[edit]

Seed germination[edit]

Seeds seem to need strong sunlight to germinate.[4]

Pharmacology of extracts and essential oils[edit]

The essential oil of Ocimum gratissimum contains eugenol and shows some evidence of antibacterial activity.[5][6][7][8] Leaf extract of O. gratissimum showed antidiabetic properties in streptozocin-induced in diabetic rats.[9] A test on guinea pigs found evidence that the essential oil relaxes the muscles of the small intestine, consistent with the traditional use of the plant to treat gastrointestinal disorders.[10] Antitumor and anti-cancer effects have been reported in in vitro experiments.[11][12][13] A study on rats also found evidence that a leaf extract of the plant prevented diarrhea.[14] Ocimum gratissimum has anti-fertility effects in male mice.[15] Ocimum gratissimum ethanolic extracts showed a hepatoprotective effect in rats.[16][17] A polyherbal preparation of a water extract obtained from the leaves of Gongronema latifolia, Vernonia amygdalina and Ocimum gratissimum showed analgesic activity.[18] O. gratissimum has mosquito-repellent and mosquitocidal potential.[19] A study on goats also found that the essential oil has anthelmintic activity.[20] The ethanolic extract of Ocimum gratissimum produced a significant and sustained increase in the sexual activity of normal male mice, without any adverse effects. "Thus, the resultant aphrodisiac effectivity of the extract lends support to the claims for its traditional usage in sexual disorders."[21] The essential oil has potential for use as a food preservative,[22] and is toxic to Leishmania.[23]


  1. ^ PLANTS Profile for Ocimum gratissimum | USDA Plants, Retrieved Jan. 7, 2009.
  2. ^ Ocimum gratissimum - Wild Basil (Lamiaceae)
  3. ^ Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
  4. ^ Influence of light, temperature and gibberellic acid on the germination of Ocimum gratissimum L. (Lamiaceae) seeds and evaluation of physiological quality by the X-ray test Martins J.R., Alvarenga A.A., Castro E.M., Batista L.A., Silva A.P.O. Revista Brasileira de Plantas Medicinais 2008 10:2 (44-49)
  5. ^ Chemical composition, antibacterial activity in vitro and brine-shrimp toxicity of the essential oil from inflorescences of Ocimum gratissimum L., Lamiaceae Silva L.L., Heldwein C.G., Reetz L.G.B., Hörner R., Mallmann C.A., Heinzmann B.M. [In Process] Brazilian Journal of Pharmacognosy 2010 20:5 (700-705)
  6. ^ Celso Vataru Nakamura, Tania Ueda-Nakamura, Erika Bando, Abrahão Fernandes Negrão Melo, Díogenes Aparício Garcia Cortez, Benedito Prado Dias Filho, "Antibacterial Activity of Ocimum gratissimum L. Essential Oil", Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Vol. 94(5): 675-678.
  7. ^ Justification for the use of Ocimum gratissimum L in herbal medicine and its interaction with disc antibiotics Nweze E.I., Eze E.E. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2009 9 (37) Article Number 1472
  8. ^ Nutritional and antimicrobial properties of Ocimum gratissimum leaves Oboh F.O.J., Madsodje H.I., Enabulele S.A. Journal of Biological Sciences 2009 9:4 (377-380)
  9. ^ Effects of aqueous leaves extract of Ocimum gratissimum on blood glucose levels of streptozocin-induced diabetic wistar rats Mohammed A., Tanko Y., Okasha M.A., Magaji R.A., Yaro A.H. African Journal of Biotechnology 2007 6:18 (2087-2090)
  10. ^ Socorro V. F. Madeira, Francisco José A. Matos, José H. Leal-Cardoso, and David N. Criddle, "Relaxant effects of the essential oil of Ocimum gratissimum on isolated ileum of the guinea pig", Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Vol. 81, No. 1, Jun. 2002, pp. 1-4.
  11. ^ Ocimum gratissimum aqueous extract induces apoptotic signalling in lung adenocarcinoma cell A549 Kao S.-H., Chen H.-M., Lee M.-J., Kuo C.-Y., Tsai P.-L., Liu J.-Y. Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2011 2011 Article Number 739093
  12. ^ Potential cancer-fighting Ocimum gratissimum (OG) leaf extracts: increased anti-proliferation activity of partially purified fractions and their spectral fingerprints. Ekunwe S.I., Thomas M.S., Luo X., Wang H., Chen Y., Zhang X., Begonia G.B. Ethnicity & disease 2010 20:1 Suppl 1 (S1-12-6)
  13. ^ Analysis of Caffeic Acid Extraction From Ocimum gratissimum Linn. by High Performance Liquid Chromatography and its Effects on a Cervical Cancer Cell Line Ye J.-C., Hsiao M.-W., Hsieh C.-H., Wu W.-C., Hung Y.-C., Chang W.-C. Taiwanese Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 2010 49:3 (266-271)
  14. ^ Veronica N. Offiah, Unoma A. Chikwendu, "Antidiarrhoeal effects of Ocimum gratissimum leaf extract in experimental animals", Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Vol. 68, No. 1-3, Dec. 15, 1999, pp. 327-330.
  15. ^ Antifertility effects of aqueous crude extract of Ocimum gratissimum L. leaves in male mice Obianime A.W., Aprioku J.S., Esomonu C.T.O. Journal of Medicinal Plant Research 2010 4:9 (809-816)
  16. ^ Protective effect of Ocimum gratissimum against carbon tetrachloride induced hepatic damage in rats Surana V., Jain D. Pharmacologyonline 2010 2 (1111-1119)
  17. ^ Effect of aqueous extract of scent leaf (Ocimum gratissimum) on carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) induced liver damage in albino Wister rats Arhoghro E.M., Ekpo K.E., Ibeh G.O. African Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology 2009 3:11 (562-567)
  18. ^ Analgesic properties of an indigenous polyherbal preparation Iroanya O.O., Okpuzor J.E., Mbagwu H., Ojobo P.D. The FASEB Journal 2009 23:S1
  19. ^ Preliminary study on mosquito repellent and mosquitocidal activities of Ocimum gratissimum (L.) grown in eastern Nigeria Oparaocha E.T., Iwu I., Ahanaku J.E. Journal of Vector Borne Diseases 2010 47:1 (45-50)
  20. ^ L. M. Pessoa, S. M. Morais, C. M. L. Bevilaqua and J. H. S. Luciano, "Anthelmintic activity of essential oil of Ocimum gratissimum Linn. and eugenol against Haemonchus contortus", Veterinary Parasitology, Vol. 109, No. 1-2, Oct. 16, 2002, pp. 59-63.
  21. ^ Effect of ethanolic extract of Ocimum gratissimum (ram tulsi) on sexual behaviour in male mice Pande M., Pathak A. International Journal of PharmTech Research 2009 1:3 (468-473)
  22. ^ Food preservative potential of essential oils and fractions from Cymbopogon citratus, Ocimum gratissimum and Thymus vulgaris against mycotoxigenic fungi Nguefack J., Dongmo J.B.L., Dakole C.D., Leth V., Vismer H.F., Torp J., Guemdjom E.F.N., Mbeffo M., Tamgue O., Fotio D., Zollo P.H.A., Nkengfack A.E. International Journal of Food Microbiology 2009 131:2-3 (151-156)
  23. ^ Effects of essential oils from Cymbopogon citratus (DC) Stapf., Lippia sidoides Cham., and Ocimum gratissimum L. on growth and ultrastructure of Leishmania chagasi promastigotes Oliveira V.C.S., Moura D.M.S., Lopes J.A.D., De Andrade P.P., Da Silva N.H., Figueiredo R.C.B.Q. Parasitology Research 2009 104:5 (1053-1059)