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]

O. gratissimum is a common culinary herb in West Africa and is used by some in the Caribbean, going by many local names.

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] A polyherbal preparation of a water extract obtained from the leaves of Gongronema latifolia, Vernonia amygdalina and Ocimum gratissimum showed analgesic activity.[9] The essential oil has potential for use as a food preservative,[10] and is toxic to Leishmania.[11] Extracts of the leaves are documented to possess antidiabetic properties,[12][13][14] anti-hyperlipidemic effect[15] and recently, it was shown to improve heamatological variables in experimental diabetes mellitus via its well reported antioxidant property.[16]


  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. ^ Analgesic properties of an indigenous polyherbal preparation Iroanya O.O., Okpuzor J.E., Mbagwu H., Ojobo P.D. The FASEB Journal 2009 23:S1
  10. ^ 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)
  11. ^ 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)
  12. ^ Aguiyi JC, Obi CI, Gang SS, Igweh AC. Hypoglycaemic activity of Ocimum gratissimum in rats. Fitoterapia 2000;71:444‑6
  13. ^ Egesie UG, Adelaiye AB, Ibu JO, Egesie OJ. Safety and hypoglycaemic properties of aqueous leaf extract of Ocimum gratissimum in streptozotocin induced diabetic rats. Niger J Physiol Sci 200621:31‑5
  14. ^ Owoyele BV, Funsho MA, Soladoye AO (2005) Effect of aqueous leave extract of Ocimum gratissimum on alloxan induced diabetic rat. PHCOG MAG Vol 1, Issue 2, 62-64
  15. ^ Ayinla MT, Dada SO, Shittu ST, Olayaki LA, Akiode AO, Ojulari SL. Anti‑hyperlipidemic effect of aqueous leaf extract of Ocimum gratissimum in alloxan induced diabetic rats. Int J Med Med Sci 2011;3:360‑3
  16. ^ Shittu ST, Oyeyemi WA, Lasisi TJ, Shittu SA, Lawal TT, Olujobi ST. Aqueous leaf extract of Ocimum gratissimum improves hematological parameters in alloxan-induced diabetic rats via its antioxidant properties. Int J App Basic Med Res 2016;6:96-100

External links[edit]