Ocimum tenuiflorum

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Photographs by: Dr. Maulik Gadani

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  • Botanical Name : Ocimum tenuiflorum L.
  • Synonyms : Ocimum sanctum L.
  • Common Name : Tulsi, Holy Basil, Vishnupriya
  • Plant Family : Lamiaceae (Labiatae)
  • According to the Rules of ICBN the names of the families should end in -aceae. Thus the new name for the family Labiatae became Lamiaceae. However, the name Labiatae is also exempted and conserved under 'Nomina Conservanda' because of their constant use for a long time.

  • Plant Form : Herb
  • Occurrence (Sectors) : 1-30
  • Occurrence (Special Areas) : Gujarat Forestry Research Foundation, Indroda Park, Ayurvedic Udyan, Van Chetana Kendra, Infocity, Basan

About Ocimum tenuiflorum Plant :

  • Habit : An erect, much branched, pungent odoured perennial herb with stems and branches subquadrangular, often tinged with purple somewhat woody at the base, softly, densely hairy.
  • Leaves :
    • Petiolate, aromatic, ovate or elliptic-oblong, obtuse or subacute at apex, annulate or narrowed at base, shallowly and distant by serrate along margins, closely gland-dotted with long hairs on both sides.
    • Petiolate, pubescent.
  • Inflorescence : Verticil laster.
  • Flowers :
    • Flowers in axillary and terminal racemes of compact whorls, floral axis as long as calyx slender, simple.
    • Sometimes branched, at times entire, inflorescence purple.
  • Fruit : Nutlets 4, ellipsoid, smooth, brown metted with minute yellow and black spots, covered with short fringe of hygroscopic mucilaginous hairs.
  • Flowering and Fruiting Time : September - March
  • Significance :
    • The juice of leaves possesses diaphoretic, antiperiodic, stimulating and expectorant properties.
    • It is used in catarrh and bronchitis, applied to the skin, in ringworm and other cutaneous diseases and dropped into the ear to relieve earache.
    • An infusion of the leaves is used as a stomachic in gastric disorders of children.
    • A decoction of the root is given as a diaphoretic in malarial fevers.
    • The seeds are mucilaginous and demulcent, and are given in disorders of genito-urinary systems.