Ocimum gratissimum

scientific name: 
Ocimum gratissimum L.
Botanical family: 

Botanical description

Perennial shrub 2-3 m high. Stems glabrous but pubescent on younger branches.  Leaves broadly elliptical, acuminate at both ends 6-12 cm x 3-6 cm; inflorescence a lax racemes 10-15 cm long, corolla tubular 2.5 mm long, white and purple; fruit 4 spherical nutlets with verrucose pericarp, 1.2 mm in diameter.

Voucher(s)

Rouzier,81,SOE

Mejía,1399,JBSD

Fuentes,4652,ROIG

Graveson,2566,SLNH

flatulence:

  leaf, decoction or infusion, orally2-3

abdominal pain:

  leaf, decoction with salt, orally1

abdominal pain:

  leaf, juice with salt, orally1

miasis:

  fresh leaf, crushed, applied in nose4

The leaves of Ocimum gratissimum are widely used for human consumption.

For abdominal pain and flatulence:

Prepare a decoction or infusion with 5-7 grams (1-2 spoonfuls) of leaves in 1/2 liter (2 cups) of water.  In case of decoction, boil for at least 10 minutes in a covered pot (possibly, with a pinch of salt).  For infusion, add boiling water to the leaves, cover and leave to cool.  Filter and drink 1 cup 3 times per day.

For abdominal pain, there is no available information establishing a means of preparation and dosage regarding the leaf juice other than that referred to by traditional use.

For torsalo (myiasis):

There is no available information establishing a means of preparation and dosage other than that referred to by traditional use.

Any medicinal preparation must be preserved cold and used within the 24 hours.

According to published and other information:

Use for abdominal pain and flatulence, asthenia and weakness is classified as REC, based on the significant traditional use documented in the TRAMIL surveys, and on available published scientific information.

Should there be a notable worsening of the patient’s condition, or should abdominal pain last more than 3 days, seek medical attention.

Use for torsalo (myiasis) is classified as REC, based on the significant traditional use (OMS/WHO)4 documented in the TRAMIL surveys.

For topical application, strict hygiene measures should be observed in order to avoid contamination or additional infection.

Not for use during pregnancy, during lactation or by children under 5 years old.

Trabajos TRAMIL26-27 (will be translated in 2nd Ed.)

El extracto acuoso(decocción 30%) de hoja fresca, vía oral, dosis única(2000 y 5000 mg/kg), aratón Swiss OF1 (3 grupos de 10 de ambos sexos) y a rataWistar(3 hembras y 3 machos), grupos control con agua destilada, en los modelos de toxicidad aguda clásicay clases tóxicas agudas, no provocó muerte ni signos evidentes de toxicidad en las primeras 24 horas ni durante los 14 días de observación, ni evidenció cambios en los estudios macroscópico de los órganos vitales.

Trabajo TRAMIL28 (will be translated in 2nd Ed.)

El extracto hidroalcohólico (30%) de hoja seca, se administró vía oral (750, 1000, 2000 y 3000 mg de sólidos totales/kg, dosis única), a 10 ratones Swiss (5 de cada sexo), un grupo no tratado, uno control negativo (etanol 25%), bajo observación constante las primeras 24 horas y diariamente durante 14 días. Disminuyó la actividad motora (dosis-dependiente), marcha atáxica y ausencia del reflejo de enderezamiento (dosis de 1 a 3 g/kg) entre 10 y 20 minutos después de administración. Ocurrieron 11 muertes en las primeras 24 horas, observando una DL50 = 3.2 g/kg. En los días siguientes no hubo mortalidad, solo retardo del desarrollo ponderal. El estudio macroscópico visualizó segmentos del duodeno moderadamente hemorrágicos (3 g/kg) y palidez renal (1-3 g/kg). El estudio microscópico evidenció signos de hepatotoxicidad y nefrotoxicidad en todas las dosis.

Trabajo TRAMIL29 (will be translated in 2nd Ed.)

El extracto hidroalcohólico (30%)de hoja seca, vía oral (3, 2.4, 1.2 y 0.6 g de sólidos totales/kg), en ratón Swiss, 3 grupos de 10 animales de ambos sexos con control negativo (etanol 25%), un control positivo (ciclofosfamida) y un control de frecuencia espontánea (no tratados), no reveló citotoxicidad medular, ni genotoxicidad en modelo de micronúcleos en médula ósea.

The LD50 of the aqueous extract (4:1) from the fresh leaf by oral administration to mice was 1706 ± 126 mg/kg15.

El extracto etanolico (3:1) de hoja seca administrado por vía oral al ratón Swiss albino (peso 18 a 22 g)mostró una DL50 = 2081 mg/kg, según el método OECD-198725. (will be translated in 2nd Ed.)

The LD50 of the ethanolic extract (50%) from the dried aerial parts by oral administration to mice was 2.5 g/kg23.

The LD50 of the hydroalcoholic extract (50%) by intraperitoneal administration to mice was 1 g/kg24.

El extracto fluido 30% del follage no mostró efecto genotóxico en el ensayo in vivo de inducción de micronúcleos en médula ósea de ratón30. (will be translated in 2nd Ed.)

There is no available information documenting the safety of medicinal use in children or in pregnant or lactating women.

TRAMIL Research6

Preliminary phytochemical screening (leaf)

alkaloids:

-

    saponins:

-

steroids, terpenoids:

+

    phenolic compounds:

+

quinones:

-

    tannins:

-

flavonoids:

+

 

 

The leaf contains essential oil: ß-caryophyllene (39%), germacrene D (30%), ß-bourbonene, δ-cadinene, α-copaene, ß-elemene, humulene, ɣ-muurolene7, thymol (46%), ɣ-terpinene (23%)8.

This species, like the rest in the same genus, contains essential oil, which determines many of its pharmacological and toxicological properties.  There are three chemical types, with essential oil content variations in thymol, eugenol, citral9-10, borneol, carvacrol, caryophyllene, para-cymene, ß-farnesene, linalcol, myrcene, α and ß-pinene, sabinene, terpinene, terpineol, thujone and thymol11-13.

The aqueous extract from the fresh leaf in vitro showed antifungal activity against Curvularia lunata, Rhizopus sp., Ustilaginoidea virens andUstilago maydis14.

The hydrosoluble fraction of the fresh leaf (4:1) in an isolated guinea pig ileum test showed a decrease of intestinal motility and inhibited the contractions induced by acetylcholine, nicotine and histamine15.

The aqueous extract from the dried leaf administered orally to mice (23.2 mg/kg) showed statistically significant analgesic activity16.

The methanolic extract from the dried leaf administered orally to chickens (1.5 g/kg) showed anthelmintic activity (55.8%) against Ascaridia galli17.

The ethanolic extract (70%) from the fresh leaf by intraperitoneal administration to male and female mice exerted significant depressant activity on the central nervous system18.

The essential oil is cited as having bactericidal activity in vitro against Bacillus cereus, B. subtilis, Escherichia coli andStaphilococcus aureus12; as well as antifungal activity againstAspergillus aegyptiacus, Penicillium cyclopium, Trichoderma viride19andTrichophyton mentagrophytes12.

The essential oil of the leaf (0.1–1000 µg/mL) caused dose-dependent reversible relaxation of the basal tone on isolated guinea pig ileum and inhibited the tonic contraction induced by KCl (60 milimoles) and acetylcholine (10 micromoles).  The mean inhibition concentration (MIC) determined was 23.8 ± 5.2, 18.6 ± 4.0 and 70.0 ± 4.6 µg/mL20.

Thymol is attributed anthelmintic and antiseptic activity21.

An isolated chemical compound present in the leaf, whose tentative molecular formula is assumed to be C21H37O4 or C19H35N3O3, has been cited as stimulating contractibility on isolated guinea pig ileum and on isolated rat colon22.

References:  

1 WENIGER B, 1987-88 Encuesta TRAMIL. enda-caribe, Santo Domingo, Rep. Dominicana.

2 WENIGER B, ROUZIER M, 1986 Enquête TRAMIL. Service Oecuménique d'Entraide SOE, Port au Prince, Haïti.

3 JEAN-PIERRE L, 1988 TRAMIL survey. St. Lucia national herbarium, Castries, St Lucia.

4 GIRON L, 1988 Encuesta TRAMIL (Costa atlántica). Centro Mesoamericano de Tecnología CEMAT, Guatemala, Guatemala.

5 WHO, 1991 Guidelines for the assessment of herbal medicines. WHO/TRM/91.4. Programme on Traditional Medicines, WHO, Geneva, Switzerland.

6 WENIGER B, SAVARY H, DAGUIHL R, 1984 Tri phytochimique de plantes de la liste TRAMIL. Laboratoire de chimie des substances naturelles, Faculté de Médecine et de Pharmacie, Université d'Etat d'Haïti, Port au Prince, Haïti.

7 ZAMUREENKO VA, TOKAREVA VY, KLYUEV NA, KARPOVA TI, GRANDBERG TI, 1981 Identification of sesquiterpene hydrocarbons of essential oil from Ocimum gratissimum L. Izv Timiryazevsk S-Kh Akad 1981(4):153-155.

8 NTEZURUBANZA L, SCHEFFER JJC, BAERHEIM-SVENDSEN A, 1987 Composition of the essential oil of Ocimum gratissimum grown in Rwanda. Planta Med 53(5):421-423.

9 ARCTANDER S, 1960 Perfume and flavor materials of natural origin. Elizabeth, USA: Stephen Arctander.

10 HEGNAUER R, 1973 Chemotaxonomy der Pflanzen. Basel, Schweiz: Birkhauser Verlag. 6:882.

11 MAIA JGS, RAMOS LS, LUZ AIR, DA SILVA ML, ZOGHBI MG, 1988 Uncommon Brazilian essential oils of the Labiatae and Compositae. In: Flavors and fragrance: a world perspective, Proceedings of the 10th International Congress of Essential Oils. Lawrence BM, Mookherjee BD, Willis BJ, Eds. New York, USA: Elsevier Sci Publ. p177-188.

12 JANSSEN AM, SCHEFFER JJC, NTEZURUBANZA L, SVENDSEN AB, 1989 Antimicrobial activities of someOcimum species grown in Rwanda. J Ethnopharmacol 26(1):57-63.

13 NIGAM M, KHOSLA MK, BRADU BL, TANDON N, 1988 Hydration of terpene fraction of "Clocimum" oil and isolation of pure myrcene. Parfume Kosmet 69(5):285-286.

14 AWUAH RT, 1989 Fungitoxic effects of extracts from some West African plants. Ann Appl Biol 115(3):451-453.

15 OFFIAH VN, CHIKWENDU UA, 1999 Antidiarrhoeal effects of Ocimum gratissimum leaf extract in experimental animals. J. Ethnopharmacol 68(1-3):327-330.

16 AZIBA PI, BASS D, ELEGBE Y, 1999 Pharmacological investigation of Ocimum gratissimum in rodents. Phytother Res 13(5):427-429.

17 NJOKU CJ, ASUZU IU, 1998 The anthelmintic effects of the leaf extract of Ocimum gratissimum (L.). Phytomedicine 5(6):485-488.

18 ADESINA SK, 1982 Studies on some plants used as anticonvulsants in Amerindian and African traditional medicine. Fitoterapia 53:147-162.

19 EL KELTAWI N, MEGALLA S, ROSS S, 1980 Antimicrobial activity of some Egyptian aromatic plants. Herbal Pol 26(4):245-250.

20 MADEIRA SVF, MATOS FJ, LEAL-CARDOSO JH, CRIDDLE DN, 2002 Relaxant effects of the essential oil of Ocimum gratissimum on isolated ileum of the guinea pig. J Ethnopharmacol 81(1):1-4.

21BUDAVARI S (Ed.), 2001 The Merck index: an encyclopedia of chemical, drugs, and biologicals. 30th ed. White House Station, New Jersey, USA: Merck & Co., Inc. p1676.

22 ONAJOBI FD, 1986 Smooth muscle contracting lipid-soluble principles in chromatographic actions of Ocimum gratissimum. J Ethnopharmacol 18(1):3-11.

23 LOGARTO PARRA A, TILLAN CAPO J, VEGA MONTALVO R, GONZALEZ YC, 1999 Toxicidad aguda oral de extractos hidroalcohólicos de plantas medicinales. Rev Cubana Planta Med 4(1):26-28.

24 DHAWAN BN, PATNAIK GK, RASTOGI RP, SINGH KK, TANDON JS, 1977 Screening of Indian plants for biological activity. VI. Indian J Exp Biol 15(3):208-219.

25 LOGARTO PARRA A, SILVA YHEBRA R, GUERRA SARDINAS I, IGLESIAS BUELA L, 2001 Comparative study of the assay of Artemia salina L. and the estimate of the medium lethal dose (LD50 value) in mice, to determine oral acute toxicity of plant extracts. Phytomedicine 8(5):395-400.

26 GUERRA MJ, LOPEZ M, BOUCOURT E, FUENTES V, MORON F, 2002 Toxicidad aguda (DL50) de decocción de hojas frescas de Ocimum gratissimum L.Informe TRAMIL. Laboratorio Central de Farmacología. Facultad de Medicina Dr. Salvador Allende. Ciudad de La Habana, Cuba.

27 GUERRA MJ, LOPEZ M, BOUCOURT E, FUENTES V, MORON F, 2002 Clases toxicas agudas de decocción (30%) de hojas frescas de Ocimum gratissimum L.Informe TRAMIL. Laboratorio Central de Farmacología. Facultad de Medicina Dr. Salvador Allende. Ciudad de La Habana, Cuba.

28 GUERRA MJ, LOPEZ M, BOUCOURT E, FUENTES V, 2002 Toxicidad aguda (DL50) de extracto fluido 30% de hojas secas de Ocimum gratissimum L.Informe TRAMIL. Laboratorio Central de Farmacología. Facultad de Medicina Dr. Salvador Allende. Ciudad de La Habana, Cuba.

29 GUERRA MJ, LOPEZ M, BOUCOURT E, FUENTES V, 2002 Genotoxicidad in vivo: ensayo de micronúcleos en médula ósea de extracto fluido 30% de hojas secas de Ocimum gratisimum L.Informe TRAMIL. Laboratorio Central de Farmacología. Facultad de Medicina Dr. Salvador Allende, Ciudad de La Habana, Cuba.

DISCLAIMER

The information provided is for educational purposes only for the benefit of the general public and health professionals. It is not intended to take the place of either the written law or regulations. Since some parts of plants could be toxic, might induce side effects, or might have interactions with certain drugs, anyone intending to use them or their products must first consult with a physician or another qualified health care professional. TRAMIL has no responsibility whatsoever towards the user for any decision, action or omission made in relation to the information contained in this Pharmacopoeia.