OCIMUM SANCTUM LINN. Botanical name : Ocimum sanctum Family : Lamiaceae Vernacular names : Hindi, Gujarati, Bengali : Tulsi Marathi : Tulasa Tamil : Thulasi Telugu : Tulasi Malayalam : Trittavu Ocimum sanctum is a 30-75 cm high erect herb which is grown practically in every part of India. Hindus considered it a sacred plant and it is grown in every house. Macroscopy: Annual herb 30-75 cm high, much branched, stems and branches usually purplish, sub-quadrangular, sometimes woody below, clothed with soft spreading hairs. Leaves are 2.5-5 cm. long and 1.6-3.2 cm broad, elliptical, oblong obtuse or acute; margin entire or serrate, surface pubescent on both sides, minutely gland dotted, base obtuse or acute, petioles 1.3-2.5 cm. long slender, hairy. Inflorescence verticillaster, flowers in racemes 15-20 cm. long in close whorls. Bracts 3 mm, both long and broad, broadly ovate; calyx slender, pubescent, bilabiate, lower lip longer than upper. Corolla 4 mm long, purplish, bilabiate upper lip pubescent on the back. Stamens exserted, filaments slender, the upper pair with a small branched appendage at the base. Nutlets 1.25 mm long, broadly ellipsoid, nearly smooth, yellow with small black markings. Seeds brownish, globose or sub-globose. Odour and taste aromatic and sharp. The fruit is a caeruleus. Two types of this plant are known- green type (Sri Tulsi) and purple type (Krishna type). Parts used: Leaves, seeds, flowering tops and roots. Chemical constituents: Leaves contain 0.7 percent volatile oil. A volatile oil abtained by steam distillation of leaves contains- Eugenol - 71.3% Methyl eugenol - 20.4% Carvacrol - 3.2% Caryophyllene - 1.7% Properties: Stomachic, carminative, galactagogic, slightly stupefacient. Forms of used: Infusion, powder, essence, juice, poultice, medicinal wine. Uses: Practically every part of the plant is useful. The plant is a mosquito-repellent. Decoction of roots is given as a diaphoretic in malarial fever. The leaves are stimulant diaphoretic, antiperiodic, diuretic, antiseptic and expectorant, used in catarrh and bronchitis, ringworm and other cutaneous diseases. Leaves also used in cold, cough, fever and gastric disorders. The leaf infusion is used as a stomachic. The oil possesses antibacterial and insecticidal properties. The seeds are mucilaginous and demulcent and are used in genito-urinary disorders.