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Pharmacognostic and Preliminary Phytochemical Screening of Ocimum sanctum Linn. Stem (Holy Basil), A Known Indian Folk Medicinal Plant.

Aanchal Gwari*, Arvind Negi and Manish Mishra

In recent years, attention has been turned to researchers to discover new alternative sources of anti-inflammatory agents, especially of plant origin. Ocimum sanctum (tulsi) has served humanity as a source of medicinal agents since its inception. Phytoconstituents present in leaves, bark, stems and flower spikes and to characterize the compounds responsible for the anti-inflammatory activity. Phytochemical screening of the stems of the plant reveals the presence of saponins, alkaloids, flavonoids, steroids, phenols, tannins and glycosides. Ocimum sanctum also known as tulsi or holybasil is an aromatic plant and belongs to the Lamiaceae family. It is widely used as a medicine to treat various ailments. The aim of the study was to analyze the various phytochemical components of the tulsi stem. The dried tulsi stem powder (100 g) was placed in the thimble of the soxhlet apparatus and the experiment was conducted separately for aqueous, methanol and ethanol. The percent yield was 6.0% w/w, 8.0% w/w and 9.0% w/w, respectively. The study reveals that various secondary metabolites such as carbohydrates, tannins, flavonoids, saponins, glycosides, terpenoids, fatty acids and phenol are present in the tulsi stem extract.

These phytochemicals are known to possess antiseptic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anti-stress, immune-modulatory, hypoglycemic, hypotensive, and antioxidant properties. Therefore, it is more beneficial to usetulsi asan as a herbal medicine than as a chemically synthesized medicine.

India has a rich heritage of medicinal plants, Indian medicine systems use 80 percent of material derived from plants. Large quantities of plants are used in various systems of medicine practiced in India and in local health traditions for the treatment of human diseases since time immemorial. The use of tulsi as a source of medicine in humans has been in vogue since ancient times. Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum Linn.) It has been used for thousands of years in ayurveda for its various forms of healing property. Tulsi is legendary and the "incomparable" of India. It is one of the holiest and most appreciated of the many healing and healthy herbs of the East. Morphological and anatomical the characters play a fundamental role in the standardization of drugs. It is missing and adulterants are often passed off as real drugs. Currently research, Ocimum sanctum was selected for standardization due to its medicinal properties importance.

The present research aims to document the morphology, distribution, phytochemistry and medicinal properties of Ocimum sanctum and its future prospects for the further scientific investigation for the development of effective therapeutic compounds.

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