Antistressor activity of Ocimum sanctum (Tulsi) against experimentally induced oxidative stress in rabbits

Methods Find Exp Clin Pharmacol. 2007 Jul-Aug;29(6):411-6. doi: 10.1358/mf.2007.29.6.1118135.


Fresh leaves of Ocimum sanctum (O. sanctum) were evaluated for antistress activity against experimentally induced oxidative stress in albino rabbits. Animals of the test group received supplementation of 2 g fresh leaves of O. sanctum per rabbit for 30 days. Anemic hypoxia was induced chemically by injecting the rabbits with 15 mg sodium nitrite per 100 g body weight intraperitoneally. Results indicated that O. sanctum administration blunted the changes in cardiorespiratory (BP, HR, RR) parameters in response to stress. A significant (p < 0.01) decrease in blood sugar level was observed after 30 days of dietary supplementation of O. sanctum leaves. Significant increase (p < 0.05) in the levels of enzymatic (superoxide dismutase) and nonenzymatic (reduced glutathione) antioxidants was observed in the test group after the treatment with O. sanctum. Oxidative stress led to a lesser depletion of reduced glutathione (28.80%) and plasma superoxide dismutase (23.04%) in O. sanctum-treated rabbits. The results of this study suggest that the potential antistressor activity of O. sanctum is partly attributable to its antioxidant properties.

MeSH terms

  • Anemia / blood
  • Anemia / chemically induced
  • Anemia / drug therapy
  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Female
  • Glutathione / blood
  • Heart Rate / drug effects
  • Hypoxia / blood
  • Hypoxia / chemically induced
  • Hypoxia / drug therapy
  • Male
  • Malondialdehyde / blood
  • Ocimum*
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects*
  • Phytotherapy
  • Plant Leaves
  • Plant Preparations / pharmacology*
  • Plant Preparations / therapeutic use
  • Rabbits
  • Sodium Nitrite
  • Superoxide Dismutase / blood


  • Antioxidants
  • Blood Glucose
  • Plant Preparations
  • Malondialdehyde
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • Glutathione
  • Sodium Nitrite