The medicinal plants are widely used by the traditional medicinal practitioners for curing various diseases in their day to day practice. In traditional system of medicine, different parts (leaves, stem, flower, root, seeds and even whole plant) of Ocimum sanctum Linn. have been recommended for the treatment of bronchitis, malaria, diarrhea, dysentery, skin disease, arthritis, eye diseases, insect bites and so on. The O. sanctum L. has also been suggested to possess anti-fertility, anticancer, antidiabetic, antifungal, antimicrobial, cardioprotective, analgesic, antispasmodic and adaptogenic actions. Eugenol (1-hydroxy-2-methoxy-4-allylbenzene), the active constituents present in O. sanctum L. have been found to be largely responsible for the therapeutic potentials. The pharmacological studies reported in the present review confirm the therapeutic value of O. sanctum L. The results of the above studies support the use of this plant for human and animal disease therapy and reinforce the importance of the ethno-botanical approach as a potential source of bioactive substances.
Keywords: Carvacrol; caryophyllene; eugenol; linalool; urosolic acid.