Evaluation of anti-inflammatory potential of fixed oil of Ocimum sanctum (Holybasil) and its possible mechanism of action

J Ethnopharmacol. 1996 Oct;54(1):19-26. doi: 10.1016/0378-8741(96)83992-4.


The fixed oil of Ocimum sanctum (Labiatae) was found to possess significant anti-inflammatory activity against carrageenan- and different other mediator-induced paw edema in rats. Significant inhibitory effect was also observed in castor oil-induced diarrhoea in rats. It also inhibited arachidonic acid and leukotriene-induced paw edema. The results of anti-inflammatory activity of Ocimum sanctum support the dual inhibition of arachidonate metabolism as indicated by its activity in inflammation models that are insensitive to selective cyclooxygenase inhibitors. On the basis of the findings it may be inferred that Ocimum sanctum may be a useful anti-inflammatory agent which blocks both the pathways, i.e. cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase, or arachidonic acid metabolism.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adrenalectomy
  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use
  • Arachidonic Acid / metabolism*
  • Arachidonic Acid / toxicity
  • Cyclooxygenase Inhibitors / administration & dosage
  • Cyclooxygenase Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Cyclooxygenase Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Diarrhea / drug therapy
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Edema / drug therapy
  • Leukotrienes / toxicity
  • Lipoxygenase Inhibitors / administration & dosage
  • Lipoxygenase Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Lipoxygenase Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Plant Oils / administration & dosage
  • Plant Oils / pharmacology*
  • Plant Oils / therapeutic use
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Cyclooxygenase Inhibitors
  • Leukotrienes
  • Lipoxygenase Inhibitors
  • Plant Oils
  • Arachidonic Acid