Siddha Tamil Tulasi Nalla Tulasi

Action ► Leaf—carminative, stomachic, antispasmodic, antiasthmatic, antirheumatic, expectorant, stimulant, hepatoprotective, antiperiodic, antipyretic and diaphoretic. Seed— used in genitourinary diseases. Root—antimalarial. Plant—adap-togenic, antistress. Essential oil— antibacterial, antifungal.

The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India recommends the use of the leaf and seed in rhinitis and influenza; the seed in psychological disorders, including fear-psychosis and obsessions.

Major components of the essential oil are eugenol, carvacrol, nerol and eugenolmethylether. Leaves have been reported to contain ursolic acid, api-genin, luteolin, apigenin-7-O-glucu-ronide, luteolin-7-O-glucuronide, orientin and molludistin.

Ursolic acid, isolated from leaves, exhibited significant protection of mast cell membrane by preventing granulation and decreased histamine release. The ethanolic extract (50%) of fresh leaves, volatile oil from fresh leaves and fixed oil from seeds showed antiasth-matic activity and significantly protected guinea-pigs against histamine and dyspnoea. They also showed anti-inflammatory activity against carrage-enan-, serotonin-, histamine- and PGE-2-induced inflammation and inhibited hind paw oedema in rats.

The ethanol extract (90%) of the leaves showed hepatoprotective ef fect against paracetamol-induced liver damage.

The plant extract exhibited antiul-cerogenic property against experimental ulcers.

Oral administration of alcoholic extract of leaves lowers blood sugar level in normal, glucose-fed hyperglycaemic and streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. The activity of the extract was 91.55 and 70.43% of that of tolbutamide in normal and diabetic rats respectively.

Administration of the juice of the plant affected a significant reduction in the size of urinary brushite crystals.

A study of methanol extract and aqueous suspension of the leaves showed immunostimulation of humoral immunologic response in albino rats indicating the adaptogenic action of the plant.

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