Substances & Homeopatic Remedies

Ocimum gratissimum

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Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz. 2005 Feb;100(1):55-8. Epub 2005 Apr 12.
Antifungal activity from Ocimum gratissimum L. towards Cryptococcus neoformans.
Lemos Jde A, Passos XS, Fernandes Ode F, Paula JR, Ferri PH, Souza LK, Lemos Ade A, Silva Mdo R.
Laboratorio de Micologia, Instituto de Patologia Tropical e Saude Publica, Universidade Federal de Goias, 74605-050 Goiania, GO, Brazil.

Cryptococcal infection had an increased incidence in last years due to the explosion of acquired immune deficiency syndrome epidemic and by using new and effective immunosuppressive agents. The currently antifungal therapies used such as amphotericin B, fluconazole, and itraconazole have certain limitations due to side effects and emergence of resistant strains. So, a permanent search to find new drugs for cryptococcosis treatment is essential. Ocimum gratissimum, plant known as alfavaca (Labiatae family), has been reported earlier with in vitro activity against some bacteria and dermatophytes. In our work, we study the in vitro activity of the ethanolic crude extract, ethyl acetate, hexane, and chloroformic fractions, essential oil, and eugenol of O. gratissimum using an agar dilution susceptibility method towards 25 isolates of Cryptococcus neoformans. All the extracts of O. gratissimum studied showed activity in vitro towards C. neoformans. Based on the minimal inhibitory concentration values the most significant results were obtained with chloroformic fraction and eugenol. It was observed that chloroformic fraction inhibited 23 isolates (92%) of C. neoformans at a concentration of 62.5 microg/ml and eugenol inhibited 4 isolates (16%) at a concentration of 0.9 microg/ml. This screening may be the basis for the study of O. gratissimum as a possible antifungal agent.

Planta Med. 2005 Apr;71(4):376-8.
Enhanced hypotensive effects of the essential oil of Ocimum gratissimum leaves and its main constituent, eugenol, in DOCA-salt hypertensive conscious rats.
Interaminense LF, Leal-Cardoso JH, Magalhaes PJ, Duarte GP, Lahlou S.
Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Federal University of Pernambuco, Recife, Pernambuco-PE, Brazil.

The cardiovascular effects of intravenous (i.v.) treatment with the essential oil of Ocimum gratissimum (EOOG) and its main constituent, eugenol (Eug) were investigated in the experimental model of deoxycorticosterone acetate (DOCA-salt)-hypertensive rats. In both conscious DOCA-salt hypertensive rats and their uninephrectomized controls, i.v. bolus injections of EOOG (1 - 20 mg/kg) or Eug (1 - 10 mg/kg) induced dose-dependent hypotension and bradycardia. Treatment with DOCA-salt significantly enhanced the maximal decreases in mean aortic pressure (MAP) elicited by hexamethonium (30 mg/kg, i.v.) as well as the hypotensive responses to both EOOG and Eug without affecting the bradycardia. However, the enhancement of EOOG-induced hypotension in hypertensive rats remained unaffected by i.v. pretreatment with either hexamethonium (30 mg/kg) or methylatropine (1 mg/kg). These results show that i.v. treatment with EOOG or Eug dose-dependently decreased blood pressure in conscious DOCA-salt hypertensive rats, and this action is enhanced when compared with uninephrectomized controls. This enhancement appears related mainly to an increase in EOOG-induced vascular smooth relaxation rather than to enhanced sympathetic nervous system activity in this hypertensive model.

Planta Med. 2005 Jan;71(1):20-3.  
In vivo antimalarial activity of essential oils from Cymbopogon citratus and Ocimum gratissimum on mice infected with Plasmodium berghei.
Tchoumbougnang F, Zollo PH, Dagne E, Mekonnen Y.
Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Science, University of Douala, Douala, Cameroon.

The essential oils obtained by hydrodistillation from fresh leaves of Cymbopogon citratus and Ocimum gratissimum growing in Cameroon were analyzed by GC and GC/MS. The main constituents of the oil of Ocimum gratissimum were gamma-terpinene (21.9 %), beta-phellandrene (21.1 %), limonene (11.4 %) and thymol (11.2 %), while the oil of Cymbopogon citratus contained geranial (32.8 %), neral (29.0 %), myrcene (16.2 %) and beta-pinene (10.5 %). The effects of these oils on the growth of Plasmodium berghei were investigated. Both oils showed significant antimalarial activities in the four-day suppressive in vivo test in mice. At concentrations of 200, 300 and 500 mg/kg of mouse per day, the essential oil of C. citratus produced the highest activity with the respective percentages of suppression of parasitaemia: 62.1 %, 81.7 % and 86.6 %. The corresponding values for the oil of O. gratissimum at the same concentrations were 55.0 %, 75.2 % and 77.8 %, respectively. Chloroquine (10 mg/kg of mouse, positive control) had a suppressive activity of 100 %.

Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol. 2004 Apr;31(4):219-25.
Cardiovascular effects of the essential oil of Ocimum gratissimum leaves in rats: role of the autonomic nervous system.
Lahlou S, Interaminense Lde F, Leal-Cardoso JH, Morais SM, Duarte GP.
Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Federal University of Pernambuco, Recife, Brazil.

1. The cardiovascular effects of intravenous (i.v.) administration of the essential oil of Ocimum gratissimum (EOOG) were investigated in rats. In addition, the present study examined: (i) whether the autonomic nervous system is involved in the mediation of EOOG-induced changes in mean aortic pressure (MAP) and heart rate (HR); and (ii) whether these changes could be attributed, at least in part, to the actions of eugenol, the major constituent of EOOG. 2. In both pentobarbitone-anaesthetized and conscious rats, i.v. bolus injections of EOOG (1-20 mg/kg) elicited immediate and dose-dependent decreases in MAP and HR. These responses to EOOG were of the same order of magnitude irrespective of whether the animal was under general anaesthesia. 3. Pretreatment of anaesthetized rats with bilateral vagotomy did not significantly modify the EOOG-induced dose-dependent hypotension, whereas it significantly reduced the bradycardia at the highest dose used. 4. In conscious rats, i.v. injections of bolus doses (1-10 mg/kg) of eugenol also elicited immediate and dose-dependent decreases in MAP and HR. Intravenous pretreatment of conscious rats with either methylatropine (1 mg/kg) or hexamethonium (30 mg/kg) significantly reduced the EOOG-induced dose-dependent bradycardia without affecting the hypotension. 5. These data show, for the first time, that i.v. administration of EOOG to either anaesthetized or conscious rats induces an immediate and significant hypotension and bradycardia, which appear to be due, at least in part, to the actions of the major constituent of EOOG, eugenol. These cardiovascular effects appear to be mediated by different pathways because only EOOG-induced hypotension appears to be independent of the presence of an operational autonomic nervous system. This may suggest that the hypotensive activity of EOOG results from its vasodilatory effects directly upon vascular smooth muscle.