Substances & Homeopatic Remedies

Ocimum sanctum

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ocimum sanctum Linn.

Etymology

Family

Traditional name

Used parts

The mother tincture is prepared from the entire plant.

Classification

Plantae; Spermatophyta, Angiospermae - Flowering Plants; Dicotyledonae; Lamiidae / Tubiflorae; Lamiales; Labiatae / Lamiaceae - Mint Family

Keywords

mint-like

Original proving

Mentioned in 'Drugs of Hindoosthan' by Dr. S.C. Ghose.
   

Description of the substance

Ocimum sanctum or the Holy basil is a well - known small herb in India. It is highly sweet - scented plant an is considered by the natives of India to be of great value.
Its greatest importance to the Hindus is felt in connection with all their religious ceremonies. Every Hindi house in India possesses at least one plant which is looked upon by the Hindu population as one of their domestic duties. The leaves of this herb form one of the principal ingredients of every kind of offering and worship. the wood is also used for all religious purposes.



Description:

A fragrant bushy perennial growing to 18" tall with profusions of white blooms and slightly purple tinted foliage. This herb is held sacred by the Hindus and is often planted around temples, also used in rosaries. The leaves are delicious in salads and used to flavor many foods. Spicy clove fragrance. It is said that eating Holy basil along with other foods will relieve stomach problems including cramps and digestive disorders.
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Plant    Kemangi is a very aromatic, heavily branched herbaceous shrub.

Sweet tasting, reminiscent of bubble gum. Considered to be a fine culinary and medicinal herb. Highly recommended.

Leaves    

The leaves are simple, arranged in an opposite decussate manner and aromatic.  The leaf color is dark green to green in color.  The leaf blade is ovate and its margin serrate with an acute apice and acute to cuneate base.

Stem    

The stems are quadrangular and branches profusely. They are covered with minute hairs.

Inflorescence/Flower    

Flowers are borne on terminal verticals. The bracts are caudiform in shape and numerous in number.  The flowers are hermaphrodite, 5 - 7 mm in length, fragrant and with a zygomorphic symmetry.   There are 5 gamosepalous caylx, green to greenish purple in color.  The corolla, 5 in number is bilabiate in shape and covered with scattered hairs.  The labellum is ovate with a fringed margin.  There are 4 stamens and a single style.

Plant parts used    

Leaves, seeds and roots
 
Crop maturity    

3 months

Harvesting method    

The aerial part of the plant is the plant is cut about 20 -25 cm above the ground level manually.  Subsequent harvesting is done after an interval of 2 - 3 months.

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Description:

A much branched herb, 30 - 90 cm high, sometimes woody at the base. Stem and branches clothed with soft appearing hairs. Leaves 2.5 - 5 cm long, oblong or elliptic oblong, obtuse or acute, entire or subserrate, hairy on both surfaces and minutely dotted, petioles 1.25 - 2.5 cm long; Racemes slender, 15 - 20 cm long, bracts not exceeding the calyx, broadly ovate or cordate - ovate, acuminate ciliate; pedicles slender, as long as or longer than the calyx, 4mm long purplish pink; upper pair of stamens with a small bearded appendage at the base. Nutlets broadly ellipsoid, smooth yellow dotted with black.
     
Microscopical:

A transverse section of the leaf shows an epidermis composed of one layer of cells, with thin cuticle and many glands, glandular hairs and few stomata. The lower epidermis also possesses numerous stomata, some glands, glandular and non - glandular hairs. The glandular hairs are stalkless and with uni - cellular head. The non - glandular hairs are uniseriate and multicellular and often very long. The glands consist of few cells containing essential oils, and are found in depressions of the upper and lower of cells, spongy parenchyma of 4 - 6 layers with intercellular spaces and oleo - resin contents. The mid - rib shows the vascular bundle in the centre in which xylem vessels are arranged in collenchymatous cells. The structure of petiole showing vascular bundles near the two arms.
     
Habitat:

It is cultivated and planted throughout India.