Herbal medicine has a long background equal to history of humankind. Several plants have been used as
remedies in ancient Persian, Egyptian, Chinese and Indian civilizations. The plant Ocimum sanctum Linn. (Tulsi) is one of
these medicinal plants with a wide variety of applications in traditional medicine. In modern era, it has been shown to be
effective against diabetes mellitus, hypertension, cancers, bronchitis, and found to have anti-microbial properties. Several
experimental studies have confirmed its anti-inflammatory properties and its role in modulation of both cellular and
humeral immunity. Recently its efficacy against inflammatory response, hepatic injury and gastric ulcer has been
elucidated in animal studies. In liver, essential oils and extracts of Ocimum sanctum could prevent oxidative stress by
increasing glutathione peroxidae and catalase and were also effective in prevention of hepatic steatosis. In gastric
epithelial tissue different derivatives of Ocimum sanctum had anti-ulcer and anti-secretory characteristics and could heal
gastric ulceration. These beneficial properties of this medicinal plant can mainly originate from its major biochemically
active constituents like eugenol, carvacrol, ursolic acid, β-caryophyllene and rosmarinic acid. Here in, we reviewed
current literature about anti-inflammatory, gastric and hepatoprotective properties of Ocimum sanctum.
Keywords: Carvacrol, eugenol, gastric ulcer, hepatic injury, inflammation, Ocimum sanctum, ursolic acid.
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