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Ocimum gratissimum

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Ocimum gratissimum, also known as clove basil, African basil,<ref name="usda">PLANTS Profile for Ocimum gratissimum | USDA Plants, Retrieved Jan. 7, 2009.</ref> and in Hawaii as wild basil,<ref name="hawaii">Ocimum gratissimum - Wild Basil (Lamiaceae)</ref> is a species of Ocimum. It is native to Africa, Madagascar, southern Asia, and the Bismarck Archipelago, and naturalized in Polynesia, Hawaii, Mexico, Panama, West Indies, Brazil, and Bolivia.<ref>Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families</ref>

Other names

O. gratissimum is a common culinary herb in West Africa and is used by some in the Caribbean, going by many local names.

  • Ebe-amwonkho in Edo
  • Tchayo in Fon
  • Efinrin in Yoruba
  • Daidoya in Hausa
  • Nchuanwu also Arimu in Igbo
  • Ntong in Efik
  • Kunudiri in Okrika
  • Nunum in Akan
  • Nunu Bush in Jamaica (from the Akan language)
  • Yerba di holé in Papiamento
  • Fobazen in Haiti
  • Scent leaves in Nigeria and in the African diaspora
  • Mujaaja in Uganda
  • Maduruthala in Sri Lanka මදුරුතලා
  • Kattutulasi in Kerala මදුරුතලා

Seed germination

Seeds seem to need strong sunlight to germinate, although germination has been achieved even during an average UK summer.<ref>Influence of light, temperature and gibberellic acid on the germination of Ocimum gratissimum L. (Lamiaceae) seeds and evaluation of physiological quality by the X-ray test Martins J.R., Alvarenga A.A., Castro E.M., Batista L.A., Silva A.P.O. Revista Brasileira de Plantas Medicinais 2008 10:2 (44-49)</ref>

Pharmacology of extracts and essential oils

The essential oil of Ocimum gratissimum contains eugenol and shows some evidence of antibacterial activity.<ref>Chemical composition, antibacterial activity in vitro and brine-shrimp toxicity of the essential oil from inflorescences of Ocimum gratissimum L., Lamiaceae Silva L.L., Heldwein C.G., Reetz L.G.B., Hörner R., Mallmann C.A., Heinzmann B.M. [In Process] Brazilian Journal of Pharmacognosy 2010 20:5 (700-705)</ref><ref>Celso Vataru Nakamura, Tania Ueda-Nakamura, Erika Bando, Abrahão Fernandes Negrão Melo, Díogenes Aparício Garcia Cortez, Benedito Prado Dias Filho, "Antibacterial Activity of Ocimum gratissimum L. Essential Oil", Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Vol. 94(5): 675-678.</ref><ref>Justification for the use of Ocimum gratissimum L in herbal medicine and its interaction with disc antibiotics Nweze E.I., Eze E.E. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2009 9 (37) Article Number 1472</ref><ref>Nutritional and antimicrobial properties of Ocimum gratissimum leaves Oboh F.O.J., Madsodje H.I., Enabulele S.A. Journal of Biological Sciences 2009 9:4 (377-380)</ref> The essential oil has potential for use as a food preservative,<ref>Food preservative potential of essential oils and fractions from Cymbopogon citratus, Ocimum gratissimum and Thymus vulgaris against mycotoxigenic fungi Nguefack J., Dongmo J.B.L., Dakole C.D., Leth V., Vismer H.F., Torp J., Guemdjom E.F.N., Mbeffo M., Tamgue O., Fotio D., Zollo P.H.A., Nkengfack A.E. International Journal of Food Microbiology 2009 131:2-3 (151-156)</ref> and is toxic to Leishmania.<ref>Effects of essential oils from Cymbopogon citratus (DC) Stapf., Lippia sidoides Cham., and Ocimum gratissimum L. on growth and ultrastructure of Leishmania chagasi promastigotes Oliveira V.C.S., Moura D.M.S., Lopes J.A.D., De Andrade P.P., Da Silva N.H., Figueiredo R.C.B.Q. Parasitology Research 2009 104:5 (1053-1059)</ref>



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