Monoterpene Hydrocarbons

The amounts of monoterpene hydrocarbons in the essential oils of Ocimum species are generally very low ranging from traces to only a few percent only. The average percentage is less than one percent of the total oil although there are some exceptions to this. The concentration of limonene and myrcene is very low in the essential oils of the Ocimum species as is also the proportional amount of most monoterpene hydrocarbons. The content of limonene varies from 0 to 1.0 and myrcene from 0 to 1.2...

Antifungal Activity

The antifungal activity of Ocimum leaves, extracts, essential oils and their components is frequently studied, mostly in warm countries where the need for protection of plants and stored crops against fungi is of great importance. Also the effect of Ocimum oils against a number of dermatophytes has been studied. Data concerning Ocimum species and their antifungal activity have been collected in Table 5.2. Table 5.2 Antifungal activity of Ocimum species (+ active, not active against the fungus...

Eli Putievsky1 and Bertalan Galambosi2

1 Agricultural Research Organisation, Newe Ya'ar Research Centre, P.O Box 90000, Haifa 31900, Israel 2 Agricultural Research Centre of Finland, Karila Research Station for Ecological Agriculture, Karilantie 2 A, FIN-50600 Mikkeli, Finland MAIN ELEMENTS OF SWEET BASIL CULTIVATION TECHNIQUES During the long cultivation history of basil, numerous experiments have been carried out to specify the elements of basil cultivation techniques suitable for different climatic regions (Darrah 1972). For...

Phenylpropane Derivatives as Main Constituents

Biosynthetically phenylpropanes are formed in plant cells via the shikimic acid pathway. L-Phenylalanine and L-tyrosine which are formed this way serve as precursors for a wide variety of natural products, including the phenylpropanes in the essential oils. Phenylpropanes are synthesized from trans-cinnamic acid (E)-cinnamic acid which in turn is generated by the elimination of ammonia from the side-chain of L-phenylalanine. Many characteristic compounds of basil oil, including methyl...

Effects on Smooth Muscle

A crude lipid extract of O.gratissimum leaves caused contractions in a guinea pig ileum, rat colon and raised the mean arterial blood pressure in rats. The compounds seem to be related to lipids and fairly polar (Onajobi 1986). The volatile oil of basil (O.basilicum) had relaxant effects on tracheal and ileal smooth muscles of the guinea pig. Of 22 oils examined basil belonged to the most potent group consisting of 16 oils. The EC -value for tracheal muscle was 19 mg 1 and for ileal muscle 32...

Infrageneric Classification of Ocimum

The strict consensus tree (Figure 1.3) broadly supports the major groupings recognized by Bentham (1848) as follows sect. Gymnodmum (clade D) sect Ocimum (clade C) subsect. Ocimum (clade F) subsect Gratissima (clade J) subsect Hiantia (clade M). However, sect. Hierocymum is not supported and is polyphyletic on the basis of this analysis, its members being scattered throughout several clades (O.lamiifolium, O. selloi, O.nudicaule Benth. and O.tenuiflorum L.). Bentham's classification does not...

Production Areas

Due to its great popularity basil is grown all over the world, in the warm and temperate zones. Basil cultivation is practiced in the following countries India, Pakistan, the Comores, Madagascar, Haiti, Guatemala, Reunion, Thailand, Indonesia, Russia (Georgia, East-Caucasus) and South Africa Egypt, Morocco, France, Israel, Bulgaria, USA (Arizona, California, New Mexico), Italy, Greece and Turkey Hungary, Poland, Germany, Balkan countries, Slovakia From the available trade statistics and the...

Fertilizers

The effect of fertilization on the herb yield of basil grown in a field trial at the University of Helsinki (Finland) was studied during the years 1984-1985 (Halva 1987, Halva and Puukka 1987). Three chemotypes of basil (O.basilicum) were reported 1) methyl chavicol, 2) linalool and 3) linalool-eugenol. The linalool-eugenol chemotype originated from Budakalasz (Hungary). The essential oil composition was not affected by nitrogen fertilization. The total oil yield decreased slightly along with...

Morphology

Morphological variation within Ocimum and allies is summarized below. Characters used in the cladistic analysis can be found under the appropriate section. The number in parenthesis preceding the character refers to that character's position in the data matrix. The data matrix used for the analysis is provided in Appendix 1. Members of the genus can be annual herbs which lack a rhizome, possessing only a tap root e.g., O.basilicum L. or they can be suffrutices with a large or small perennating...