Ocimum gratissimum L. (Lamiaceae)
|ENG||Clove basil, African basil|
The plant is commonly used in folk medicine to treat different diseases, e.g. upper respiratory tract infections, diarrhea, headache, ophthalmic, skin diseases (acne), pneumonia, and also as a treatment for cough, fever, and conjunctivitis.
|Harvest / Folium|
|Harvest / Herba|
Botanical description and occurrence:
Clove basil is a perennial plant belonging to the Lamiaceae family that is common in Asia and Africa, but in temperate climate plants are cultivated as annuals. This is a shrub type of basil genus, up to 1.5-1.8 m in height. Leaves are light green, large, soft, ovoid-heart-shaped, with serrated edge. Plants bloom in July-August, flowers are small and white. The predominant aroma compounds of clove basil essential oil are eugenol and 1,8-cineole. Herb (Herba Basilici) is harvested at the beginning of plant blooming ‒ at that time it produces oil containing the highest amount of eugenol.
Why to have the plant in your garden:
Plant has a slightly bitter taste and strong spicy aroma, close to the smell of cloves and allspice. It can be used fresh, dried, salted or frozen, as a component of spicy salad, first and second dishes, addition to apples or pears, processed vegetables, in the production of various kind of jams, marmalades, juices and jellies. Strong antiacne activity.
Links to scientific articles (if it is possible):
Prabhu K.S., Lobo R., Shirwaikar A.A., Shirwaikar A., 2009. Ocimum gratissimum: a review of its chemical, pharmacological and ethnomedicinal properties. The Open Complementary Medicine Journal 1, 1-15.
Rao B.R.R., Kothari S.K., Rajput D.K., Patel R.P., Darokar M.P., 2011. Chemical and biological diversity in fourteen selections of four Ocimum species. Natural Product Communications 6(11), 1705-1710.