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Ayurvedic Herbs A-Z

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Ayurvedic Medicine


Ayurvedic Herbs O








Latin Name :

Ocimum basilicum

English Names :

French Basil, Sweet Basil, Common Basil

Sanskrit / Indian Names :

Vanatulasi, Munjariki, Surasa, Varvara


Ocimum basilicumAn erect, almost glabrous herb. It yields a volatile oil (Oil of basil).

The seeds of the plant are odorless with an oily, slightly pungent taste. When steeped in water, they liberate a mucilage which is semitransparent and nearly tasteless. The mucilage (9.3%) yields on hydrolysis uronic acid, glucose, xylose and rhamnose. The seeds contain a drying oil with the following fatty acid composition. The unsaponifiable fraction is reported to contain ▀-sitosterol, oleonolic acid and ursolic acid.


The plants are considered stomachic, antihelmentic, alexipharmic, antipyretic, diaphoretic, expectorant, carminative, stimulant and pectoral. An infusion of the plant is given for cephalalgia and gouty joints and used as a gargle for foul breath. The juice of the leaves has a slightly narcotic effect and allays irritation in the throat. The roots, bark and leaves are cyanogenetic. Alcoholic extracts of leaves and aqueous extracts of flowers possess antibacterial activity against Micrococcus pyogenes var. aureus. The seeds possess demulcent, stimulant, diuretic, diaphoretic and cooling properties; useful in diarrhea and dysentery.

It is also useful in various types of coughs, headaches, earaches, nasal catarrh and croup.



Latin Names :

Ocimum sanctum / O. tenuiflorum

English Name :

Holy Basil

Sanskrit / Indian Names :

Tulasi, Vishnu priya

see also Basil for more details


Ocimum sanctumAn erect, herbaceous, much-branched, softly hairy annual with purple or crimson flowers. The plant is sacred for Hindus.

The leaves yield a volatile oil, which is reported to possess antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and insecticide properties. An aqueous decoction of the whole dried plant is reported to lower blood sugar level. The juice of the leaves possesses diaphoretic, antiperiodic, stimulating and expectorant properties; it is used in catarrh and bronchitis and is applied to the skin in ringworm and other cutaneous diseases.



Latin Name :

Onosma bracteatum

English Name :


Sanskrit / Indian Name :



Onosma bracteatumA perennial roughly hairy herb, the dried leaves of which are used as the drug.

The drug is used as a tonic, alterative, demulcent, diuretic and refrigerant; it is useful as a spasmolytic.



Latin Names :

Operculina turpethum / Ipomoea turpethum

Sanskrit / Indian Names :

Nishotra, Triputa, Trivruth


Operculina turpethum is a large perennial twining climber with milky juice white flowers and fleshy-branched roots.

It's principal constituent is a glycosidic resin. The drug is used as a purgative.



Latin Name :

Orchis mascula

English Name :

Salep Orchid

Sanskrit / Indian Name :



Orchis masculaA genus of terrestrial orchids which yield the Salep of commerce.

The tubers contain a bitter principle and a volatile oil. They are used as a farinaceous food, nervine tonic and aphrodisiac. They yield a lot of mucilage with water and form a jelly that is supposed to be nutritious and useful in diarrhea, dysentery and chronic fevers.



Latin Name :

Origanum marjorana

English Name :


Sanskrit / Indian Name :



It is an aromatic herb, found in high temperate Himalayas with perennial rootstock and purple or pink corymbose cymes. It is an excellent external application for sprains and bruises.



Latin Name :

Oroxylum indicum

Sanskrit / Indian Name :



A small to medium sized deciduous tree with a light grayish brown, soft, spongy bark.


The root bark is tonic and astringent and useful in diarrhea and dysentery; it is diaphoretic and is used in rheumatism. The stem and root barks contain three flavone-coloring matters, viz. oroxylin-A, baicalein and chrysin. The bark also contains traces of an alkaloid, tannic acid, sitosterol and galactose.

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