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Functional Properties of Basil, A Natural Medicine
* 1 , * 2
1  Senior Researcher, Biotechnology Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing, China
2  Associate Professor, Biotechnology Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing, China
Academic Editor: Marcello Iriti (registering DOI)

Basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) is one of the most important member of Ocimum genus. The dominant volatile components of basil are eugenol, methyl chavicol, linalool, methyl cinnamate and bergamotene. It is an important part cuisines in countries like Iran, China and India. The main phenolic components of basil are phenolic acids and flavonol-glycosides. The information provided is obtained from review articles, randomized control experiments, and analytical observations and studies which were gathered from different literature sources such as Scopus, Google Scholar, Science Direct and Pubmed. The keywords used were basil, basil seed mucilage, traditional Asian medicine, traditional Iranian medicine, linalool, eugenol, and traditional Chinese medicine. The main fatty acids compositions of basil species are oleic acid, stearic acid, linoleic acid, palmitic acid, α-linolenic acid, myristic acid, lauric acid, carpic acid and arachidonic acid. The most notable antioxidant components of basil are vanillic, caeffic, quercetin, rosmarinic acids, apigenin, rutin, chlorogenic, and p-hydroxybenzoic. Essential oils of basil are methyl chavicol, 1,8 cineole, α-Pinene, β-Pinene, ocimene, linalool, geraneol, borneal, B-caryphyllone, eugenol, and n-cinnamate. Basil has tremendous pharmacological benefits such as anti-microbial activity, anti-cancer activity, radioprotective activity, immunomodulatory effects, anti-inflammatory effects, anti-diabetic activity, anti-stress activity, anti-arthritic effect, anti-pyretic activity and it has been used as a prophylactic agent and in cardiovascular disease. The use of basil in both pharmaceutical and food industries is highly suggested.

Keywords: basil; basil seed mucilage; traditional Asian medicine; traditional Iranian medicine; linalool; eugenol; anti-cancer activity.