Botanically it is known as Ocimum sanctum Linn. It is an erect, soft, hairy herb. The leaves are ovate or elliptic-oblong. The tree is widely grown in Nepal and India.
The leaves are expectorant, stomach, anticatarrhal, diaphoretic and aromatic, their dissection is given in malaria, gastric diseases of children, and liver disorders. As a prophylactic against malaria, fresh leaves are eaten with black pepper in the morning.
The leaf juice with honey is a household remedy for chronic fever and dyspepsia. The leaf juice is locally applied for ringworm and other skin diseases and for relief of ear he.
A decoction of the roots is also very useful in malaria fever. A paste of the fresh roots is applied to bites of insects and leeches. The leaf juice with honey and licorice is an age-old remedy for cough and cold.
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Dr. Ram Bahadur Bohara is the Chairman of the Nepal Alternative Medical Development Council, Advisor of Science Infotech and Health Columnist, and Journalist of Nepalpatra.