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Ocimum Canum

A Brief Introduction
Ocimum Canum belongs to the Lamiaceae family. This annual plant is native to the African continent and grows to a height of 2 feet. It is also known as the African basil with a distinct mint flavor, with hairy leaves and scented flowers. Two important relatives with similar properties are the Ocimum gratissimum (basil), and Ocimum sanctum (holy basil). All of these are used in medicinal preparations in various parts of the world. The ocimum canum was used specially for treating diabetes. This bushy herb is common in tropical Africa and other areas of the tropics and was later introduced into the Americas. The plant branches from the base and has an angled stems and oval pubescent leaves. Its leaves are tiny and fuzzy and and have beautiful violet or white flowers, having a sweet scent resembling that of the clove. The leaves of the ocimum canum are opposite and toothed

in shape, with small flowers. It is irregular and occurs in crowded whorls. The ocimum canum has a small corrolla. These plants have an intense floral-fruity aromas.

 

Cultivation
It flourishes in conditions of lot of sun, well drained soils and access to heat. The plant grows quickly and the seeds sprout easily when placed in warm soils, especially indoors, and take about eight weeks to grow. It does not do well in conditions of frost and regularly requires warm sun and soil to thrive. The plant prefers warm weather regions and flourishes in areas where the weather is warm for a much longer time. They also require ample amounts of water to thrive.

 

Uses
Ocimum Canum is grown for its medicinal and culinary value and it is highly useful in treating various types of diseases and in lowering blood glucose, especially in type 2 diabetes levels. The herb can be used to treat colds, fevers, parasitic infestations on the body and inflammation of joints and headaches. The traditional medicine recognized its value in the treatment of fevers, dysentary and tooth problems. It was used as an insect repellent to counter the insect damages post harvest. It is used in various types of religious functions as part of rituals and as incense to protect the home. The leaves are used for flavoring purposes. The oil of the ocimum canum is composed of Linalool. The seeds may provide dietary fiber or reduce constipation.


The herb has known antibacterial, anti fungal, and antiviral properties and acts like an analgesic and rubefacient. The essential oils and leaves are used in flavoring in foods, in chewing gums, sweets, teas, soft drinks, energy drinks, milk products, cosmetics, shampoos, soaps, shower gels, body lotions, and toothpastes. It works as a great mosquito repellent to prevent malaria and dengue fever.

 
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