Unravelling the Medicinal Properties of Tulsi: Benefits

Unravelling the Medicinal Properties of Tulsi: Benefits

Question: Domesticated Tulsi’s medicinal properties have recently been unearthed by NCBS and Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms. Discuss how this breakthrough is beneficial.

- Domesticated tulsi contains a very high concentration of metabolites which are medicinally important

- Draft genome covering 374 million bases or 61% coverage of tulsi herb has been sequenced by scientists from NCBS and Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms.

- Main enzymes responsible for synthesis of secondary metabolite which have medicinal properties have been discovered

- Tulsi has numerous medicinal properties- it is anti fungal, anti bacterial, antiviral, anti pyretic, antioxidant, anticancer and antiseptic

- Using a genome tool, they have established genes concerned with the production of anticancer compounds

- Of 5 tulsi subtypes studied, 2 domestic subtypes Rama( with green leaves) and Krishna(with purple leaves) contain a high concentration of metabolites that are medicinally important

- Concentration of eugenol and ursoli acid which is anti infective and anti cancer in both leaf and stem were found in greater concentration in Rama subtype

- Rama and Krishna tulsi chiefly are used in Ayurveda

- Of the numerous parts of the plant, leaves had the highest concentration of metabolites

- Only small amount was contained in the roots and stems

- Researchers also found synthesis of metabolites appears in young leaves while mature leaves retain metabolites that are medicinally relevant

- Metabolites are most abundant in leaves and they are a source of energy production

- They are most vulnerable to consumption by animals and exposure to disease causing pathogens


- Many compounds found in the plant have been evaluated for anti cancer properties in numerous clinical trials

- Final product is isolated from tulsi leaves

- Production of these compounds is beneficial because it opens the horizon for commercial exploitation of medicinally important compounds

- Genes with anti cancer properties are known so yeast with tulsi enzyme can make molecules that are normally created by the plant itself

- Cost of production and time taken for production of compounds come down considerably if commercial exploitation is attained

Facts and Stats

- Of close to 40 secondary metabolites having medicinal value, genes and enzymes concerned with the production of 14 metabolites on genome mapping have been studied

- Of the 14 metabolites that have been mapped, 8 posses anti cancer properties

The remaining 6 possess the following medicinal properties:

- Anti fungal

- Antioxidant

- Anti Inflammatory

- Antiseptic

- Cardio protective properties
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