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Economic Botany

, Volume 54, Issue 2, pp 207–216 | Cite as

Chemical Characterization of basil (Ocimum Spp.) found in the markets and used in traditional medicine in Brazil

  • Roberto F. Vieira
  • James E. Simon
Article

Abstract

Ocimum species are used both in Brazilian traditional medicine against bronchitis, coughs, and sorethroat, and in foods and flavorings. The traditional uses of basil in Brazil are reviewed and fourteen accessions of basil, O. americanum (1), O. basilicum (3), O. campechianum (3), O. gratissimum (5), and O. selloi (2) were collected and brought from Brazil to the USA and grown at Purdue University. Upon flowering, the volatile oils were extracted by hydrodistillation and chemically analyzed by GC/ MS. Accessions ofO. gratissimum showed high eugenol (40-66%) and high thymol (31%), as a relative percentage of total volatile oil. Ocimum campechianum accessions showed high 1,8-cineole (62%) and ß-caryophyllene (78.7%). Accessions of O. basilicum were found to be rich in 1,8-cineole (22%), linalool (49.7%), methyl chavicol (47%) or methyl (E)-cinnamate (65.5%). An O. americanum var. americanum accession showed high methyl (E)-cinnamate (>90%). Volatile oils of O. basilicum and O. gratissimum naturalized in Brazil reflected the range of chemotypes found in their country of origin. Unusual basils from other Ocimum species were identified that can serve as genetic sources of aroma chemicals for crop improvement.

Key Words

basil essential oil germplasm Lamiaceae Ocimum O. americanum O. basilicum O. campechianum O. gratissimum O. selloi traditional medicine 

Caracterizaçao Química de Basil (Ocimum spp.) encontrados em mercados e usados na medicina popular no

Résumé

Espécies de Ocimum são usadas na medicina tradicional brasileira contra bronquite, tosses e dores de garganta, assim como condimento para alimentas e aromatizante. Os usos tradicionais de basil foram revisados e catorze acessos de O. americanum (1), O. basilicum (3), O. campechianum (3),O. gratissimum (5), e O. selloi foram coletados e introduzidos nos Estados Unidos onde foram cultivados na Universidade de Purdue. Oleos voláteis de plantas em floracao extraidos por hidrodestilacao foram analizados via GS/MS. Acessos de O. gratissimum mostraram alto teor de eugenol (40-66%) e timol (31%), em percentagem relativa do teor de óleo total. Acessos de O. campechianum mostraram alto teor em 1,8-cineole (62%) e ß-caryophyllene (78.7%). Os acessos de O. basilicum apresentaram-se ricos em 1,8-cineole (22%), linalol (49.7%), metil chavicol (47%) ou cinamato de media (65.5%). Urn acesso de O. americanum var. americanum (bra60) mostrou urn teor alto de cinamato de metila (>90%). Os oleos volateis de O. basilicum e O. gratissimum naturalizados no Brasil refletem a extencao dos tipos quimicos encontrados em seus paises de origem. Especies incomuns de basil foram identificadas e podem servir como germoplasma para melhoramento.

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Copyright information

© The New York Botanical Garden Press 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roberto F. Vieira
    • 1
  • James E. Simon
    • 1
  1. 1.New Crops and Plant Products Center, Purdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA

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