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Ocimum Species: A Longevity Elixir

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The Ocimum Genome

Part of the book series: Compendium of Plant Genomes ((CPG))

Abstract

Aging is a major risk factor associated with the period of morbidity and pain at a later stage of life. Although the average age for initiation of morbidity has delayed, chronic diseases like hypertension, cancer, diabetes, and neurodegenerative disorders are still prevalent in affluent aging societies leading to death. Therefore, studying dietary interventions and pathology of aging can prove as an essential strategy for achieving healthy aging. The recent researches demonstrated an association of aging with remarkable elevation in intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) and stress. The plant-based molecules have successfully modulated lifespan and stress level across various species. These phytomolecules are secondary plant metabolites which play a major role in plant defence network and are synthesized as side tracks of plant’s primary metabolism. Despite the recently discovered potential of some phytomolecules in alleviating age-related stress, antiaging and stress modulatory potential of most of them is still unraveled. The natural dietary intervention modulating lifespan and health span in model organisms should be vastly studied for improving later life health. The free-living soil nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans, provides a unique and expedient platform for studying pharmacological interventions and dissecting the genetic mechanism underlying aging. The present chapter highlights the medicinal and therapeutic potential of the various Ocimum species which is commonly known as the “Queen of the herbs.” The antioxidant and antiaging potential of phytomolecules and extracts derived from this genus is thoroughly reported. Basil is the rich repository of many bioactive molecules such as monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, phenylpropanoids, anthocyanins, and phenolic acids; therefore, the longevity-promoting potential of this herb is highlighted in the present chapter. Furthermore, special attention is given to the employment of C. elegans model system for screening various phytochemicals isolated from Ocimum spp.

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Correspondence to Rakesh Pandey .

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Pant, A., Pandey, R. (2018). Ocimum Species: A Longevity Elixir. In: Shasany, A., Kole, C. (eds) The Ocimum Genome. Compendium of Plant Genomes. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-97430-9_2

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