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Tulsi : more beneficial than thought

Eugenol, popularly known as clove oil, which gives clove its distinct flavour, has a host of medicinal and industrial applications. It is widely used in perfumery, aromatherapy as well as in the processed food industry, as flavoring agent and preservative. Anti-microbial and antiseptic, it is an inevitable part of a dentist’s cabinet. Currently, eugenol is highly priced in the global market (the purest quality of eugenol costs around $40 for 100 ml). Tulsi may be able to replace expensive clove and cinnamon as a cheaper source of eugenol, a natural substance found to be effective in fighting everything from tooth ache and food spoilage to stomach ache.

A team of researchers at Indian Council of Agricultural Research’s (ICAR) Directorate of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Research (DMAPR) at Anand in Gujarat, may have found a better and cheaper way of producing eugenol. DMAPR researchers, led by Parmeshwar Lal Saran, who tested 10 different accessions of tulsi collected from different parts of the country for two seasons, have been to able to identify a particular variety of tulsi (Holy Basil), codenamed DOS-1, that has very high eugenol content. however, was quick to add that DOS-1 is not available commercially and it would take a while before it is released. Currently, tulsi in different States is mainly sold as fresh leaves or dry leaves by farmers, for use in Ayurveda or herbal medicine or in beverages such as herbal tea.

Eugenol, popularly known as clove oil, which gives clove its distinct flavour, has a host of medicinal and industrial applications. It is widely used in perfumery, aromatherapy as well as in the processed food industry, as flavoring agent and preservative. Anti-microbial and antiseptic, it is an inevitable part of a dentist’s cabinet. Currently, eugenol is highly priced in the global market (the purest quality of eugenol costs around $40 for 100 ml). Tulsi may be able to replace expensive clove and cinnamon as a cheaper source of eugenol, a natural substance found to be effective in fighting everything from tooth ache and food spoilage to stomach ache.

A team of researchers at Indian Council of Agricultural Research’s (ICAR) Directorate of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Research (DMAPR) at Anand in Gujarat, may have found a better and cheaper way of producing eugenol. DMAPR researchers, led by Parmeshwar Lal Saran, who tested 10 different accessions of tulsi collected from different parts of the country for two seasons, have been to able to identify a particular variety of tulsi (Holy Basil), codenamed DOS-1, that has very high eugenol content. however, was quick to add that DOS-1 is not available commercially and it would take a while before it is released. Currently, tulsi in different States is mainly sold as fresh leaves or dry leaves by farmers, for use in Ayurveda or herbal medicine or in beverages such as herbal tea.



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