Lehmannia ocymoidea Jacq. ex Steud.
Lumnitzera ocimoides Jacq. ex Spreng.
Lumnitzera polystachyon (L.) J.Jacq. ex Spreng.
Moschosma dimidiatum (Schumach. & Thonn.) Benth.
Moschosma polystachyon (L.) Benth.
Ocimum dimidiatum Schumach. & Thonn.
Ocimum moschatum Salisb.
Ocimum polystachyon L.
Ocimum tashiroi Hayata
Perxo polystachyon (L.) Raf.
Plectranthus micranthus Spreng.
Plectranthus parviflorus R.Br.
Common Name: Musk Basil
Musk basil is an aromatic, erect, much branched, annual to short-lived perennial herb that grows 40 - 100cm tall[
The plant is gathered from the wild, mainly for local medicinal use[
Some people lack tolerance for the internal use of this plant, and develop sores in the mouth[
Tropical and south Africa, through the Indian Ocean, tropical and subtropical Asia to Australia.
Found as a weed in open waste places, usually in humid soils, such as fallow rice fields, along streams and swampy grasslands[
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A plant of the lowland tropics, where it is usually found at elevations below 600 metres[
]. The plant grows best in areas with a distinct dry season[
Once established, the seedlings grow rapidly[
]. They start branching when they have reached a height of about 40cm[
A shallow rooted plant[
Plants can be in flower all year round[
The leaves are used to flavour food[
Musk basil leaves are used internally as a tea, and externally in decoction as a lotion. Caution is advised in using this plant since some people lack tolerance for internal use, and develop sores in the mouth[
The crushed leaves are used as a sedative, and to relieve painful sprains and limbs[
]. Decoctions are used for epilepsy, palpitations of the heart, neuralgia, nervous headaches, nervousness after childbirth, rheumatism and convulsions[
The fresh roots are chewed against cough, or cooked with food to reduce flatulence[
An infusion of the fruit is taken for parturition in the case of delayed birth[
The leaf-sap is squeezed into the nostrils of children to cause sneezing, in order to cure headache[
The plant is burnt indoors as a mosquito and snake repellent[
The leaves and flowers yield a pale yellow viscous essential oil, of which the main components are: methyl-eugenol (39%), methyl-isoeugenol (8%), limonene (7%), 1,8-cineole (eucalyptol, 5%), 'BETA'-elemene (5%), 'BETA'-caryophyllene (5%), 'BETA'-selinene (4%), citronellal (3.5%), geranyl acetate (2.9%), 'ALFA'-humulene (2.4%), isobornyl acetate (2%) and 'DELTA'-cadinene (2%)[
]. Eugenol is toxic in large amounts and can cause contact dermatitis[
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