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Useful Tropical Plants

Basilicum polystachyon

(L.) Moench

Lamiaceae

+ Synonyms

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

Basilicum polystachyon
Flowering stem
Photograph by: Fagg, M.
Image credit to Australian National Botanic Gardens
Basilicum polystachyon Basilicum polystachyon

General Information

Musk basil is an aromatic, erect, much branched, annual to short-lived perennial herb that grows 40 - 100cm tall[
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Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].
The plant is gathered from the wild, mainly for local medicinal use[
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Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
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http://proseanet.org/
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].

Known Hazards

Some people lack tolerance for the internal use of this plant, and develop sores in the mouth[
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Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
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Website
http://proseanet.org/
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Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

Botanical References


Range

Tropical and south Africa, through the Indian Ocean, tropical and subtropical Asia to Australia.

Habitat

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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Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
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Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
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Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitAnnual/Perennial
Height0.70 m
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details

A plant of the lowland tropics, where it is usually found at elevations below 600 metres[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
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Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
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Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
]. The plant grows best in areas with a distinct dry season[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

Once established, the seedlings grow rapidly[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
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Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
]. They start branching when they have reached a height of about 40cm[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
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Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
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Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].
A shallow rooted plant[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].
Plants can be in flower all year round[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

Edible Uses

The leaves are used to flavour food[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

Medicinal

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[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].
The crushed leaves are used as a sedative, and to relieve painful sprains and limbs[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
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Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
]. Decoctions are used for epilepsy, palpitations of the heart, neuralgia, nervous headaches, nervousness after childbirth, rheumatism and convulsions[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

The fresh roots are chewed against cough, or cooked with food to reduce flatulence[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

An infusion of the fruit is taken for parturition in the case of delayed birth[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

The leaf-sap is squeezed into the nostrils of children to cause sneezing, in order to cure headache[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

Other Uses

The plant is burnt indoors as a mosquito and snake repellent[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

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%)[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
]. Eugenol is toxic in large amounts and can cause contact dermatitis[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

Propagation

Seed -
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2019-06-27. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Basilicum+polystachyon>

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