Ocimum micranthum Willd.
Ocimum montanum Hook.
Ocimum pubescens Mill. ex Benth.
Ocimum campechianum is an erect, sparsely-branched, annual plant growing 20 - 50cm tall[
The plant is gathered from the wild for local use as a food flavouring, tea and medicine.
S. America - Argentina northwards through most of south America; C. America to Mexico; through the Caribbean to Florida.
Waste and cultivated ground in the Bahamas[
]. Moist to dry thickets or open fields, often on rocky hillsides or on gravel and sand bars along streams, at elevations up to 1,300 metres in Guatemala[
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The Maya plant this weed near graves and also put it in a flowerpot and on the altar of the church[
The leaves and young stems are used as a flavouring in soups and stews[
The dried, fragrant leaves are used to make a tea[
The plant is much used in domestic medicine in Guatemala for treating colds and stomach disturbances. The principal use of the plant, however, is as a remedy for the screw worms that sometimes parasitize the nasal passages of people in the tropics. The leaves are pulverized and placed inside the nose, after which it is said that the larvae emerge. A decoction of the plant also is used to kill the larvae[
]. The leaves are also used to combat parasitic ankylostome larvae that are embedded between toes - the area is first rubbed with Capsicum frutescens fruit, then the feet are placed in a hot bath of Ocimum in a decoction with Begonia glabra and Citrus aurantiifolia[
The whole plant is boiled and the liquid drunk to cure cases of dysentery[
The leaves are antispasmodic and sedative[
]. They are used to treat coughs and colds[
Bunches of the leaves are applied to the ears as a remedy for earache[
]. The macerated leaves are used in a wash to treat fevers and are rubbed into the abdomen to relieve colic[
]. An infusion is used as an eyewash[
]. The bruised leaves are used for reducing tumours[
A tincture of the leaves in rum is employed as a lotion to relieve rheumatism[
The leaf juice and seed oil are used as an eyewash[
The finely powdered dried seeds are applied to the irritated eyes of children[
]. They are used to treat film on eye[
The plant contains camphor, eugenol, methyleugenol and estragol[
]. The essential oil is evidently an antiseptic[
The curly whitish leaves are rubbed on horses to prevent the bites of horseflies[
The aromatic twigs are inserted under wristbands or crushed and rubbed on the shoulders in order to apply a pleasant scent to the body[
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