Bronchodilator activity of Ocimum sanctum Linn. (tulsi) in mild and moderate asthmatic patients in comparison with salbutamol: a single-blind cross-over study

Vinaya M., Kudagi B. L., Mohammed Ameeruddin Kamdod, Mallikarjuna Swamy


Background: Bronchial asthma is one of the commonest chronic inflammatory diseases. The drugs available to treat bronchial asthma such as, beta-2 agonists, though very effective are associated with adverse effects. Therefore, the Ocimum sanctum (Tulsi) which was shown to have antiasthmatic activity in Ayurveda, is evaluated in this study.

Objectives: To evaluate the bronchodilator activity of Ocimum sanctum Linn. in mild and moderate asthma and compare its efficacy with the standard bronchodilator drug, Salbutamol.

Methods: This is a single-blind cross-over study. Capsules of Ocimum sanctum Linn. (200 mg, twice daily) and Salbutamol sulphate (2 mg, twice daily) were administered in 41 patients. Each drug was administered for a period of one week with a washout period of one week between the two drug schedules. FEV1 and PEFR were recorded in these patients to assess the bronchodilator activity before the drug administration, on 4th and on 7th day of administration of Ocimum sanctum and the parameters obtained were compared with that of the standard drug, Salbutamol.

Results: Ocimum sanctum 200mg twice daily produced significant improvement in both FEV1 and PEFR values, on 4th and 7th day and also produced improvement in symptoms of asthma. On comparing the results with that of Salbutamol 2mg twice daily, the bronchodilator activity of Ocimum sanctum was found to be less efficacious, where Salbutamol produced very highly significant improvement in FEV1 and PEFR values on both 4th and 7th day.

Conclusions: Our results suggest that Ocimum sanctum Linn. possesses significant bronchodilator activity in mild and moderate bronchial asthma.


Bronchodilation, FEV1, Ocimum sanctum, PEFR, Salbutamol

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