Ocimum americanum L. (= O. canum Sims)

DeFilipps, Robert A. & Krupnick, Gary A., 2018, The medicinal plants of Myanmar, PhytoKeys 102, pp. 1-341: 98

publication ID


persistent identifier


treatment provided by

PhytoKeys by Pensoft

scientific name

Ocimum americanum L. (= O. canum Sims)


Ocimum americanum L. (= O. canum Sims) 


Myanmar: pin-sein, pin-sein hmway. English: hoary basil.


Tropical and subtropical. Asia, tropical Africa. Found naturally all over country, especially in the hot zone. Grows up to 915 m altitude. Cultivated.


Can control gas and phlegm, congestion, and indigestion; can degrade bile. Plant also used as a diuretic. Whole plant: Used to treat skin diseases and as a febrifuge. Soaked in water and the steam inhaled to treat paralysis due to strokes and inflammation of the joints. Monkey meat can be roasted, and together with many basil leaves, used to treat lung disease, impotency, eye diseases, coughing, and asthma. Leaf: The juice obtained from crushing them used for coughs, skin disease, loss of appetite, and stomach pain due to gastritis. Leaves crushed and squeezed until liquid comes out and this brushed onto the temples and forehead to cure headaches. They can be stir fried with dried ngagyi chaul ( Heteropneustes fossilis  , a small freshwater catfish) to treat vomiting, fatigue in women, a prolapsed uterus, blockage of milk glands, itching of the body and limbs, pain in passing urine, and infections occurring after childbirth. To neutralize very venomous snake and other venomous bites, equal amounts of the leaves and pyin-daw ( Clausena  sp.), and basil leaves are crushed together and made into balls taken as pills, also crushed leaves are made into a poultice to place on the bites. Slightly smoked basil and betel ( Piper betle  ) leaves crushed together with some tumeric powder are used as an ointment to treat children with hot foreheads. Seed: Equal parts of basil, sesame seeds, and jaggery are ground together and mixed with honey, made into balls the size of betel nuts, then swallowed twice a day to give relief from and cure diseases that occur in the intestine, heart, and kidney, as well as diseases producing excess gas and phlegm, toothaches, inflammation of the gums, hemorrhoids, too little urine, and skin diseases such as ringworm, scabies, and eczema. Seed: Dried, slightly crushed seeds, taken together with milk and sugar are used to treat urinary diseases and menstruation with coagulated blood. The seeds can be soaked in water and added to soft drinks to treat hepatitis, promote urination, and ease fatigue.


The medicinal uses of this species in India are discussed in Jain and DeFilipps (1991).


Nordal (1963), Agricultural Corporation (1980), Perry (1980).