Oaxaca de Juárez, May 17. The plant is traditionally used to treat stomach or throat infections, but thanks to microbiological and chemical studies, new applications are known.
José Antonio Azamar Barrios, researcher at Cinvestav Unidad Mérida, became interested in wild basil (Ocimum micranthum Willd) when he learned about the case of a farmer who injured his arm with a machete, and his colleagues looked for that plant to apply to the wound and Give him time to get to the hospital, where they were informed that it had healed.
Azamar Barrios, who does his scientific work in the Department of Applied Physics, called his attention that “the doctor was surprised to see the wound healed and only required a small cure”, then the researcher decided to make more complete analyzes to check if the basil had properties against wounds and infections in the skin.
“I asked that they get me that plant in the mountain where the farmers worked, that they used it only crushed and applied it as a compress in the wound, that motivated me to carry out microbiological, chemical and cellular studies of the basil, with the purpose of checking those properties, “explained the researcher.
From this fact, it was proposed to determine the chemical and functional composition of the components of wild or wild basil, for which a microbiological evaluation was made of the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, in addition to the fungus Candida albicans, with the objective of identifying the substances that constitute it and could have beneficial effects.
The research group also analyzed the chemical components that give the wild basil certain properties to treat some cutaneous infections, they observed 24 components of the plant and the main ones were caryophyllene, methyleugenol, eugenol, humulene and eucalyptol.
The knowledge generated by the research is intended to be applied in people, therefore tests were conducted with human cells and with a mouse animal model in order to check its therapeutic properties, at the moment the analyzes are still under processing, because the research started as a PhD thesis that is currently under review.
In the analysis, two extraction methods were used: one hydroalcoholic and the other alcoholic for the purpose of identifying the components of the plant and, additionally, an essential oil was obtained, with these elements all the studies were done to check if the basil It has healing properties and can help in skin infections.
Azamar Barrios explained that with the data generated in this research, “some medicine could be developed, mainly for cures, and it could also have other biomedical applications for wound healing or to help in case of cutaneous infections”.
The researchers are interested in developing a medical application with a certified scientific protocol to take advantage of the therapeutic properties of basil more effectively, because the plant grows in various regions of the country, but also in South America and the State of Florida, in United.
Although some beneficial properties for the health of the basil have already been described, the team of José Antonio Azamar with his studies is discovering and verifying in a more complete way those virtues, but above all proposing new uses, by combining them with other medical developments. .
For example, the juice of the plant was applied on a chitosan membrane designed by Azamar Barrios, to be used as a patch, “chitosan is an antibacterial and antifungal material and if we add basil juice this potentiates the effect of the membrane for the healing of wounds “.
The research, in which a multidisciplinary group composed of biologists, cell physiologists, chemists and microbiologists, participates, was published in the scientific journal BMC Complemantary and Alternative Medicine. “It is important to recover traditional knowledge about plants with medicinal properties, to check with scientific protocols that effectively have these effects and this will surely lead us to generate a patent and develop a drug for each plant studied, also from the point of visit of materials could also generate medical applications, “said José Antonio Azamar Barrios.