Indian scientists unravel genome of the holy Tulsi plant

Indian scientists have made an interesting breakthrough towards understanding the medicinal value of the famous Tulsi herb. The scientists have discovered some 40 special chemicals in the plant, among them Ursolic acid, which they say have therapeutic importance. Although the study of Tulsi is not conclusive, it sets the stage for what could lead to a significant medical discovery and new medicines for threatening conditions like cancer.

For many centuries, Tulsi plant has been used in many Indian households to cure a variety of ailments.

Nevertheless, the queen of herbs, as it is fondly called, has largely remained an enigma in the sense that scientific understanding of its properties has been limited or completely nonexistent.

40 Medically Promising Compounds

In a move that could inspire more studies and eventual treatment breakthroughs, Indian researchers have been able to decode the Tulsi plant.

For the first time, scientists say that Tulsi could be rich with at least 40 chemicals that explain its medicinal value. However, more studies will still need to be done on the plant to clearly understand its medicinal properties.

A proper understanding of Tulsi could give way to a potentially revolutionary treatment for conditions like cancer.

The latest findings about Tulsi plant could in future inspire a wide range of new medicines based on the chemical properties of the wonder plant.

According to S Ramaswamy from the inStem, decoding Tulsi revealed interesting ways about how the plant makes a chemical called Ursolic acid, which is a medically valuable chemical.

Ramaswamy further said that Ursolic acid could be of great benefit, medically, if a way could be found to produce it using modern synthetic techniques.

Around 25 scientists from various organizations such as inStem, NCBS and CCAMP participated in the research to try and deciphered the adored Tulsi plant.

Traditional Application of Tulsi

For nearly 3,000 years, Tulsi plant has been cultivated in India, and it has been widely used to combat fungal, bacterial and pyretic infections. The plant is also used as an anti-cancer cure, and its many medicinal properties have earned it the distinction of the queen of herbs.

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