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Constituents of Ocimum sanctum with antistress activity.

Holy Basil, Ocimum sanctum, has been used for thousands of years for its help with stress.

Three new compounds, ocimumosides A (1) and B (2) and ocimarin (3), were isolated from an extract of the leaves of holy basil (Ocimum sanctum), together with eight known substances, apigenin, apigenin-7-O-beta-D-glucopyranoside, apigenin-7-O-beta-D-glucuronic acid ( 4), apigenin-7- O-beta- d-glucuronic acid 6”-methyl ester, luteolin-7-O-beta-D-glucuronic acid 6”-methyl ester, luteolin-7-O-beta-D-glucopyranoside, luteolin-5-O-beta-D-glucopyranoside, and 4-allyl-1-O-beta-D-glucopyronosyl-2-hydroxybenzene (5), and two known cerebrosides. The structures of the new compounds were determined on the basis of extensive 1D and 2D NMR spectroscopic analysis. The new compounds (1- 3) and the known compounds 4 and 5 were screened at a dose of 40 mg/kg body weight for acute stress-induced biochemical changes in male Sprague-Dawley rats. Compound 1 displayed promising antistress effects by normalizing hyperglycemia, plasma corticosterone, plasma creatine kinase, and adrenal hypertrophy. Compounds 2 and 5 were also effective in normalizing most of these stress parameters.

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