Category MCRO L21 Mechanism by Which Holy Basil Protects Human Cells Against


Abstract The herb Basil is known for its medicinal properties (1-2). For the past

four years, I have been studying the antimicrobial properties of basil.

Last year, I found that basal protects human lung cells from K.

pneumoniae, a gram negative bacteria. This year, I will be testing to

see if basil can protect lung cells from S. pneumoniae, a gram positive

bacteria. My results, from my project last year, showed that although

the basil did not kill all of the bacteria, it was still able to keep almost all

the cells alive. Therefore, I will also be studying the mechanism by

which basil protects the cells. I expect that basil will protect cells from

gram positive bacteria equally as well as a gram negative. I also expect

that the basil will protect the cells by facilitating the release of protective

substances and inhibiting harmful substances. I will conduct my

experiment by pretreating the lung cells with a 1% solution of organic

basil powder and incubating for 24 hours. Following this, it will be

infected with bacterial suspension (1000 cfu). I will then analyze the

viability with trypan blue dye. I will also collect the media that had

contained the cells, and examine the changes in levels of proteins such

as cytokines using ELISA. A scientific report which connected

pneumonia related mortality to increased levels of proinflammatory

cytokines prompted me to select cytokines.(3) At the end of my project,

I expect the results to show that basil protects gram negative, as well as

gram positive bacteria and that it will increase the levels of anti

inflammatory cytokines and/or decrease the levels of proinflammatory


Bibliography 1. Basil: The Genus Ocimum by Harwood Academic Publishers. edited

by Raimo Hiltunen, Yvonne Holm2. Ocimum sanctum L (Holy Basil or

Tulsi) and its phytochemicals in the prevention and treatment of cancer.

Nutr Cancer. 2013;65 Suppl 1:26-35.
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