Tulsi Oil Extraction Process
Today, we are going to discuss steps involved in Tulsi Oil Extraction Process and Holy basil or Tulsi essential oil uses and benefits.
Introduction of Tulsi oil:
Tulsi oil is extracted from holy basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum), a variety of basil that is native to the Indian subcontinent. This bushy plant can grow from two to three feet tall, with serrated oval leaves that can range from light green to purple (depending on the variety). These plants also produce spikes of little pink or lavender blossoms and fruits that are reminiscent of rust-colored nuts.
The Tulsi plant is extremely sensitive to frost and thrives best in warm Mediterranean climates, just as other basil species do. But while it grows best out in the garden, you can still develop this herb indoors. Because of its several beneficial properties; the Tulsi plant has been dubbed the “Queen of Herbs.” The name Tulsi itself translates to “the incomparable one,” which probably refers to the numerous health benefits it can provide.
Tulsi plays a great role and one of the herbs of India’s ancient holistic health system called Ayurveda. In fact, Ayurveda means “knowledge of life,” and herbs are in the middle of this practice. This is why it’s not surprising that Tulsi oil has garnered considerable attention, particularly because of its soothing effects. The unique fragrance and medicinal qualities that holy basil oil offers absolutely make it deserving of the title “elixir of life.”
Tulsi oil has a sharp, fresh, earthy & minty fragrance that’s described to be similar to licorice. It is a pale yellow color and has a thin consistency. Prepared by steam distillation of the leaves of the sacred herb of India “Tulasi”, our Tulasi (Basil) oil is appreciated for its purity and unadulterated properties. Offered at cost-effective prices, it is readily used to cure different ailments, including indigestion, stress, sinusitis, insect bites, headache, muscle relaxation, anxiety, bacterial infections, depression, panic attacks, hair loss & many more. This transparent, pale greenish-yellow in color oil has water viscosity & is also known as Basil oil.
Uses of Tulsi oil:
In India, Tulsi is an herb that is considered sacred, mainly because it represents the goddess Lakshmi, the wife of Vishnu, who is one of Hinduism’s mainly important deities. There is even an ancient custom in India to worship the plant twice a day, water it, and place lamps near it, once in the morning & then at night. Hindus supposed that it brings good luck while protecting their family from evil and harm.
Every part of the plant, from the leaves to the seeds, has astounding uses for the body. For example, the whole plant can be used to alleviate vomiting, nausea & diarrhea, while mixing the leaves and seeds with black pepper may have potent effects against malaria. Pills & ointments made from Tulsi may be effective against eczema, while an alcohol extract can work for eye problems and insect bites. These fresh Tulsi flowers are believed to ease bronchitis symptoms.
In fact, there’s a belief that even being actually close to a Tulsi plant can protect you from different infections. It’s said that adding some leaves in food or drinking water may help purify and kill germs in it. Even smelling it may help care against coughs, colds, and other viruses.
Tulsi oil, in particular, is said to be valuable for warding off insects when used as a bug repellent. All that you need to do is dilute the essential oil in a secure carrier oil or purified water, and then apply it to the body. Diluted oils may work as a good deodorizer to help eliminate body odor.
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Preparation for Tulsi Oil Extraction:
The following extracts of Tulsi leaves were prepared for detection of pH and phytochemicals: –
(1) Preparation of crude extract: – 300 g fresh Tulsi leaves were crushed in mortar pestle (kharal). Then, crushed leaves were squeezed through a fine muslin cloth & it was filtered. The crude extract was complete to use.
(2) Preparation of aqueous extract: – Aqueous extract of Tulsi plant leaves was obtained by grinding 200 g of fresh leaves of the plant with 100 ml of distilled water. The extract was sonicated and centrifuged at the rate of 10,000 rpm for ten minutes. The protein was precipitated from this extract by using cold acetone.
(3) Preparation of acetone extract: – 250 g fresh Tulsi leaves were kept with 100 ml of acetone for seven days at room temperature (250C) in the dark. Then, the leaves were crushed & filtered through Whatman filter paper. The filtrate was sonicated and centrifuged at the rate of 10,000 rpm for ten minutes. The supernatant was an acetone extract. It was kept in the incubator at 300C for five minutes, to evaporate the acetone. Thus, the acetone extract was arranged.
(4) Eugenol oil by steam distillation
(5) Pure Eugenol oil
Extraction of essential oil from dried leaves of Tulsi:
The essential oils of Tulsi were extracted by hydro-distillation by using Clevenger’s type apparatus. Two hundred grams of dried Tulsi leaves were put in a 5 L round-bottomed flask and were filled with de-ionized water up to two-thirds marks of the flask. The electrical heating mantle was used to heat the water in the flask. The flask was fitted with Clevenger & condenser. The essential oil remained floated into the oil gathering area. After 4 to 5 hours of heating, when no visible essential oil was seen in the condenser area, the essential oil was collected after draining the bottom water layer. Sodium hypo-carbonate was used to absorb all remaining moisture content in the essential oil.
Harvesting and yield of Tulsi crop:
The crop is harvested at the full bloom stage by cutting the plants at fifteen cm from ground level to ensure good regeneration for further harvests. The first harvest is done after 90 days of planting & subsequently it may be harvested at every 75 days interval. Harvest the crop on bright sunny days to get good quality, yield, and oil quality.
On average, basil gives about 10,000 to 15,000 kgs of fresh herbage per hectare per year. As the herb contains about 0.1 – 0.23 percent oil, commensurating to it, we may obtain about 10 to 23 liters of essential oil per hectare.
Irrigation and intercultural Tasks in Tulsi farming:
After transplanting irrigation method is provided twice a week for one month so that the plants establish themselves well. Later, it is given at a weekly interval depending upon the rainfall and the soil moisture status.
The 1st weeding is done one month after planting and the second after another 30 days. Afterward, no further weeding is required as the plants become bushy and cover the soil & thereby smother the weeds. However, after every harvest, weeding should be done so as to avoid weed growth in the interspaces, if any.
Preparation of raw material:
The Tulsi leaves were dried in order to reduce the initial moisture content (90 % of humidity), in an oven with air renewal and circulation. The drying temperature was 50 °C and was kept constant for five hours until constant moisture. After drying, the sheets were ground in order to improve the contact surface, reducing the resistance to oil extraction. The dried leaves were placed in sealed plastic bags, protected from light & moisture, and stored in a refrigerator with low humidity.
The extraction process using soxhlet was conducted to find the percentage of oil in the raw material used. The extractions were done in a triplicate way. It was used, approximately five grams of basil, with 200 ml of hexane. The extraction time was fixed in four hours, after reaching the boiling temperature around 69 °C.
The extraction was conducted in a Clevenger apparatus, coupled to a bottom flask of 500 ml. It was added 30 g of crushed leaves of Tulsi or basil and 300 ml of water into the flask. The extracted time was fixed at four hours. The extracted oil was diluted in hexane & filtered after separation. Then, it was dried using Na2SO4 to remove the water, and then, the solutions were separated by a rota evaporator.
Supercritical carbon dioxide extraction:
It was used as a supercritical extraction unit to determine the total yield and the kinetics of extraction. The unit consists of a stainless steel 316S extracted with 42 ml of capacity and 2 canvas of 260 mesh to prevent the entrainment of material. A high-pressure pump (Palm model G100), used for pumping CO2 was used for feeding the solvent into the extractor. A thermostatic was coupled in the extractor to control the temperature & a manometer was installed online for pressure measurement.
The extractions were carried out with approximately 4.5 grams of material. The CO2 pumped into the extractor remained in contact with the herbaceous matrix about 20 minutes before starting the extractions. The extracts were selected in test tubes by opening the micrometric valve located at the outlet of the extractor.
Read: Tulsi Farming Project Report.
Extraction of essential oil from fresh leaves of Tulsi:
Similarly, essential oil from fresh Tulsi leaves was also extracted by the hydro-distillation process.
Measurement of the yield of essential oils of Tulsi:
The yields of essential oils of Tulsi were calculated with the help of micropipettes and silicon-coated micro tips. The yield is expressed as percentages of weight/volume (w/v).
Storage of essential oil:
The essential oil of the Tulsi plant was stored in the refrigerator at 4°C in microtubes for analysis. Essential oils from dried & fresh leaves of Tulsi were analyzed by Gas Chromatography (GC) and Gas Chromatography/ Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS).
How does Tulsi oil work?
Tulsi oil mechanism best when diffused in the air or when inhaled. By doing this, it can assist ease anxiety and stress while enhancing focus. This Tulsi oil should never be ingested. Pure Tulsi oil is ill-advised for topical use unless it has been thoroughly diluted in safe & mild carrier oil. Since this Tulsi essential oil is dermocaustic, and it can lead to skin irritation, Hence, it has to be prepared in an extreme dilution of 0.5% or less than that.
Is Tulsi oil safe?
If diluted properly, Tulsi oil is non-toxic, non-sensitizing, and is generally safe to use. However, it is still recommended to perform a skin patch test to ensure that you have no sensitivities or allergies to this oil. Simply put a diluted drop on your arm & see if any irritation occurs. Tulsi oil is not recommended for pregnant women, as well as for children under two years old.
Benefits and Uses of Tulsi oil:
Both the Tulsi plant & the essential oil made from it offer wholesome health benefits, such as:
- Helping relieve skin problems & warding off mosquitoes.
- Helping protect against cardiovascular issues. The Eugenol in Tulsi leaves may help manage cholesterol levels in the blood.
- Alleviating from fever. It is the best germicidal, antibiotic, fungicidal and disinfectant, & may efficiently protect your body from pathogenic organisms.
- It helps to relieve respiratory congestion, thanks to its beneficial elements.
- Providing protection against dental issues. It helps eliminate bacteria that may cause tartar, cavities, bad breath & plaque while providing a protective effect at the same time. Its astringent properties help the gums hold the teeth tighter, so they will not fall out easily.
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