The anti-diarrhoeal property of aqueous extract of Ocimum gratissimum
was investigated in Wistar albino rats. Aqueous leaf extract of this plant, at various doses tested (25, 50 & 100mg/kg body weight) displayed remarkable anti-diarrhoeal activity evidenced by the reduction in the rate of defecation and consistency of faeces in albino rats. The protective role of Ocimum gratissimum
extract at 100mg/kg body weight was comparable to that of the reference drug, diphenoxylate (50mg/kg body weight). Ocimum gratissimum
extract mimicked the action of adrenaline and noradrenaline on isolated guinea pig ileum by abolishing the acetylcholine - induced contraction of the smooth muscles of ileum and also exhibited anti-inflammatory action against agar - induced rat paw oedema in the dose range of 100 to 400mg/kg body weight. Like phenylbutazone, the ability of the extract to block oedemogenesis was more manifest at the second phase (5 - 6hrs) after induction of inflammation) of the reactions.