Persistent microvascular hyperpermeability to plasma proteins is a characteristic feature of normal wound healing. Does the leaf essential oil of Ocimum gratissimum
heal wounds by promoting this feature? Evan's blue dye (20mg/kg body weight) in normal saline was administered intravenously through marginal ear vein of experimental rabbits (n=5). Each animal served as its own control. One hour after Evan's blue dye administration, 0.1ml each of Ocimum oil, histamine dihydrochloride (30μg/ml) and normal saline were randomly administered by intra-dermal injection at the prepared sites on each of the animals. Increase in vascular permeability was assessed by dye effusion test. Analysis of the differences in vascular permeability between treatment groups showed that, Ocimum oil, in intensity and duration, was significantly (p<.05) more effective in increasing cutaneous capillary permeability over a 24h period after treatment. The ability of Ocimum oil in increasing vascular permeability may be one of the factors that contribute to its wound healing property.