Colitis is a chronic idiopathic
inflammatory condition of gastro intestinal tract caused by inappropriate and
continuing inflammatory response to gut microbiota on a background of genetic
susceptibility.1 Colitis is precipitated by a complex interaction of
environmental, genetic and immunoregulatory factors. Family history is a major
predisposing factor for Colitis, although sporadic cases do occur at large.2
The pathophysiology of Colitis has been actively investigated recently.
The common end pathway is inflammation of the mucosal lining of the intestinal
tract, causing ulceration, edema, bleeding, diarrhoea and fluid and electrolyte
loss.3 Many inflammatory mediators have been identified in colitis
and the considerable evidence suggest that these mediators play an important
role in the pathologic and clinical characteristics of these disorders. The
global prevalence of Colitis has seen a discernible shift in the past decade.
Colitis once considered to be common in the Western population has witnessed a
relative stable or decreasing trend in Western European region.4 However
its prevalence has seen an upsurge in previously low incidence areas such as
Asia, mainly in Indian population and in Eastern Europe.5-9

Traditionally
many plants were used for treating various inflammatory disorders. From various
studies, it was observed that many of the plants belonging to the genus Ocimum
possess good anti-inflammatory property because of which it is regarded as a
good candidate for the treatment of Colitis. Folklorically the plant Ocimum gratissimum was used for treating
various inflammatory disorders like allergic dermatitis, mild swellings etc.,
moreover recent studies shown that they have a significant activity in chronic
inflammatory disorders also. Hence, taking these properties under consideration
we have selected this plant for screening of different colitis models.10,11

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