Family • Lamiaceae - Moschosma polystachyum (Linn.) Benth. - MUSK BASIL - Xiao guan xun

Scientific names

Moschosma polystachyum (Linn.) Benth.
Ocimum polystachyon Linn.
Ocimum tenuiflorum Burm. f.
Basilicum polystachyon (L.) Moench
Plectranthus parviflorus R. Br.

Other vernacular names

CHINESE: Xiao guan xun.
FRENCH: Basilic musque.

Common names

Bauing (Mag.)
Lodokong (Pang.)
Loktokong (Tag., Pamp.)
Pansi-pansi (Tag.)
Musk basil (Engl.)

Loktokong is an erect, much-branched, nearly smooth herb, 40 to 90 centimeters high. Stems are prominently 4-angled. Leaves are long-stalked, thin, ovate to oblong-ovate, 2 to 6 centimeters long, glandular and hairy on both upper and lower surfaces, with both ends pointed and with toothed margins. Flowers are lilac or pink, about 2.5 millimeters long, numerous, crowded, and borne in racemes 3 to 10 centimeters long and 5 to 6 millimeters in diameter. Calyx, in fruit, is spreading or somewhat reflexed, 3 to 3.5 millimeters long.


Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Mosquitocidal activities of octacosane from Moschosma polystachyum Linn / Rajkumar S, Jebanesan A. / Journal of Ethnopharmacology 90: 87-89, 2004

(2) Basilicum polystachyon / Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants

(3) Antimicrobial Activity of Leaf Extract of Basilicum polystachyon (L) Moench / D Chakraborty, K Gupta et al / Indian Journal of Experimental Biology, Vol 45, Aug 2007, Pp 744-748

(4) Sorting Ocimum names / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / 1995 – 2020 Michel H. Porcher

(5) Anticonvulsant activity of Basilicum polystachyon leaves / Madhavan, V.; Prasad, M. R. R.; Anita Murali; Mythreyi, R.; Yoganarasimhan, S. N. / Indian Journal of Natural Products 2009 Vol. 25 No. 3 pp. 8-12


– An introduced weed.
– In open, waste places, usually wet or damp soil, and widely scattered in settled areas in the Ilocos Norte, Pampanga, Rizal, Bataan, Laguna, and Quezon Provinces in Luzon; and in Mindanao (Cotobato).
– Also occurs in tropical Africa and Asia, through Malaya to tropical Australia.

– Aromatic; belongs to the mint family, and closely allied to coleus and basil.
– Repellent, mosquitocidal.

– In Java, crushed leaves are applied to sprains.
– Decoctions used for epilepsy, heart palpitations, neuralgia and convulsions. Unfortunately, reported to cause ulcers in the mouth.

Study Findings
• Mosquitocidal / Ovicidal: Study of leaf extract against C quinquefasciatus showed 100% egg mortality at 100 ml/L.
• Mosquitocidal / Octasane Mosquitocidal compound, octasane, isolated from the leaves of M. polystachyum exhibited larvicidal activity with LC50 value of 7.2 mg/I against Culex quinquefasciatus.
• Volatile Oils / Repellency: Volatile oils from leaves of two plants – Moschosma polystachyum and Solanum xanthocarpum were effective as repellents with more than 300 minutes of protection against the bite of Cx quinquefasciatus. Both showed no adverse effects on human volunteers and can be applied as protection against mosquito bites.
• Antimicrobial: Phenolic extract of leaves was tested for in vitro antimicrobial activity against five bacteria (E Coli, P aeruginosa, S aureus, B subtilis, M luteus) and three fungi (F oxysporum, A niger, H oryzae). The antimicrobial activity might to attributed to high levels of polyphenolic compounds, caffeic acid, and rosmarinic acid. Results showed a promise for ethnopharmacological use as a broad-spectrum antimicrobial.
• Anticonvulsant: Alcohol and aqueous extracts of leaves showed significant antiepileptic activity in both MES-induced and PYTZ convulsion models.