What is Oral Sub-mucous Fibrosis (OSMF)?

Oral sub-mucous fibrosis (OSMF) is an oral precancerous condition characterised by inflammation and progressive fibrosis of the submucosal tissues resulting in marked rigidity and trismus. The disease is characterised by blanching and stiffness of oral mucosa, trismus, burning sensation, loss of mobility of tongue and loss of gustatory sensation. 

The aim of the present study was to investigate the clinical efficacy of herbal medicines (1 gm tulsi and 1 gm turmeric mixed in glycerine base) for the treatment of oral sub-mucous fibrosis (OSMF)

Turmeric (Curcuma longa Linn) is the perennial plant, when dried rhizomes, it is made into a yellow powder with a bitter yet sweet taste. It has a wide range of therapeutic actions. It protects against free radical damage as it is a strong antioxidant, helps in reducing inflammation by lowering histamine levels and also increases the production of natural cortisone. In addition, it also helps in increasing the blood circulation and is known to be anti-mutagenic.

Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum Linn) €˜basil€™ is a plant with many medicinal values. Ayurveda recommends tulsi in several formulations to enhance immunity and metabolic functions. It helps in reducing inflammation by inhibiting the inflammation-causing enzymes 

Details of Participation:

 Forty-one patients in the age group of 17- 56 years without any systemic complications were included in the study. The patients were treated with medicines, which were to be applied 3-4 times a day

17 patients were below 25 years and 24 patients above 25 years. There were 34 male and 7 female patients.

Burning sensation and mouth opening were recorded before and after treatment. Patients were followed up on monthly subsequent visits for three months. 

Treatment Offered: 

The patients were advised to mix 1 gm of turmeric powder and 1 gm of tulsi powder in glycerine to make a paste. The patients were instructed to apply this paste all over the oral mucosa 4-5 times per day and not to eat or drink anything for next 15 minutes. 


The results of the study showed that the synergistic action of these two herbs (Tulsi and Turmeric) results in higher efficacy and highly potent anti-OSMF treatment. Treatment with these drugs produces an early, sustained and significant fall in burning sensation, clinically and statistically as soon as one month.

  • Mouth opening was also significantly improved.
  • Results were better in severe cases reflecting its higher efficacy.
  • Age or gender did affect the response.
  • Emphasis was also given on life style modification by motivating all patients before, during and after the study to discontinue tobacco, beetle nut and alcohol. 

Life style modification along with these drugs can be attributed to dramatic improvement in OSMF cases.

To read the detailed study, please click here


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