Tulsi, Holy Basil (Ocimum Sanctum)

In India, tulsi is widely used in Hindu tradition. The word "tulsi" comes from a Sanskrit phrase that means "matchless one". Not only is tulsi used in Ayurvedic medicine, but it's also used in Greek, Roman, and Unani medicine. Ocimum Sanctum is the scientific name for it.

It is cultivated in tropical and warm climates. Tulsi grows upright, fragrant, and multibranched. When it reaches maturity, it can grow up to 30 to 60 centimeters in height. The leaves of tulsi are simple, elliptic, oblong, and have whole or subserrate edges that might be obtuse or acute. They can be found on many websites. Tulsi leaves smell really pleasant and is full of perfumes. These may measure five centimeters. The tiny tulsi flowers have elongated racemes that are arranged in tight whorls. These are colored purple. The seeds of tulsi are reddish golden in color and the fruits are quite tiny.

General Description

Plants are a major source of pharmaceuticals and medications. Because of its therapeutic effects, the genus Ocimum, which is a member of the Lamiaceae family, is one of the most significant plant species or genera with medicinal qualities. Ocimum sanctum comes in two varieties: Rama Tulsi, which is green, and Krishna Tulsi, which is black. The Sanskrit term for tulsi means "matchless one".

Tulsi has a long history of use in medicine. In the Rigveda, it is mentioned as having therapeutic effects since 4000–5000 B.C.; the reference dates back to 3500–1600 B.C. It's called the "queen of herbs."

The health benefits of tulsi plants include hypoglycemic, cardiac depressant, smooth muscle relaxant, immunomodulator, anti-diabetic, adaptogenic, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, wound-healing, anti-oxidant, genotoxic, anti-carcinogenic, radio-protective, neuro-protective, immunological, contraceptive, cardio-protective, and lavricidal effects.

Numerous phytochemicals are abundant in tulsi. Seventy-one percent eugenol and twenty percent methyl eugenol are found in the plant's volatile oil. Some phenolic chemicals found in fresh plant parts include isothymusin, apigenin, circimaritin, cirsilineol, and rosameric acid. Together with luteolin, apigenin-7-O-glucuronide, orientin, molludistin, sesquiterpenes, and monoterpenes like elemene, neral, alpha and beta-pinenes, camphene, campesterol, cholesterol, stigmasterol, and sitosterol, these also include two flavonoids: orientin and vicenin, luteolin, acetylcholine, and orientin. Hydrocarbons caryophyllene4, carvacrol, aplpha, beta-pinene, myrecene, limocene, octane, benzene, p-cymene, terpenol, borneol, cuparene, iedol, elemene, sesquiterpine, and more are also present in the plant's essential oil. Together with minerals including calcium, phosphorus, copper, chromium, zinc, iron, nickel, and insoluble oxalate, it also contains vitamins like vitamin C and beta-carotene.


  • Kingdom - Plantae
  • Subkingdom - Viridiplantae
  • Infrakingdom - Streptophyta
  • Superdivision - Embryophyta
  • Division - Tracheophyta
  • Subdivision - Spermatophytina
  • Class - Magnoliopsida
  • Superorder - Asteranae
  • Order - Lamiales
  • Family - Lamiaceae
  • Genus - Ocimum
  • Species - Sanctum


It can be found in the Himalayas at elevations of up to 1800 meters above sea level. In addition, it is grown throughout the nation and its islands. Malaysia, Australia, West Africa, and a few Arab nations are among the places where it grows abundantly. Sasangir National Park and Gir Wildlife Sanctuary both contain it.

Other Names of the Tulsi

  • Sanskrit Name – Tulsi, Tulasi, Nagamata, Surasah, Mal-Tulasi, Krsiatulasi, Gouri, Bhuteshta, Bhutaghini
  • Hindi Name - Tulsi
  • English Name -  Holy Basil, Sacred Basil, Indian Basil
  • Tamil Name - Nalla Thulasi
  • Telugu Name - Tulasi
  • Arabic Name - Raihan
  • Chinese Name - Lo-Le
  • Dutch Name - Basil Icum
  • French Name - Basilic
  • German Name - Basilïenkraut
  • Indonesian Name - Selasih, Kemangi
  • Italian Name - Basilico
  • Japanese Name - Meboki
  • Malay Name - Selaseh, Kemangi
  • Philippine Name - Belanoi, Sulasi
  • Portuguese Name - Man Jericao
  • Russian Name - Bazilik
  • Spanish Name - Albahaca
  • Sri Lanka Name - Suwenda-Tala, Maduru-Tala
  • Swedish Name - Basilkort
  • Thai Name - Krapow, Bai Horapa, Horopa, Manghk,
  • Vietnamese Name - Rau Que

Ayurvedic Properties


Hindi / Sanskrit


Rasa (Taste)

Katu, Tikta

Pungent, Bitter

Guna (Physical Property)

Ruksha, Tikshana, Laghu

Dry, Sharp, Light

Virya (Potency)



Vipaka (Post-Digestive Taste)



Effects on Doshas

Tulsi helps in balancing the kapha and vata doshas. It helps in elevating pitta dosha.

Classical Categorization

Charak Samhita

Vagbhata / Sushrut Samhita

Svasahara gana

Surasadi gana

Practical Uses

Tulsi has a wide range of therapeutic benefits. Cancers, ulcers, inflammations, liver issues, and many other conditions can be treated with it.

  • Anti-stress properties - Vitamin C and other antioxidants, such as camphene, heal the damage caused by free radicals and reduce the stress that these radicals generate. It lowers stress by assisting in the calming of blood pressure, nerves, and inflammation.

  • Acts against Respiratory Disorders - The ingredients of tulsi plant essential oil, such as cineole, eugenol, and camphene, aid in the treatment of bronchitis, influenza, colds, and coughs. It is particularly beneficial for the asthmatic since it helps to clear congestion and promote smoother breathing.

  • Against lung diseases - The phytochemicals in tulsi, including cineole, eugenol, vitamin C, and camphene, mediate their effect against lung infections, congestion, and lung healing resulting from conditions including lung cancer, smoking, and tuberculosis.

  • Oral health - Tulsi demonstrates the functions of a mouth freshener and oral disinfectant. Approximately 99% of the oral bacteria and germs that might lead to tooth cavities, tartar, bad breath, and plaque are eliminated by the chemical components included in it. This works well for treating mouth ulcers as well.

  • Anti-microbial activities - It works well to treat a variety of bacterial, viral, and fungal illnesses. Tulsi has the ability to treat a variety of illnesses, including gonorrhea, malaria, typhoid, the flu, and any type of fungus.

  • Anti-cancer properties - Tulip leaves include phytochemicals like eugenol and others that have a modulatory influence on the enzymes that break down carcinogens. Because tulsi is a detoxifier and diuretic, it lowers uric acid levels, increases urination, and aids in the breakdown of kidney stones.

  • Headaches and fever - Tulsi is used to treat high blood pressure, cold and cough symptoms, and migraine headaches. Tulsi alleviates fever by helping in the treatment of microbiological illnesses.

  • Heart problems - Antioxidants such as eugenol and vitamin C decrease cholesterol and shield the heart from harmful free radicals.

  • Other functions - Tulsi is useful in treating a variety of skin conditions, including acne and dryness. Like vitamins and other minerals, tulsi phytochemicals shield the body from dangerous byproducts of cellular metabolism called free radicals. Thereby helping in regaining health and preventing early aging. Additionally, it calms the eyes, lessens stress and inflammation, and relieves conjunctivitis, boils, and a host of other eye conditions.

Parts Used

Leaves, Roots, Seeds


  • Root decoction - 50 to 100 ml
  • Seeds powder – 3 to 6 g
  • Fresh juice – 10 to 20 ml

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