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Holy Basil

Ocimum sanctum

Tulsi is a small, leafy, vibrant, green or purple perennial shrub. Tulsi grows abundantly throughout Southeast Asia-especially in India. Tulsi is pungent and bitter in taste, hot in nature and vata-kapha-ghna i.e. it pacifies Vata and Kapha doshas. The dried whole plant or dried leaves of Tulsi are used in various Ayurvedic medical formulations.

राक्षससद्रुशानि पापानि रोगाः वा अस्या


दर्शनात् सेवनाद् वा नष्टो भवतीति 

Tulsi’ known as Gouri, Surasa, Vishnu-vallabha, Sulabha, Pavani, etc. the name Tulsi signifies ‘Mother Medicine of Nature’ and ‘The Queen of Herbs’ and is revered as an ‘Elixir of Life’ that is equal for both its medicinal and spiritual properties. Acharya Charak has placed it under Shwas-hara-gana i.e. group of medicinal herbs relieving respiratory disorders.

In India, Tulsi is worship as a goddess and every plant part is consider sacred. Hindu households are considered incomplete without a Tulsi plant, in the courtyard where it serves both practical and ceremonial purposes. Tulsi’s distinct clove-like aroma (due to high eugenol content) serves to repel mosquitoes, flies and other harmful insects. Tulsi is further integrated into daily life by ingesting its leaves or consuming Tulsi tea. In addition Tulsi stem is also used to make beads and form malas (string), which help the mind focus during meditation, chanting and devotion. Tulsi has also been used in gardens in and around cities to combat air pollution.

Health Benefits From Tulsi:

In India, Tulsi is used for spiritual rituals and medicinal practices which provides us with vast array of health benefits. Tulsi is a Rasayan not only for the body but for the mind as well and offers solutions to day-to-day health problems. It penetrates into the deep tissues, prevents diseases, promotes general health, well-being and prolongs longevity. Tulsi leaves contain essential oils that provide a range of nutrients including Vitamins A and C, Calcium, Zinc and Iron. Apart from these health-promoting benefits, Tulsi is beneficial in hiccups, cough, respiratory disorders, muscular-skeletal disorders, worms, anorexia, indigestion, vomiting, cardiac disorders, genito-urinary disorders, fever, eye disorders, anxiety, skin disorders, intoxication due to insect, snake and scorpion bites.


  • Tulsi has a protective and anti-stress effect on the brain
  • A potent antioxidant
  • Analgesic i.e. relieves pain
  • It has an anthelminthic activity and helps in elimination of worms.
  • Tulsi has anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal activities against many pathogens causing disorders in humans.
  • It has cardio-protective and hepato-protective properties
  • Tulsi helps to prevent degenerative changes in the Brain and Nervous system
  • It helps to enhance memory, learning capacity and recollection.


Tulsi for Immunity:

Tulsi possess a unique combination of anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and analgesic activities. It has the ability to boost defenses against infections by stimulating the immune response in the body. As an immuno-modulator it balances the body’s response and improves it in fighting against bacteria, microbes, viruses, allergens, etc. Tulsi possesses activity against water-borne and food-borne pathogens suggesting its use for preservation of food stuffs, herbal raw materials, water purification and hand sanitization.


Tulsi for Respiratory Health:

Tulsi protects the respiratory system, supports the lungs by removing built-up excessive kapha, reducing inflammation and promoting healthy, uncongested breathing. It alleviates the symptoms of cold and fever. It has anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties, which make this herb an excellent choice when it comes to preventing infections. The herb contains detoxifying properties and antioxidants. Since it is so beneficial in treating respiratory disorders it was placed in Shwas-hara medicinal group of herbs by ancient seers.


Tulsi for Metabolic Health:

Metabolic stress is a prominent feature of modern lifestyles and affects ⅓rd of modern populations. Metabolic syndrome features pre-diabetes and include a deadly quartet of centripetal obesity, hypertension, high cholesterol and poor glucose regulation. It is associated with chronic inflammation and a greater risk of diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Tulsi assists in dealing with metabolic syndrome and its side-effects. The beneficial metabolic effects of Tulsi include protecting the liver, kidneys and pancreatic islet cells from free radical damage; enhancing liver bile acid synthesis and reducing liver lipid synthesis; enhancing insulin secretion and action; lowering cortisol levels and reducing inflammation.


Tulsi for Inflammation:

Eugenol and linoleic acid content in Tulsi is beneficial in both acute and chronic inflammation. It inhibits the cyclooxygenase and the lipoxygenase pathways exerting a significant anti-inflammatory effect compared to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as phenylbutazone, ibuprofen, naproxen, aspirin and indomethacin.


Tulsi for Infections:

Tulsi helps in the treatment of various human bacterial infections including urinary tract infections, skin and wound infections; typhoid fever, cholera, tuberculosis, gonorrhea, acne, herpes simplex, leishmaniasis, pneumonia, fungal infections and mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue, malaria and Filariasis.


Tulsi for Detox:

Tulsi protects the body and environment from toxins-induced damage. It stimulates liver detoxifying enzymes, which deactivates the toxic chemicals and safely excretes them. These actions are important not only for protecting against natural toxins (aam) produced within the body, but also to protect against the exposure of pollutants, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, heavy metals, radiation and other industrial toxicants in this ultra-modern era.


Tulsi for Oral Health:

Tulsi is beneficial as herbal mouthwash for treating bad breath, gum disease and mouth ulcers. Herbal mouthwash with Tulsi is preferred for its taste and convenience. It possesses inhibitory activity against Streptococcus mutans, the organism responsible for tooth decay.


How to Use Tulsi:

  • In cough, it has been advised to consume Tulsi juice with honey
  • When used as Anjan with honey, it aids in eye disorders
  • Tulsi leaves juice is instilled in the ear in case of foul discharge from ears
  • Consuming Tulsi root juice is beneficial in skin disorders
  • In skin lesions Tulsi juice can be locally applied
  • Black pepper mixed with Tulsi juice is beneficial in Fever
  • Tulsi seeds are beneficial in treating various urinary system complaints


Sandu formulations containing Tulsi:


Vasa Syrup: is a proprietary Ayurvedic formulation beneficial in cold, all types of cough and respiratory infections.


Ashoka Compound: is an innovative Proprietary Ayurvedic formulation containing powerful combination of Ashok and additional herbs with cooling & pain relieving properties. It helps in various problems related to women’s menstrual health including menorrhagia, leucorrhoea, irregular menstruation, menopausal syndrome, infertility, dysmenorrhea, pre-menstrual tension, etc.. 


Sandu Tribhuvankirti Rasa:  is an authentic Ayurvedic formulation beneficial in various stages of fever and respiratory disorders.



  1. Deshmukh, Amol & Deshmukh, Girishkumar & Shirole, Pratibha. (2015). OCIMUM SANCTUM: A MEDICINAL GIFT FROM NATURE. 2. 550-559. 10.13040/IJPSR.0975-8232.IJP.2(12).550-59.
  2. Cohen MM. Tulsi – Ocimum sanctum: A herb for all reasons. J Ayurveda Integr Med. 2014;5(4):251-259. doi:10.4103/0975-9476.146554
  3. Khanna, N., and Jagriti Bhatia. “Antinociceptive action of Ocimum sanctum (Tulsi) in mice: possible mechanisms involved.” Journal of Ethnopharmacology 88.2-3 (2003): 293-296.
  4. Mallikarjun, Sajjanshetty, et al. “Antimicrobial efficacy of Tulsi leaf (Ocimum sanctum) extract on periodontal pathogens: An in vitro study.” Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology 20.2 (2016): 145.
  5. Manu, Gangadhar, et al. “Evaluation of antianxiety activity of ethanolic extract of leaves of Ocimum sanctum (tulsi) in albino mice.” National Journal of Physiology, Pharmacy and Pharmacology 7.8 (2017): 827-830.
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