10 Amazing Health Benefits of Holy Basil(Tulsi)- How to Use


In India, Tulsi(Ocimum sanctum) is found in every household and is considered auspicious because of its wonderful health benefits. It has a good scent and beautiful inflororescence. There is no other herb equivalent to this. In ancient times, Tulsi was considered for Brahmcharaya (celibacy) in India. Ayurveda classifies Holy basil as ‘Rasayana’: a herb that nourishes a person’s growth to perfect health and promotes long life. Health Benefits of Holy basil has been found effective for cancer, diabetes, high cholesterol levels, liver support and protection, hypoglycemic conditions, ulcers, digestion, radiation poisoning etc.

Extensive studies, experimental and clinical studies prove that Tulsi possesses anti-stress, antioxidant, immunomodulator and anti-radiation properties which play a major role in prevention and treatment of cancer.  As Tulsi has health benefitting  effects  by  reducing  stress and improving  both cellular  and  humoral immunity,  its role in treatment of cancer cases may be a new approach in therapy of cancer and in prevention of ill effects of radiation.

Ocimum  sanctum  leaves  have  been  traditionally  used  in  treatment  of  diabetes  mellitus.

There are two varieties of Tulsi:

  1. Shukla tulsi(white variety)- Ocimum americanum
  2. Krishna tulsi(black variety)- Ocimum sanctum

Chemical Constituents of Holy basil- It contains eugenol, methyl ether, boronyl acetate, cadinene camphene, camphor, methyl chavicol, limonene etc.

Experiment on Tulsi :

An experiment was conducted in which dietary supplementation  of  fresh  tulsi  leaves  for  30  days  led  to  significant lowering  of  blood  glucose  levels . Regular usage of Ocimum  sanctum  also  led  to  significant increase  in  levels  of  superoxide  dismutase,    reduced  glutathione  and  total  thiols,  but there was marked reduction  in  peroxiodised  lipid  levels  as  compared  to  untreated  control  group.  It was found in the experiment that tulsi leaves possess  both  superoxide  and  hydroxyl  free  radical  scavenging  action.  The present  observations  establish  the  efficacy  of  Ocimum  sanctum leaves  in  lowering  blood glucose  levels  and  antioxidant  property  which is  predominantly  responsible  for hypoglycemic  effect.

In another experiment conducted on rats, Ocimum  sanctum leaves  have  been  shown  to  exert  hepatoprotective  effect  in  paracetamol and carbon tetrachloride induced liver damage in rats. The  qualitative  analysis  of  the  extracts  from  the  leaf  sample  of  Ocimum  sanctum also showed  the presence of phytochemical constituents  such  as tannins,  saponin, flavonoids, terpenoid, cardiac  glycerides etc.

Many types of research have been going on throughout the world to explore the health benefits of tulsi but in the Indian system of medicine, benefits of tulsi plant are mentioned around 5000 years ago.

  • Botanical  Name Ocimum sanctum
  • Family: Lamiaceae
  • Vernacular Names: Indian Basil/ Holy Basil/ Sacred Basil


Properties of Tulsi:

  1. Ras(taste)- Katu(pungent)
  2. Guna(Qualities)-Laghu(Light), Rooksh(Dry)
  3. Vipaak- Katu (undergoes pungent taste  after digestion)
  4. Veerya (Potency)- Hot
  5. Part used- Seed, Root, and Leaf
  6. Effect on Tridosha- Balances Vata and Kapha but increases Pitta dosha

Medicinal Properties of tulsi  as according to Ayurveda:

    1. It is anti-microbial. It is one of the best anti-viral herbs in Ayurveda.


  1. Balances Kapha dosha imbalance and hence useful in relieving excess sputum production.
  2. Improves digestion.
  3. It improves taste and relieves anorexia.
  4. Acts as a cardiac tonic, useful in reducing high cholesterol levels deposited in blood vessels.
  5. It is used in the treatment of asthma and chronic respiratory disorders.
  6. Useful in repeated hiccups.
  7. It relieves vomiting
  8. Useful in skin disorders with pain and itching.
  9. It is useful in kidney and bladder stones.

Health Benefits of Holy basil


How to use-

  1. For itching and rashes, paste of tulsi leaves can be applied over the skin.
  2. Two drops of tulsi fresh leaves is put into both nostrils on empty stomach. This helps to relieve sinusitis related headache.
  3. Chewing one or two tulsi leaves helps to relieve bad breath issue because it helps to improve digestion.
  4. For hoarse voice and laryngitis, juice of 8-10 tulsi leaves can be taken with 1 spoon of honey or juice of 6-8 leaves of tulsi along with 2 pepper grains and a pinch of rock salt is also beneficial.
  5. It is also good for tinea cruris and ringworm infestation as it has anti-fungal properties. Mix a pinch of neem powder or turmeric powder to the juice of tulsi leaves and apply over the affected skin area for 10 days.
  6. Smokers are prone to respiratory disorders and cancer. For this condition, consumption of tulsi leaves is ideal.
  7. Face pack prepared from 8-10 tulsi leaves and honey clears the oily skin and also improves the skin glow. External application of juice of tulsi mixed with lime juice eradicates pimples and softness of skin is observed.
  8. For chronic cough, tulsi juice is mixed with black pepper, ginger juice, and honey.
  9. Keeping a tulsi plant in the house will prevent all types of insects and mosquitoes. Hence malaria and dengue can be prevented as mosquito which is responsible for dengue fever cannot withstand fragrance of tulsi. Hence tulsi plant acts as mosquito repellant also.
  10. Taking tulsi leaves in the morning helps to reduce excess sugar in diabetic patients.

More Uses:

  1. In kidney stones, juice of 8-10 leaves of tulsi taken with honey regularly for a period of 6 months will expel stones through urinary tract.
  2. It is the best adaptogen (anti-stress agent). 12 tulsi leaves if taken regularly twice a day helps to relieve stress levels in day to day life.
  3. In sore eyes and night blindness, 2 drops of juice of black tulsi must be instilled during bedtime.
  4. It is considered as prophylactic against the negative effects of environmental toxins including cancer as the plant is richly endowed with anti-oxidants, Vitamins A and C, calcium etc.
  5. One can enjoy tulsi tea also because of its numerous health benefits. Tea prepared from licorice, lemongrass, ginger is a good combination but it is not advisable to add milk to tea prepared from tulsi leaves.
  6. There are various Ayurvedic medicines which are prepared from tulsi like- Tribhuvankirti ras, Mukta Panchamrit ras etc.
  7. As it has hot potency, people having Pitta prakriti must not use tulsi regularly as it increases Pitta in the body.
  8. Tulsi with milk is not considered ideal (Reference: Charak Sutrasthana 26). Tulsi being hot and milk being coolant, this combination may cause skin disorders.


  1. prem November 16, 2016
  2. organicindian December 11, 2017
    • Avatar of Shalini Jaiswal Dr. Shalini Jaiswal December 12, 2017
  3. J Phillips November 30, 2022

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