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Tulsi Plant and Leaves: Benefits, Uses, Types and Medicinal Properties

Written byAmatul Ameen

Last updated on : 04 Jun, 2024

Read time : 13 min

The Tulsi plant is a perennial herb with a typical aromatic smell. It is native to India and parts of northern and eastern Africa, Hainan Island, and Taiwan. It grows up to an altitude of 5900 m. In India, dried leaves, dried seeds, and whole dried plants are used separately in traditional medicine systems like Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani, and Indian folk medicine.
Tulsi Plant Names in English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Marathi, Malayalam, and Kannada language:

  • Tulsi plant in Hindi: Tulsi
  • Tulsi plant in English: Holy Basil, Sacred Basil, Indian Basil
  • Tulsi plant in Telugu, Tamil, Marathi, and Malayalam: Tulsi
  • Tulsi plant name in Kannada Name: Sri Tulsi

Sanskrit description of Tulsi

The Sanskrit synonyms of the Tulsi plant are an adept way to describe its unmatched characteristic features. In the religious context, it is also called “Gouri” or “Nagamata.”
It is called Sulaghni, Subhaga, Sulabha – meaning “Auspicious”. Surabhi, Svadu Gandha—” possessing a good scent.” Pavani, Vishnu vallabha, Hari Priya-All meaning Vishnu-God loves.

Nutritional Value of Tulsi Per 100gram

The medicinal and therapeutic properties of Tulsi are attributed to its composition. These include essential oils, flavonoids, phenolic compounds, and vitamins. The exact composition of Tulsi can differ based on the particular variety, environmental conditions during growth, and the maturity of the plant. These factors influence the potency and efficacy of Tulsi in promoting health and preventing diseases. Following is the vutritional Value of Tulsi Per 100 gram.

NutrientsNutritional Value
Cholesterol0 mg
Protein3.15g
Carbohydrates2.65g
Total Fat0.64g
Dietary Fibre1.60g
Calcium25mg
Carotene2.5µg
Chromium2.9 µg
Copper0.4 µg
Iron15.1mg
Nickel0.73 µg
Phosphorus287mg

Types of Tulsi:

Four varieties of Tulsi are commonly seen:

  • Shukla Tulsi, (White Variety)
  • Krishna Tulsi (Black Variety)
  • Vana Tulsi (Wild leaf basil)
  • Kapoor Tulsi(Heavy Flowered Basil)
  • The white variety’s scientific name is Ocimum Americanum.
  • The black variety’s scientific name is Ocimum Sanctum.
  • The wild leaf basil variety’s scientific name is Ocimum gratissimum

Characteristic features of Tulsi Plant

  • The Tulsi plant has a distinct taste and qualities.
  • It is pungent and bitter.
  • The Tulsi plant has qualities like lightness, dryness, and piercing nature.

Useful parts of the Tulsi plant and their dosage

Every part of the Tulsi plant is useful-leaf, root, flower, and seed.
The dosage of Tulsi in various forms:

  • Fresh juice—It can be consumed in 10-20 ml/day quantity
  • Root decoction—It can be consumed in 50-100ml/day quantity
  • Seed powder—It can be taken 3–6 grams daily.

Medicinal properties of Tulsi

Tulsi is used as a traditional medicine for its potent medicinal properties. It has been used for centuries in Ayurveda to promote health. It has primarily been used for its antipyretic properties to reduce fever, cough, and cold symptoms. The other medicinal properties of Tulsi leaves includes:

  • Anti-inflammatory property: With its anti-inflammatory properties, Tulsi can help reduce inflammation and relieve pain.
  • Antiemetic property: Tulsi possesses antiemetic properties, aiding in preventing and relieving nausea and vomiting.
  • Antidiabetic property: It has been shown to lower blood sugar levels, making it beneficial for individuals with diabetes.
  • Hypotensive properties: Tulsi may help lower blood pressure levels, contributing to cardiovascular health.
  • Hypolipidemic (lowers cholesterol) property: Tulsi’s hypolipidemic activity helps lower cholesterol levels, supporting heart health.
  • Analgesic property: Tulsi acts as an analgesic agent, relieving pain from various ailments.
  • Anti-asthmatic property: Its anti-asthmatic activity helps alleviate asthma symptoms and promote respiratory health.
  • Hepatoprotective property: Tulsi is a hepatoprotective agent that protects the liver from damage and promotes liver health.
  • Anti-stress properties: Known for its anti-stress properties, Tulsi helps reduce stress and promote relaxation.
  • Anti-epileptic property: Tulsi exhibits anti-epileptic activity, potentially reducing the frequency and severity of epileptic seizures.
  • Anticarcinogenic property: With its anticarcinogenic properties, Tulsi may help prevent the development and progression of cancer. Regular consumption of Tulsi tea, leaf or extracts may contribute to cancer prevention, but it should not replace standard cancer prevention strategies or treatments.
  • Anti-Alzheimer’s property: Tulsi is also a potent anti-Alzheimer’s agent, potentially protecting against cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease.

Ways to use tulsi in daily life

The easiest way to incorporate Tulsi into everyday life is to consume it as tea.

Tulsi Tea preparation method:

Mix one part Tulsi powder with ten parts tea powder.
Prepare the tea with the above ration of powder.
This tea should be, however, taken without milk.
Note: Tulsi and milk are not a good combination, as Tulsi is hot and milk is cool by nature; the combination of these two results in skin disorders.

Tulsi herbal tea

People who are not accustomed to tea consumption can opt for herbal tea.
It is a combination of Tulsi and other herbs. Popular combinations are liquorice, lemon grass, etc.

Tulsi Water Preparation

3–5 Tulsi leaves are soaked in a cup of water. After soaking, it is filtered and consumed. All the benefits of Tulsi mentioned above can be obtained by consuming this water, but it has mild effectiveness.

Tulsi Arka

It is a liquid made by distilling certain drugs stored in the Arka Yantra. Tulsi Arka is used for cold cough, dyspnoea, sore throat, bronchitis, asthma etc.
Regular consumption of Tulsi Arka (extract) helps enhance immunity.

What Are The Other Benefits of a Tulsi Plant And Leaves?

Tulsi leaves can be used to treat To treat Hoarse voice and laryngitis. Just crush 8–10 Tulsi leaves and then extract the juice. Mix the juice with 1 spoon of honey and drink. Also, take 6–8 Tulsi leaves with 2 peppercorns and a pinch of rock salt, chew them together properly, and swallow the extracts. It will reduce itchiness in your throat and improve voice. The other benefits of Tulsi plant include the following:

  1. Boosting immunity: Tulsi is prized for its immune-boosting properties, as it helps strengthen the body’s natural defence mechanisms. Rich in antioxidants and essential nutrients, Tulsi enhances immune function, protects against infections, coughs and colds and promotes overall health. Incorporating Tulsi into daily routines, such as consuming Tulsi tea or incorporating fresh leaves into meals, can support immune system resilience.
  2. Reducing headaches: Tulsi’s analgesic properties make it beneficial for reducing headaches and migraines. Consuming Tulsi tea or inhaling its essential oil can help alleviate headache symptoms and promote relaxation.
  3. Digestion and stomach disorders: Tulsi facilitates the secretion of digestive enzymes, aiding in efficient digestion and preventing flatulence. Its carminative properties help alleviate gas and bloating, promoting gastrointestinal comfort and reducing symptoms of stomach disorders. Incorporating Tulsi tea or fresh leaves into your diet can support digestive health and alleviate stomach discomfort.
  4. Reducing fever: Tulsi also helps to reduce fever and alleviate associated symptoms. Consuming Tulsi tea or decoction can help lower body temperature and promote comfort during febrile illnesses.
  5. Reduding inflammation: Tulsi possesses potent anti-inflammatory properties, which help reduce inflammation and alleviate associated symptoms. Consuming Tulsi leaves or extracts can provide relief from conditions such as arthritis, allergies, and inflammatory disorders.
  6. Managing asthma and other respiratory problems: Tulsi’s anti-asthmatic activity helps manage asthma and other respiratory problems by promoting bronchodilation and reducing inflammation in the airways. Incorporating Tulsi tea or steam inhalation with Tulsi essential oil can help alleviate symptoms and support respiratory health.
  7. Hypertension and heart disease: Tulsi aids in managing heart problems by lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels, promoting cardiovascular health. Consuming Tulsi tea or extracts regularly may help reduce the risk of heart disease and support overall heart function.
  8. Eye health: Tulsi leaves contain antioxidants like vitamin C and other nutrients that can promote eye health by reducing oxidative stress. Washing the eyes with cooled Tulsi tea or applying Tulsi-infused eye drops may provide soothing relief and nourishment to the eyes. However, it’s essential to consult a doctor for serious eye conditions, cataracts or eye infections.
  9. Malaria use the Tulsi: Tulsi exhibits antimalarial properties due to its active compounds like eugenol and ursolic acid. Consuming Tulsi leaves or extracts may help reduce the severity of malaria symptoms and aid in recovery. However, Tulsi should not be used as a substitute for standard antimalarial treatment. Medical consultation is necessary for the proper treatment of malaria.
  10. Supports nervous system: Tulsi supports the nervous system with its adaptogenic properties, helping to reduce stress and promote relaxation. Its neuroprotective compounds, like eugenol and rosmarinic acid, may help maintain optimal brain function and protect against neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s. Incorporating Tulsi into daily routines, such as drinking Tulsi tea or using Tulsi essential oil for aromatherapy, can support overall nervous system health.
  11. Prevents cancer: Regular consumption of Tulsi tea or extracts may contribute to cancer prevention, but it should not replace standard cancer prevention strategies or treatments. There has become a belief that swallowing a Tulsi leaf daily will ensure protection from cancer.
  12. Weight loss: Tulsi may aid in weight loss by boosting metabolism and promoting fat breakdown due to its active compounds, such as eugenol and rosmarinic acid. Incorporating Tulsi tea or extracts into a balanced diet and exercise regimen can support fat loss and reduce weight.
  13. Preventing premature ageing: Tulsi’s antioxidant properties help prevent premature ageing by combating free radical damage and reducing oxidative stress. Regular consumption of Tulsi tea may promote youthful skin and contribute to a more vibrant appearance.
  14. Prevent skin disorders like eczema: Tulsi may help prevent skin disorders by reducing inflammation and combating bacterial infections. Applying Tulsi-infused creams or using Tulsi essential oil topically may offer relief and improve skin health.
  15. Benefits for hair: Tulsi promotes hair health by improving blood circulation to the scalp and strengthening hair follicles, reducing hair fall and promoting hair growth. Applying Tulsi-infused oil or using Tulsi-based hair care products can nourish the scalp and improve the texture of hair strands.
  16. Appetiser: Tulsi acts as a natural appetiser by stimulating digestive enzyme secretion, aiding digestion and increasing appetite. Consuming Tulsi leaves or tea before meals may help improve digestion and enhance the enjoyment of food
  17. Reduce bloating: Tulsi’s carminative properties help reduce bloating by relieving gas and improving digestion. Consuming Tulsi tea or extracts can alleviate discomfort and promote gastrointestinal comfort, effectively reducing bloating.
  18. Bad breath: Tulsi’s antimicrobial properties help combat bacteria in the mouth, reducing bad breath and promoting oral hygiene. Chewing Tulsi leaves or using Tulsi mouthwash can freshen your breath and improve oral health.
  19. Blood purification: Tulsi-infused water purifies the blood of any toxins present in it. Treatment of kidney stones: Tulsi extract may also help in the treatment of kidney stones by increasing urine production and flushing out stones. Drinking Tulsi tea or consuming Tulsi leaves regularly can support kidney health and prevent stone formation.

Restricted use of Tulsi:

  • During pregnancy, it is advisable to consult your doctor before consuming Tulsi.
  • Heavy bleeding, bleeding disorders, burning sensations, excessive hunger, and nasal bleeding
  • Men with low sperm counts and infertility problems should avoid using Tulsi regularly.

Conclusion:

The Tulsi plant is revered as a sacred plant in India. This holy plant is a boon to humans, just like God is in our lives, which explains the deep connection between its spiritual status and medicinal properties. The uses of the Tulsi plant, its medicinal properties, and its spiritual benefits are long known to mankind and are still relevant in the current age. It is, therefore, a classic plant with increasingly important uses and effects being unravelled to date. Hence, the proper use of holy basil will ensure a safe and healthy life. Although it is safe for most of the population, please consult your healthcare professional before using it. Avail teleconsultation from our expert doctors on our online pharmacy when you place an order for medicines, or you can also download our Truemeds app to do the same. Get branded as well as generic medicines by uploading your prescription on Truemeds. When placing an order for medicines online, you may save more money by selecting alternative or generic medicine advised by Truemed’s expert doctors. And also save up to 72% on your purchase and get free home delivery pan India.

DisclaimerTruemeds’ sole intention is to ensure that customers have access to information which is accurate & trustworthy. However, the information here should not be used directly and it cannot act as a substitute for the advice of a doctor. The information provided is only to stay informed. The information on side effects, drug interactions or warnings, and alerts are not exhaustive. Please consult your doctor for the right advice on diseases & medication information.

Frequently asked questions:

Can the medicinal properties of Tulsi interfere with homoeopathic medicine?

No, the ingredients in Tulsi do not react with homoeopathic medicine.

Can the medicinal properties of Tulsi interfere with the consumption of dietary supplements?

Maybe, it is good to consult a physician if the dose of supplements is higher than usual.

Can the medicinal properties of Tulsi interfere with allopathic medicine?

It is good to seek the advice of a doctor if you are taking allopathic medicine and Tulsi plant products.

Is drinking Tulsi water helpful?

Drinking Tulsi water is beneficial as it provides hydration while delivering the medicinal properties of Tulsi, aiding in digestion, boosting immunity, and preventing various diseases. Incorporating Tulsi water into daily routines can be a refreshing and health-enhancing habit.

Which tulsi is best for medicine?

Krishna Tulsi, also known as Purple or Shyama Tulsi, is considered the most potent variety for medicinal purposes due to its high levels of essential oils and medicinal compounds. Its distinct aroma and flavor make it ideal for preparing herbal remedies and medicinal formulations.

Can tulsi be taken daily?

Yes, Tulsi can be taken daily as part of a balanced diet or as a herbal supplement. Tulsi medicinal uses includes boosting your immunity, improving digestion, managing respiratory conditions, reducing cholesterol and heart problems.

Is tulsi a herbal medicine?

Yes, Tulsi is considered a herbal medicine due to its therapeutic properties and traditional use in Ayurveda and other traditional medicine systems. It is valued for its medicinal benefits in promoting health and reducing risk of cancer.

What is a side effect of Tulsi?

Although the list of medicinal uses of Tulsi is extensive, overconsumption of Tulsi can result in mild digestive discomfort, including symptoms such as nausea or diarrhea, in certain individuals. Overdosing on Tulsi can also impact reproductive health in both males and females. It may lead to decreased testes weight, reduced sperm count, and sperm mortality in males. In females, side effects may include contractions leading to abortion, impaired lactation, cramps, backache, diarrhea, and bleeding.

Who should avoid Tulsi?

Women who are trying to concieve and those with low blood sugar should avoid excessive intake of Tulsi or its products.

What are the healing properties of tulsi tea?

Tulsi tea offers holistic healing for both mind and body, promoting relaxation, reducing stress, and enhancing mental clarity. Its antioxidant-rich composition supports physical health, boosts immunity, and aids digestion.

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