Tulsi – The Elixir Of Life

Holy basil or tulsi

In this Article


Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum), or holy basil, is a perennial plant in the Indian subcontinent. It has green or purple leaves and purple flowers. There are three subtypes of this plant: Ram tulsi, Krishna tulsi, and Vana Tulsi (forest variety). All three types are used in the religious, spiritual, and medicinal traditions of Hindus.

Tulsi - The Elixir Of Life

Ayurvedic scholars have conducted comprehensive studies of tulsi’s medicinal and therapeutic benefits. Various culinary and medicinal herbs grow in India’s incredible biodiversity, but of all the herbs, tulsi has achieved reverence.

The “mother medicine” or the “elixir of life” is a part of many daily rituals, religious ceremonies, and traditional medicine. Because of this, many people grow tulsi plants at home to honor the detailed and longstanding history of its spiritual and practical significance. 

This plant is rich in bioactive compounds which may act as anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant agents. For this reason, Ayurveda promotes the use of tulsi as a rasayana (rejuvenating tonic) to harness its health-promoting and purifying capabilities. Modern scientific research has also confirmed many of these beneficial effects. 

The most notable benefit may be its positive impact on the body’s ability to adapt to physical and psychological stress. Additionally, it may positively affect memory and cognition and can help protect organs and tissues.

Benefits of Tulsi

Stress Reduction: Ayurveda upholds holy basil as the most potent adaptogen. It has the ability to foster wellbeing, resilience, and longevity. As an adaptogenic herb, it helps the body adapt to emotional and physical stress. 

In facet, modern research also shows that it is rich in various bioactive compounds. Multiple studies have confirmed that it has antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, and neuroprotective properties.

Mental Health: The roots, leaves, and seeds of holy basil have various uses, including improving metabolism and building resilience. As an adaptogen, it may help your body adjust to all kinds of stress. The regular use of holy basil can result in calming of the nerves leading to better sleep. Further, it may have an overall improvement on cognitive functions.

Tulsi tea enhances clarity and promotes wellbeing. Scientific studies also show that 500 mg of holy basil extract may significantly improve social behavior and reduce anxiety, stress, and depression.

Tulsi tea

Immunity: Holy Basil’s antimicrobial properties include antiviral, antibacterial, anti-carcinogenic, antiseptic, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic properties. In Ayurveda, the regular consumption of Holy Basil may help boost immunity. 

It is rich in minerals like iron, zinc, and calcium. Moreover, it has significant amounts of chlorophyll and vitamins A and C. In 2017, a comprehensive review of 24 scientific studies reported that holy basil had various therapeutic effects on immunity, metabolic disorders, and lifestyle-related chronic diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular disease. 

Holy Basil contains powerful oxidants which can help control your blood pressure levels and reduce cholesterol levels, making it a healthy food for our hearts!

Additional Benefits of Tulsi

Other known tulsi benefits include:

  • Relieving fever, flu, sore throat, and congestion
  • Managing respiratory ailments like asthma and bronchitis
  • Balancing Vata and Kapha dosha
  • Sustaining dental hygiene and healthy gums
  • Beneficial in treating viral conditions
  • Acts as a powerful cleansing and detoxifying agent

Ayurvedic Uses

Tulsi Tea: Tulsi tea is made with fresh or dry leaves. It helps strengthen the immune system, promotes longevity, and enhances well-being. Additionally, tulsi may help to manage hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms. However, Ayurveda does not recommend mixing tulsi with milk. 

Fresh Tulsi Leaves: People who have access to holy basil can pluck the fresh leaves from the plant to supplement their diet. In fact, it is still a common practice in India to chew a few fresh leaves every morning on an empty stomach. 

Tulsi Oil + Aloe Vera: A few drops of tulsi oil can be added to aloe vera to make a skin ointment. This ointment may topically treat rashes, acne, severe insect bites, and other skin ailments. 

Tulsi Concoction (Kadha): Tulsi kadha is made by boiling tulsi (dried or fresh), ginger, and black pepper in water. Once the water is warm, you can add a sweetener like honey or jaggery to improve the taste. This concoction may help to prevent seasonal allergies and the cold, cough, and flu.