Tulsi (holy basil) plant medicinal uses, benefits and side effects

Tulsi plant or Holy basil plant is a many-branched erect shrub which grows up to two feet. It is an annual herb with stems hairy and leaves simple phyllotaxis colored green or purple. It has a strong scent.

The 5 cm long, ovate leaves have petioles and are slightly toothed. The flowers are in close whorls, and purple colored in elongate racemes. They are bilaterally symmetrical and have a spiky structure from the center of the stem.

The fruit is dry but does not burst when it ripens. It grows well in hot conditions. The branches grow in pairs opposite each other but perpendicular to the lower branches.

Tulsi plant

Common name

The common name of this plant is Tulsi, Tulasi plant, Tulsa or Holy Basil.

Botanical Name and Family of holy basil

The botanical name is Ocimum basilicum. It belongs to the Lamiaceae family.

Geological area where tulsi plant grows

Medicinal plant tulsi is native to India. It also grows widely in the tropical regions of South East Asian.

Tulsi flowers

Tulsi plant medicinal uses to cure different disease

The Tulsi has found use in Ayurveda for thousands of years. With its astringent taste and strong aroma, it has diverse healing properties. People consider it the “elixir of life”. We use the flower, plant, and leaves in powder, oil, paste, and in its natural form.


The Tulsi balances the body systems and removes stress.

Cures fevers and colds

It helps remove the phlegm from the respiratory passages. It helps bring the fever down through the antipyretic action. This is due to the presence of essential oils and phytonutrients.

You get protection from all kinds of bacterial, fungal, and viral infections. It gets rid of the protozoa, such as those that cause malaria, viruses such as those that cause the flu, bacteria (typhoid), and fungus.

Usually, a decoction prepared from Tulsi flowers and leaves will cure any fever.

Helps with skin disorders

The Tulsi plant destroys the pathogens on the skin, rejuvenates the skin because of its antioxidant property. It helps the skin become young and glowing. Apply the poultice of the Tulsi leaves in the area affected by the skin disease.

You will soon have relief. Rubbing Tulsi leaves on the skin will keep the mosquitoes away. The antibiotic nature of the Tulsi essential oil is responsible for this. It also has an anti-fungal, antibiotic, and disinfectant nature. By applying it externally, one can remove the extra oil and have a cool, soothing effect.

Relieves stress

The stress levels come under control when subjected to the presence of antioxidants and Vitamin C. The chemical Camphene in Holy basil helps lower the inflammations and soothe the nerves. Potassium too helps in reducing the blood pressure.

tulsi leaves

Care for the eyes

Washing your eyes with water in which you soaked a couple of basil leaves will keep diseases such as conjunctivitis away. It helps relieve inflammation of the eyes and soothes them.

If you use basil leaves regularly, you will have protection against macular degeneration, Ophthalmia, glaucoma, and cataracts. All this happen due the presence of vitamins and antioxidants.

Improves immunity

The presence of antioxidants helps our body fight a host of infections such as HIV, AIDS, cancers, and the common cold.

Has antibiotic property

Tulasi plant forms an effective and affordable agent against periodontitis. It helps fight the bacteria colonizing the oral cavity. It destroys the bacteria responsible for bad breath, tartar, plaque, and dental cavities. The astringent property it has helps to strengthen the gums and make the teeth healthier.

Useful antiviral

It has good antiviral properties and helps prevent infections such as flu.

Control headaches

One can cure different kinds of headaches cause by cough and cold, migraines, and sinus pressure using Holy basil. Some people with high blood pressure get headache. You get relief with just one dose of Tulsi preparation.

This is due to the disinfectant, anti-congestive, sedative, and analgesic properties of the various compound such as cineol, eugenol, methyl-chavicol, carvacrol, and camphene.

Anti-carcinogenic nature

The presence of Vitamin C and antioxidants helps to protect the body against cancer.

Remove Kidney stones

Through its mild diuretic action Holy basil helps rid kidney stones. This action is helped by the detoxifying property it has. They reduce the uric acid level in the body. Uric acid is the main reason for the formation of kidney stones.

The increased frequency of urination helps to remove the uric acid build up. Certain compounds such as acetic acid help dissolve the stone. People use Tulsi essential oil for this purpose. The oil has a pain killer effect that help one to bear the pain of the kidney stone as they pass out of the body.

Cures respiratory ailments

You can have the Tulsi preparation for respiratory disorders such as asthma and bronchitis. Find home remedies for asthma. Also check home remedies for bronchitis.

Treat heart disease

The presence of antioxidants such as eugenol along with Vitamin C helps strengthen the heart. Eugenol has an additional action of reducing the cholesterol levels in the blood.

Improves the digestion

It augments the digestive system by improving the rate of metabolism. It removes the parasites and clears the colon. This improves the hunger.

Other uses of Ocimum basilicum

It finds use in curing headaches and gives relief for sore throat. It has essential oils, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C along with phytonutrients. Basil has disinfectant and germicidal properties.

It helps treat radiation effects and cure the harmful effects from radiation. This plant reduces the curing time of wounds. It can help protect against the pox if one uses the basil leaves often.

Genital and urinary tract infections

People suffering from genital and urinary tract infections can get relief by having the decoction of basil leaves. Besides helping cure infections such as measles and mumps, you can use it to get relief when you have a whooping cough. Find natural remedies for cough.

Side Effects of Tulsi leaves

  1. Tulsi has Eugenol. Taking the excess amount of Tulsi can lead to eugenol overdose which is poisoning. It might lead to Blooding during coughs, rapid breathing, and blood in urine.
  2. You should not consume holy basil with other blood thinning medications because it has properties to thin the blood.
  3. If you are suffering from diabetes or hypoglycemia and taking medications then you should avoid tulsi. Because it might lead to excessive reduction in blood sugar.
  4. Excessive amount of holy basil by pregnant ladies may have long-haul impacts both on the mother and the infant. Tulsi may create reactions in pregnant ladies.


People bitten by rabid dogs use basil leaf paste for first aid. It helps reduce the labor pains and can be used for alleviating nausea. It shows good action against pain due to rheumatism by reducing the inflammation.

You can use holy basil leaf paste to treat gastroenteritis. You can also use it as an insect repellent by mixing the dried leaf powder with rice and spreading it in the places where the insect gather.

Use Tulsi in the form of tea or powder the dry leaves and mix it with your salads. Many people make a paste of the Tulsi plant, mix it with honey, and store it for later use.

Do not chew the leaves as they will produce a bad effect. Similarly, one must not make decoctions of the leaves since it has mercury. By chewing, the holiness of the holy basil leaves is lost, as said in the holy scriptures.

Finally, before using Tulsi in any form, please consult with your doctor or Ayurvedic practitioner.



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Anoop Sharma

About Anoop Sharma

Anoop Sharma is an IT professional, freelance health writer and creator of www.medicinalplantsanduses.com. He is passionate about helping others learn about health issues and their natural remedies, yoga and healthy food.

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