What Is Tulsi Good For?

Reviewed on 2/12/2021

Tulsi benefits

 Tulsi grows as a branched shrub that may reach up to a height of 60 cm.
Tulsi grows as a branched shrub that may reach up to a height of 60 cm.

Tulsi (scientific name: Ocimum sanctum) is also called holy basil because of its religious and spiritual significance in the Indian culture. It is a perennial (grows in all seasons) herb native to India and mainly grows in the tropical areas of South East Asia. Tulsi grows as a branched shrub that may reach up to a height of 60 cm. It bears fragrant leaves and furry branched stems that may have tiny white to purple flowers. The plant is regarded as the “queen of herbs” or “mother medicine of nature” in Ayurveda because of its various health benefits. Ayurveda, the traditional form of Indian medicine, regards tulsi as an adaptogen. An adaptogen is a natural substance that helps the body adapt to various stressors. Tulsi is also an important ingredient of Thai cuisine. In Ayurveda, tulsi is used in various forms such as dried, fresh, powdered, essential oil, and herbal tea. The herb is believed to reduce inflammation in the body and remove “toxins.” It is believed to protect the body from harmful free radicals.

Tulsi is generally considered safe; however, if you have any underlying health conditions or are pregnant, you must ask your doctor before trying any herbal supplements. There is also a risk of undesirable drug reactions with tulsi supplements, especially those that interfere with blood clotting and thyroid functions. The use of tulsi in managing chronic health conditions is not scientifically well established. Thus, you must consult your doctor before using it as a supposed cure for your health condition.

Tulsi leaves have a strong aroma with a peppery to bitter taste. Tulsi may be consumed as a tea, chewed as fresh leaves, or used as mouthwashes. Tulsi tea can be made by adding a cup of boiled water to a pot containing a teaspoonful of fresh tulsi leaves or half a teaspoon of dried tulsi leaves. Tulsi powder (one-third teaspoon) available in the market may also be used instead of leaves. The pot must be covered and left for 15-30 minutes. It can then be strained and sipped. You can also add some lemon juice or honey to enhance the taste. Direct boiling of tulsi with water is not preferred because it may destroy some of its beneficial properties. Tulsi tablets, skin creams, shampoos, essential oils, and eye drops are also available in the market.

Some of the proposed health benefits of tulsi include:

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