Ocimum Sanctum Linn

Botanical Name: Ocimum sanctum Linn

Sanskrit Name: Tulasi

Family Name: LAMIACEAE


Vernacular names :

Common name – indian basil/ holy basil/ sacred basil

  1. Hindi – tulsi
  2. Telugu –tulasi
  3. Malayalam –tulasi
  4. Tamil –tulasi
  5. Kannada – sritulasi


Apetarakasi, Gouri, Gramya, Pavani, Bahumaiijari, Visnuvallabha, Sulaghni, Surasa, Sulabha.

Ganas in classical texts:

Charaka: svasahara

Susruta: surasadi



In Atharvaparisista and Sankaradharmasutrawe come across the mentionings about ‘Tulasi (Ocimum Sanctum Linn)’ (A.P. 35/2/9-11 &S.D.Su. 129). However, Surasa is delineated as a forebiddenleafy vegetable in Visnu dharma sutra (V.D.S. 79/17).

It is quite interesting thatBrhatTrayi not used the term ‘Tulasi’ to indicate it. Its synonymSurasa is mainly used by them in their work while Caraka quoted Apetaraksasi as the synonym (C.S.Ci. 10/37).

Charaka included Tulasi under the name Surasa in the Svasahara group. Today Tulasi is mainly famous as cough syrup base. However, its other properties are also important. The internal utility of Tulasi shall be in low doses and very restricted owing to their anti-implantation and anti-sperimatogenic activities


Bhavamisra quoted two varieties viz., suklaTulasi (0. americanum Linn.) and KrisnaTulasi (0. sanctum Linn.)

In ocimum genus the follow ing species are medicinally used in the name of different kinds of Tulasi (Ocimum Sanctum Linn). They are : 0, basilicum, 0. sanctum; 0.gratissinum, O. americanum and O. klimendscharium

Botanical details

Branched, aromatic herb, sometimes woody, hairy. Leaves – oblong or ovate-oblong, obtuse or acute, entire or subserrate. Flowers – verysmall, borne in terminal and axillary racemes. Fruits- subglobose or broadly oblong nutlets.

Flowers and fruits almost throughout the year (mainly during September-February).


Found throughout India. Now being cultivated extensively.

Chemical constituents

Bornyl acetate, cadinene, camphene, camphor, carvacrol, 13-caryophellene, eugenol, eugenolmethyl ether, humelene, methyl chavicol, limonene etc.


Rasa –katu, tikta

Guna –laghu, ruksa

Virya – usna

Vipaka –katu

Karma –kapha- vatahara, deepana, krimighna, putigandhahara


Hikka, Kasa, Svasa, Visaroga, Parsvasula, Krimi, VisamaJvara.

Part used

Leaf, root, seed


Fresh juice 10-20 ml, root decoction 50-100 ml, seed powder 3-6 g.

Therapeutic uses

(1) KaphajaKasa— Fresh juice of KrisnaTulasi is given with honey

(2) Makkalasula— Juice of Tulasi leaves is taken with old jaggery and Manda

(3) Pakshagata— A copper vessel is impregnated with paste of PuspaKasisa mixed with Tulasi juice and left for 10 days, After wards that paste is collected and used as Arijana (A,H.Lits9/20).

Medicinal properties of tulsi:

1.Tulsi (Ocimum Sanctum Linn) has anti inflammatory properties as it reduces vata . Hence its external application on swollen parts helps to diminish swelling and pain.

2.Tulsi helps in many skin disorders. It is effective in skin rashes, insect bites and itching. Leaves of this plant are effectively used in ring worm infections and lucoderma.

3.Fresh juice of Tulsi leaves is used in nasya karma. This method helps to relieve headache and diseases of head and neck. Tulsi leaves act as nervine tonic and help to sharpen memory.

4.Paste and Juice of Tulsi leaves help to reduce acne, pimples and scars.

5.Accordingayurveda, preparations of Tulsi are beneficial in indigestion, intestinal parasites and constipation.

6.Crushed leaves of tulsi are very effective in fever, cough, bronchitis and other diseases of lungs. It helps in expectoration of excess mucous secretion.

7.Tulsi acts as a cardiac tonic and purifies blood.

8.Seeds of tulsi are effective in premature ejaculation .It also increases quantity of semen.

9.Consuming 10 – 12 leaves of Tulsi per day helps to reduce stress.


SurasadiganaKasaya, Surasaditaila, Tumburvadi yoga, Nimbadilepa, Sahacharaditaila.

Research, study and other information

(1) Leaves shown abortificient and antifertility activity. The aqueous extract (100 mg/kg) showed anti-implantation and abortificient action (Vohora et al., 1969).

(2) Benzene and PE extracts of leaves (100 mg/kg) showed 80% and 60% antifertility effect in rats (Batta&Santhakumari, 1971).

(3) Histological and biochemical studies on mice fed with leaves showed evidence of mild impairment of spermatogenesis with significant reduction of seminal pH (Kasinathan et al., 1972).

(4) 50% ethanolic extract of leaves showed hypoglycaemiceffect in rats and antispasmodic activity against spasmogen-induced spasms in isolated guinea pig ileum (Dhar et al., 1968).

(5) Crude watery extract of leaves showed transient hypotensive effect in anaesthetized dogs and cats and a negative isotropic and chronotropic effect on rabbit heart (Singh et al., 1970)

6) The volatile oil is reported to be mosquito larvicidal aswell as mosquito-repellent (Sharma &Wattal, 1979; Deshmukh et al., 1982; Kalyanasundaram&Babu, 1982; Chavan et al., 1983).

7) The ether extract of leaves showed antibacterial activity (Joshi &Magar, 1952; Gupta &Viswanatham, 1955); the essential oil also exhibited antibacterial activity (Grover &Rao, 1977).

(8) Essential oil from leaves showed antifungal activity (Grover &Rao, 1977; Dey&Choudhuri, 1984; Singh et al1983; Sen et al., 1983).

(9) Leaf extract enhanced anti-SRBC haemagglutinationtitreand IgE antibody titre, as measured by passive cutaneous anaphylaxis in rats; antigen-induced histamine release from peritoneal mast cells of sensitized rats in vitro was significantly inhibited by it; it also antagonized responses to various spasmogens by isolated guinea pig ileum. Thus, leaf extract modulates humoral immune responses (I.J.M.R. 1987, 87, 384).

(12) Extract of leaves showed highly significant clinical and biochemical clearance of viral hepatitis in 14 days of treatment (J. Res. Ayu. & Siddha 1988, 9, 118).

Home remedies with Tulsi (Ocimum Sanctum Linn)

1.Paste of tulsi leaves when applied on inflamed areas help to reduce pain and inflammation.

2.It is beneficial to smear crushed tulsi leaves on skin rashes, ring worm affected areas and insect bites

3.Make a smooth paste of tulsi leaves and apply it on acne and pimple to see effective results.

4.Freshtulsi juice mixed with ginger and honey help to reduce cough and cold.

5.Tulsi decoction is very beneficial in fevers like dengue and malaria.

6.Gargling with tulsi tea or decoction helps to reduce throat pain and mouth ulcers.

7.Regular consumption of Tulsi leaves help to control diabetes and blood cholesterol.

Tulsi Juice in ayurveda

Ayurveda recommend to use all plant parts of tulsi (Ocimum Sanctum) to prepare its juice. Collect leaves, tender branches, tender roots, seeds and flowers of tulsi. Wash them well with flowing water. Cut them into small pieces. Grind them in a mortar and pastel (khalwayantra) to prepare a soft paste. Do not add water. Place the prepared paste on a thin cotton cloth and squeeze it to get pure tulsi juice.


  • This juice is very effective in fever, cough and bronchitis.
  • This juice can be used in nasya karma to treat migraine headache
  • Tulsi juice helps to reduce acne, pimples, rashes and other skin problems. Juice of tulsi can be applied on affected skin.
  • Consumption of tulsi juice helps to get rid of intestinal parasites.
  • Regular consumption of tulsi juice purifies blood and also keeps the heart healthy.
  • Tulsi juice reduces blood sugar and cholesterol level.