Health Benefits of Tulsi

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What if there was a plant that could fend off colds, coughs and viral infections simply by growing it indoors?  According to this plant is Holy Basil aka Tulsi. I once had a friend that owned a tea shop.  She used to swear by this tea. 

Holy Basil has been used in Hindu Religious ceremonies for centuries.  The name Tulsi actually means the incomparable one. Tulsi symbolizes the Goddess Lakshmi.  Lakshmi is the Hindu Goddess of Light, Beauty, Luck and Wealth. 


Tulsi is one of the herbs referred to as adaptogen.  Adaptogens are herbs that assist in the functioning of your adrenal system.  This makes them excellent for easing stress related symptoms.  My favourite description of adaptogens comes from .  “Adaptogenic herbs do not alter mood, but rather, they help the body function optimally during times of stress.”  Tulsi helps normalize cortisol levels in turn lowering stress. 


One of the main uses of Tulsi is for respiratory infections from colds, bronchitis, asthma.  It also helps to enhance your immune system.  It is 

  • Antibacterial
  • Antifungal
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antioxidant

All of which help eliminate respiratory infections. 


Tulsi can speed recovery from infectious fevers such as Malaria.  It can also treat mild fevers.  Tulsi’s anti-microbial properties work on the infection and thereby bring down the fevers. 


Tulsi has a large amount of magnesium.  Magnesium deficiency is one of the contributing factors to heart disease.  It is estimated that 80% of North Americans are magnesium deficient.  So including herbs like Tulsi and Cacao in your diet can help you stay heart healthy.  Tulsi has been shown to improve  cholesterol levels and lower blood pressure. 

Skin Hair and Free Radical Damage 

Tulsi has high levels of antioxidants which help the body fight the effects of free radical damage.  For more information on free radicals see my blog on antioxidants and cacao.

Tulsi helps reduce the signs of aging like age spots and wrinkles.  One cup of Tulsi tea daily is all it takes.  It has also been useful in reducing itchy scalp and preventing hair from falling out.


I am always amused that there is insufficient evidence for the use of an herb and yet there are cautions and interactions.  As always with herbs you should avoid tulsi during pregnancy.  WebMD shows a caution that Tulsi may assist anti clotting agents in other drugs.  If you are taking anti clotting drugs or are anticipating surgery do not take Tulsi. 

Tulsi is one of the best known herbs in Ayurvedic Medicine but is vastly unheard of in the West.  For myself, I will be adding Tulsi to my home herbal kit.