Botanical Name: Ocimum sanctum Linn.

Family: Labiatae; Lamiaceae.



Tulasi manily used for preparing cough syrup. It have mainly two variety.

 Scientific classification: Basil belongs to the family Lamiaceae (formerly Labiatae). Sweet basil is classified as Ocimum basilicum and bush basil as Ocimum minimum. Mountain mints are classified in the genus Pycnanthemum.



Names in different Indian languages



Indian Basil/Holy basil

sacred Basil




Krishna Tulsi


Tulsi, trittav, Krishna tulsi


Tulsi , surasah














Surasaa, Surasa, Bhuutaghni, Suravalli, Sulabhaa, Manjarikaa, Bahumanjari, Deva dundubhi, Apet-raakshasi, Shuulaghni, Graamya, Sulabhaa

 Ocimum  tenuiflorum Linn.

Classification according to Charaka, Susrutha & Vagbhata












Varieties & adulterants - (CV – controversy, AD – adulterants) 


  1. sukla Tulasi (O. americanum Linn.)
  2. Krisna Tulasi (O. sanctum Linn.)
  3. O. basilicum— rama tulasi
  4. O. minimum
  5. O. gratissirnum Linn
  6. O. klimendScharicum.— karpoora tulasi




Branched, aromatic under shrub 30-50 cm high, sometimes  woody, hairy.

Leaves—simple, opposite,  oblong or ovate-oblong, obtuse or acute, - entire or subserrate. Petioles slender hairy 

Flowers— very small, borne in terminal and axillary racemes.

Fruits— subglobose or broadly oblong nutlets.

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

Habitat & Distribution

Found throughout India. Now being cultivated extensively.




Chemical Constituents

eugenol, carvacrol, nerol, eugenolmethylether, Bornyl acetate, cadinene, camphene, camphor, carvacrol, beta-caryophellene, eugenol, eugenol methyl ether, humelene, methyl chavicol, limonene etc.





Rasa- Katu, Tikta

Guna -Laghu, Rüksa

Virya -  Usna

Vipäka-  Katu


 Karma Kapha-vãtahara Dipana, Krimighna Putigandhahara

Digestive, diuretic, expectorant, febrifuge, aromatic, carminative, stomachic, antispasmodic, antiasthmatic, antirheumatic, stimulant, hepatoprotective, antiperiodic, antipyretic and diaphoretic


Indications— Hikkä, Kãsa, svãsa, Visaroga, Parvasüla, Krimi, Visama Jvara.


asthma, cardiopathy, otalgia, bronchitis, hiccough, fever, vomiting, lumbago,skin disease, fever, cough, psychosis


Part Used— Leaf, root, seed.

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





External uses : Because of its insecticidal, deodorant, stimulant, vatahara and oedema relieving actions, the paste of the leaves is useful in chronic ulcers, oedema and pain. Scrubbing of the juice on the skin improves the intradermal circulation. Juice is also used as eardrops in earache.




Internal uses


Digestive system : Being an appetizer, digestive, laxative and anthelmintic. it is used in anorexia. abdominal pain and helminthiasis. Tulsi seeds are soaked in water and slimy kheer is prepared from it which is given in dysentery. Tulsi leaves should be chewed in pyorrhoea.


Circulatory system : Since it is a cardiac stimulant, blood purifier and anti-inflammatory, it is used in cardiac debility. vatakapha disorders of blood and inflammations.


Respiratory system Tulsi has a main action on respiratory system. When tulsi leaves are given with honey, they act as an expectorant and alleviate the symptoms like cough induced by kapha. dyspnoea and fever. Tulsi is a very good home remedy for common symptoms like lever, cold and cough.

Urinary system : Tulsi seed is diuretic. It alleviates gonorrhoea, dysuria, burning micturation, cystitis, calculi and also urethritis.



Skin : Diaphoretic, effective in skin diseases, Hence it is used in fever and particularly in ringworm infection, eczema and scabies. The paste of tulsi leaves and black pepper is effective in ringworm infection (It is worn with red. hibiscus flowers in a gadded for Ganeshpooja).

Temperature : Febrifuge. Useful in fever with chills and intermittent fever. Decoction of tulsi leaves is also useful in chronic fever,

Satmikaran : Seed is a tonic, Kheer prepared from the seeds should be used in debility due to pittadosha.

Formulations: Tulsi leaves are being used for trituration in preparing many Ayurvedic formulations. (It may ad as a preservative).


Dosha Pittavardhak, kaphavatashamak. (reducing foul smell of sputum).
Dhatu : Rakta (skin disorders), fat metabolism.
Mala Mutra (dysuria), diaphoretic, mala (foetid smell scavenger).
Organs : Heart, respiratory system.

Important Yogas or Formations

Surasadigana Kasaya, Surasãdi taila, Tumburvãdi yoga, Nimbãdi lepa, Sahacarãdi taila, vilwadi gulika, tulasi patradi tailm.


Important research work  going on

 (1) antifertility activity

(2) biochemical clearance

(3)hypoglycaemic effect

(5) hypo- tensive effect

(6) mosquito larvicidal as well as mosquito-repellent action

(7) antibacterial activity

(8) antifungal activity 

(9) Antiviral activity

(10) anti-stress activity



Therapeutic Uses—

(1) Kaphaja Kasa— Fresh juice of Krishna Tulsi is given with honey (C.S.Ci. 18).

 (2) Makkalasula— juice of Tulasi leaves is taken with old jaggery and Manda (G.N.)

(3) Paksmasãta— A copper vessel is impregnated with paste of Puspa Kãsisa mixed with Tulasi juice and left for 10 days. After wards that paste is collected and used as Añjana (A.H.Ut. 9/20).


Descriptions on  Ayurveda books / Nighandu:
















Medicinal plants of India ; Ayurveda

Encyclopedia of Indian Medicinal Plants/Herbs mainly using in Ayurveda with good quality pictures and information like therapeutic usage of Medicinal Plants, cultivation, morphology, habitat, flower characters, Chemical content, parts used, research works etc.

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