• Title: Svadeva, Tulsi.
  • Author: Arvindus.
  • Publisher: Arvindus.
  • Copyright: Arvindus, 2014, all rights reserved.
  • Index: 201402272.
  • Edition: html, first edition.
  • Original: Svadeva, Tulsi, Index: 201402271.


Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum) is a plant from the Lamiaceae family that is indigenous in India. In Hinduism is tulsi seen as one of the most holy plants and worshipped as an incarnation of the Hindu god Vishnu. Tulsi vitalises, purifies the aura opens the heart, grants love and devotion and increases awareness.


Tulsi is among others also known as 'holy basil' and should not be confused with other basil species. A short overview of the names:

  • Botanic: Ocimum sanctum, Ocimum tenuiflorum.
  • Sanskrit: Tulsī, tulasī.
  • Hindi: Tulasī.
  • English: Tulsi, holy basil.
  • Dutch: Tulsi, heilige basillicum.


Tulsi grows in an area where since ages ayurveda, the Hinduistic medicine, is being practised. It is no wonder then that tulsi is in use in ayurveda. Below follows a general overview of the qualities of tulsi from ayurvedic perspective.

  • Energetics: Pungent - hot - pungent.
  • VK- P+ (Tulsi lowers vata and kapha and raises pitta in excess).
  • Tissues: Plasma, blood, marrow, nerves, reproductive, digestive system, respiratory system.
  • Action: Antibacterial, antiseptic, analgesic, antispasmodic, diaphoretic, febrifuge, nervine, vermifuge, blood and heart tonic, oxygenates the body, cleanses and clears the brain and nerves, strengthens nerve tissue, prevents the accumulation of fat in the body, builds the immune system, improves digestion and appetite, destroys ama, empowers other herbs, purifies the air, frees ozone from sun rays.
  • Indication: Coughs, tuberculosis, colds, fevers, lung and respiratory problems, phlegm, allergic bronchitis, asthma, eosinophilia, abdominal distention, arthritis, flatulence, memory problems, nasal and sinus congestion, sinus headache, depression, poisons; pain, difficult urination, skin diseases, arthritis, rheumatism, first stages of many cancers, worms, gum infection, hair-loss and graying, earaches, swellings.
  • Spirituality: Vitalises, purifies the aura, opens the heart, grants love and devotion and increases awareness. Tulsi is sattvik by nature.


Tulsi grows in the wild exclusively in South-Asia and has therefore no traditional place in Western herbology. However due to the increased general availability of tulsi has this plant also become increasingly part of herbology. Below follows an overview of the qualities as found in Western herbology.

  • Action: Abortifacient, adaptogen, alexeteric, analgesic, antidepressant, antibacterial, antifertility, antihistaminic, antiinflammatory, antioxidant, antipyretic, antisecretory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antispermatogenic, antistress, antithyroid, antiulcer, bitter, candidicide, carminative, cholagogue, contraceptive, inhibitor, cyclooxygenase inhibitor, demulcent, diaphoretic, expectorant, fungicide, hepatoprotective, hypoglycemic, hypotensive, larvicide, lactagogue, laxative, lipoxygenase inhibitor, negative inotropic, radioprotective, sedative, stimulant, stomachic, vermifuge.
  • Indication: Alzheimer's, arthrosis, asthma, bacteria, bite, bronchosis, cancer, colon cancer, liver cancer, spleen cancer, candida, cardiopathy, catarrh, cholera, cold, colic, constipation, cough, cramp, depression, dermatosis, diarrhea, dysmenorrhea, dyspepsia, dyspnea, dysuria, earache, encephalosis, enterosis, epistaxis, escherichia, fever, flu, fungus, gas, gastrosis, gonorrhea, gravel, headache, heatstroke, hemiplegia, hepatosis, hiccup, high blood pressure, infection, inflammation, insomnia, leukoderma, lumbago, malaria, mycosis, nervousness, neurosis, ophthalmia, otosis, ozena, pain, pulmonosis, radiation, respirosis, rheumatism, rhinosis, ringworm, salmonella, snakebite, splenosis, staphylococcus, stress, swelling, tuberculosis, typhoid, ulcer, urogenitosis, virus, wart, worm, yeast.


Tulsi essential oil can be used aromatically, in bath, for massage and as a perfume. Consult before use the paragraph 'Site Effects' and when hesitant a doctor or therapist.

  • Aromatically: The oil can be used aromatically by putting a few drops in a nebulizer or vaporizer.
  • Bath: Add several drops to your bathing water.
  • Massage: The oil can be mixed with a conducting oil (for instance cold pressed sesame oil).
  • Perfume: Apply one or two drops on the places where one would also apply perfume.

Side Effects

Usage of tulsi essential oil on the manners as described under the paragraph 'Useage' is deemed safe. For completeness however can the following points of attention be mentioned. Consult when hesitant a doctor or therapist.

  • General: May contain methyleugenol, may interact with drugs, may inhibit blood clotting, possible skin sensitization, possible mucous membrane irritation.
  • Skin: People with skin diseases or very sensitive skin may experience skin sensitization.
  • Internally: May interact with pethidine, some antidepressants (MAOI's or SSRI's), anticoagulant medication, major surgery, peptic ulcers, hemophilia and other bleeding disorders.


Tulsi essential oil has in general constituents as follows:

  • Eugenol 31.9–50.4%
  • 1, 8-Cineole 12.6–16.5%
  • Estragole 9.7–12.9%
  • b-Bisabolene 9.7–10.5%
  • (Z)-a-Bisabolene 6.5–6.8%
  • (E)-b-Ocimene 3.4–6.2%
  • Chavicol 0.7–2.0%
  • b-Caryophyllene 1.3–1.5%
  • Camphene 0.9–1.5%
  • a-Caryophyllene 0.4–1.5%
  • b-Pinene 1.2–1.3%
  • Germacrene D 0.8–1.2%
  • (E)-a-Bergamotene 0.9–1.1%
  • Methyleugenol 0.2–0.3%
  • James A. Duke, Handbook of Medicinal Herbs, CRC Press, Boca Raton / et alibi, 2002.
  • Klaus K. Klostermaier, A Survey of Hinduism, State University of New York Press, Albany, 1994.
  • Vasant Lad en David Frawley, Ayurveda en Kruiden, Uitleg en gebruik van ruim 250 kruiden voor Ayurvedisch genezen, Schors, Amsterdam 1994.
  • Swami Sadashiva Tirtha, The Āyurveda Encyclopedia, Natural Secrets to Healing, Prevention and Longevity, Ayurveda Holistic Center Press, Bayville, 2005.
  • Robert Tisserand / Rodney Young, Essential Oils Safety, A Guide for Health Care Professionals, Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, Edinburgh / et alibi, 2014.