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Tulsi || The Sacred plant of India

Category : All, Farming · by Apr 13th, 2015

Holy Basil || Tulsi || Krishna Tulsi

Tulsi needs no introduction in India and known to each and every Indian house since ancient times. It is a part of daily prayers, temple gardens, home gardens and days if most Indian families started by worshipping this plant.

Why? What so special about this plant??

Tulsi or Krishna Tulsi  has lots of medicinal, economical, and aesthetic values. It is known by different names in different parts of Indian and world. It is described in the Vedas and the Puranas for its high medicinal values.

About Holy Basil

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Krishna Tulsi

Botanical Name : Ocimum sanctum Linn.

Family: Labitae/lamiaceae

English name: Holy Basil

Indian Names:

  • Hindi: Tulsi, Kala Tulsi, Baranda
  • Assamese: Tulasi
  • Bengali: Tulasi
  • Gujrati: Tulasi, Tulsi
  • Kannada: Shree Tulasi, Vishnu Tulasi, kari tulasi
  • Malayalam: Tulasa, Trittavu
  • Marathi: Tulasa, Tulasi
  • Punjabi: Tulasi
  • Sanskrit: Manjari, Patra-pushpa, Ajaka, Brinda
  • Tamil: Thulasi, Thiru Theezai
  • Telugu: Tulasi, Brynda, Krishna tulasi
  • Urdu: Raihan

 Foreign Names

  • Burmese: Lun
  • Purtugese: Mangerico
  • Sinhalese: Madurutala
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Tulsi Plant

Plant Morphology:

  • Is a fragrant, bushy, erect, much-branched annual herb with a height of 30-75 cm.
  • Roots: thin, soft and branched
  • Stem: woody, hairy, subquadrangular, purplish brown to black from outside and cream colored inside with faint aroma
  • Leaves: opposite, simple, elliptic-oblong, acute or obtuse, green or purplish blue in colour.
  • Flowers: purplish to crismson in colour, small, verticillate, born in racemes which are 15-20 cm long.
  • Calyx: five sepals, tubular, bilipped, 0.2-0.4 cm long, greenish in colour.
  • Corolla: five petals, bilabiate in shape and found covered with scattered hairs
  • Fruits: group of four nutlets, smooth, pal ebrown to reddish in colour with small black markings
  • Seeds: round oval in shape, 0.1 cm long and brown in colour

Geographical Distribution:

  • Throughout India upto elevation of 1,800 m.
  • Commercial basis: Jammu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Uttaranchal, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar etc.
  • Northern and eastern Africa, Hainan Islands, France, Italy, Taiwan and China


  • 9 species are found in India
  • americanum, O. basilicum, O. canum, O. kilimandscharicum, O. gratissimum, O. viride, O. carnosum, O. suave etc.
  • 2 important varieties are: Sri Tulsi and Krishna Tulsi
    • Sri Tulsi- leaves are green in colour
    • Krishna Tulsi- purplish-blue colour leaves. Variety is much better than Sri Tulsi, preferred for commercial cultivation

Parts Used: whole plant, seeds & leaves are highly valuable commercially

Chemical Constitutes:


  • 7% bright yellow, volatile oil with pleasant odour: eugenol (71%), eugenol methyl ether (20%), carvacrol (3%) and α and β caryophyllene (1.7%)
  • Ascorbic acid and arotene are also obtaine from leaves


  • 8% greenish yellow fixed oil: plamitic acid (6.9%), stearic acid (2.1 %), oleic acid (9%), linoleic acid (66.1%) and linolenic acid (15.7%)
  • Mucilage
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Medicinal value of Tulsi

Therapeutic Uses:

  • Antiseptic, expectorant, diaphoretic, anti-periodic, anti-spasmodic, carminative, stomachich etc.
  • Used for treatment of arthritis, asthma, common cold, cough, tonsils, diabetes, fever.
  • Also for lung problems, headache
  • Seeds- genito-urinary system disorder
  • Antibacterial and insecticidal properties
  • Dental creams, mouthwashes and toothpastes


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