- Tulsi comes from the plant species Ocimum sanctum and O. tenuiflorum. Herbalists have used leaves and seeds in traditional medicine for thousands of years for treating respiratory ailments, stomach problems, headaches, fevers and heart disease. In traditional ayurvedic medicine in India, tulsi is considered an "adaptogenic" herb, meaning that it helps the body withstand stress and disease.
- Tulsi plants may offer antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, blood-sugar-lowering, analgesic, heart-protective, wound-healing and stomach-protective effects. Although these actions aren't proven in humans, herbalists sometimes recommend tulsi for treating asthma and type-2 diabetes. Tulsi may also help to treat skin rashes due to poison ivy or poison oak dermatitis.
- The safety of tulsi is unknown, because no comprehensive safety studies have been conducted in humans. Tulsi could potentially impair fertility and pose dangers for pregnant or breastfeeding women. Before you begin taking tulsi for any health purpose, talk with your doctor to discuss the possible risks and drug interactions.