8 Top Benefits, Uses Of Tulsi | Thulasi | Holy Basil For Skin, Hair & Health

Holy basil also popularly called tulsi in India is a must know herb as it has wide medicinal uses and health benefits. Holy basil is such a part of Indian life that I can’t imagine being without it. The sight, smell and the feel of this amazing herb calms and comforts me. The botanical name of holy basil plant is Ocimum Tenuiflorum | Ocimum Sanctum. Holy basil is called Tulsi in Hindi and Thulasi in Tamil.

Tulsi Traditional Uses:

In olden days most of the Indian homes will have a tulasi madam, an altar with tulsi plant that is worshiped everyday. Lighting up a small diya and worshiping tulsi plant was a custom that was practiced religiously. All these ancient practices are not mere meaningless rituals, they serve so many purposes.

If you are new to herbs and if you ask me a herb that you should get to know first, I will reply immediately without a moments hesitation that it is holy basil. Holy basil is amazing in treating many ailments and in my opinion every home should have this plant.

It treats cough, cold, fever, dandruff when used as a hair pack, acne, all skin related problems, tooth problem when used as a tooth powder, the list goes on and on. Holy basil needs little to no maintenance at all and can be easily grown in small pots using the seeds.

My Personal Experience Using Tulsi:

When I was younger an incident in which a relative got relief using holy basil leaves is still etched in my memory. A big group of us had gone to a remote temple and we kids were playing at the back of the temple while the elders were busy unpacking things for the pooja.

Suddenly a small kid in our group started crying loudly, hearing her loud screams all the elders came running. When they examined her, they discovered that she was bitten by something but none of us could find out what bit her. She had intense itching and her skin had developed small red patches. Since the temple was remote it would take at least 2 to 3 hours to reach the nearby hospital.

There were some holy basil plants near the temple and one of my aunts plucked a bunch of the holy basil leaves and pounded it into a paste using a stone and applied all over the affected area. Slowly her screaming reduced and within half an hour she was playing with us again. It is my strong belief that getting to know herbs at least the ones that are found abundant in our place will help us in need and this belief of mine has been proven again and again over the years.

Tulsi Side Effects:

If planning to take it in the form of tea daily and you are on any medications, please mention it to your physician. Also holy basil might have a negative effect on fertility………..

Tulsi Medicinal Uses & Health Benefits:

1. Holy Basil | Tulsi | Thulasi Face Pack For Acne | Pimples:

Holy basil face pack is very good for treating acne and I like to combine it with turmeric for treating acne. Turmeric and tulsi are a magic combination for acne and treats acne very quickly. Along with this mask, if you consume turmeric internally it will give good relief very soon. To make the mask, first make a turmeric paste by rubbing turmeric on a coarse stone till you have enough paste.

Take fresh tulsi leaves and grind it into a fine paste using boiled water in a mortar and pestle till you get a smooth paste. Add the turmeric paste to it and mix well to a smooth paste. To use, apply a thin coating of this mixture on the face, wait for 10 to 15 minutes before washing off. Continue using it for few days regularly. Regular use of this paste also reduces the scars left by acne.

2. Holy Basil | Tulsi | Thulasi Soup For Cold:

This tulsi soup is the only solution for the kids, who are adamant about not drinking tulsi kashayam, when they catch a cold. I think it is all in the name, say it’s a soup and serve it in a nice soup bowl, there is a good chance that they will drink it. But don’t get me wrong, this soup tastes really delicious and is very comforting to drink on a cold winter day.

The soup smells of ghee & pepper, with a slight smell of tulsi. Because we don’t grind the leaves, there is no bitterness nor the overpowering smell of tulsi. I have used fresh green tulsi leaves for this soup recipe. If you like, you can substitute black tulsi leaves (Krishna Tulsi) in this soup. But I really like the spiciness of the green tulsi leaves in this soup.

Anytime you are unwell, have a cold, just try this soup. It is very easy to prepare. All you need is fresh tulsi leaves and boiled toor dal water (you can save a bit of boiled dal water whenever you make rasam at home) and you have a heart warming soup. You can find the detailed recipe here….

3. Holy Basil | Tulsi | Thulasi For Cough in Babies

There are two types of holy basil that we get very commonly. One is the green one and the other one is slightly darker. We call the darker one “Krishna tulsi” in Tamil. It grows very commonly everywhere in our place. We use it extensively for home remedies, especially cold related conditions.

The green tulsi is very commonly found than the darker tulsi but it slightly spicy, when you taste it than the darker one. So we always use the Krishna Tulsi (black tulsi) for kids when they get cold and the greener one for adults. When my son was younger, whenever he had a cold, I used to make this Krishna Tulsi cough syrup and give it to him every day morning for three days, as per my grandmas instructions.

When you are making this cough syrup, be careful about the amount of pepper you use, especially if you are using the green tulsi. If you use a lot of pepper it will turn very spicy and one will not be able to drink it. Usually the children cry and refuse to drink it, especially if it is made with green tulsi. So try to use Krishna Tulsi for kids, especially babies. They really feel better soon, as tulsi and pepper helps to remove the phlegm very effectively.You can find the method here

4. Holy Basil | Tulsi | Thulasi For Eyebrows:

Holy basil when combined along with castor oil is a good home remedy for thinning eyebrows. Scanty eyebrows can be genetic or it can be due to infections. If it is due to infections, castor oil combined with holy basil will treat the problem very effectively.

Tulsi/ holy basil is very effective in treating all the infections and using it along with castor oil treats thinning of the eyebrows very effectively. To use castor oil for eyebrows, first clean fresh basil, separate the leaves and dry them in shade. Warm the castor oil over low heat and add the tulsi leaves all at once and switch off. Cool, strain and use this oil to massage the eyebrows everyday.

5. Holy Basil | Tulsi | Thulasi For Anxiety, Depression & Moth Repellent

I always had a scented sachet in my cupboard from my childhood. Some of them store bought, some made by me and the contents varied according to my mood and requirements. This time I wanted to make a scented sachet that will smell good and at the same time act as a natural moth repellent.

When I saw beautiful flowers in my tulsi plant, I wanted to use that for my sachets, as I know they are great moth repellents and have a beautiful fragrance. To make the sachets, take holy basil flowers and dry them in the shade till there is no moisture left. The drying part is very important, else they will spoil very quickly.

Once the drying part is over, add a few drops of essential oil that matches the ingredients you have chosen, I added a few drops of holy basil essential oil to the dried tulsi/ holy basil flowers. I strongly recommend trying tulsi flowers for scented sachets for it’s wonderful fragrance, the fragrance is so uplifting and is very calming when we are anxious or depressed. You can find the detailed method  here..

6. Holy Basil | Tulsi | Thulasi For Weight Loss, Fever & Acidity

Drinking tulsi tea is one of the best ways to consume this amazing herb. Tulsi tea offers many health benefits:  Regular consumption of holy basil tea will reduce the effect of stress on our body like emotional stress, mental problems, stress related head aches, etc.

Drinking tulsi tea increases your immunity, especially after a prolonged illness and it also reduces acidity. Try to get fresh tulsi leaves, dry, store and use it year round to increase your immunity. This tea can also be included in a weight loss diet, it is full of antioxidants and will greatly aid weight loss. You can also drink this tea while having fever, cold and cough, it will greatly help.

I prefer making this tea from fresh leaves but you can also make it from dried leaves. Making this tea is very simple. Boil water, pour over dried tulsi leaves, steep for few minutes and strain. Since I don’t like to boil the leaves, I always steep the leaves in boiling water. I like it unsweetened but you can sweeten with honey, if you prefer.

 7. Holy Basil | Tulsi | Thulasi Toner For Acne & Acne Scars

I love this homemade toner made with holy basil leaves. This homemade toner made without alcohol is very easy to make and it’s good for treating oily skin, open pores and acne. I like to add a little bit of alum to the toner along with the tulsi leaves as alum is
very effective in treating acne.

It greatly helps in reducing and preventing acne on the skin, if used regularly. Making this toner is a breeze if you have the fresh thulasi leaves at hand. To make it, first boil the water with the alum powder. Once it has dissolved, add the fresh holy basil/ tulsi leaves. Let it steep in the water till the water cools down, now strain the water and discard the leaves.

To the strained water, add a few drops of glycerin and your homemade toner is ready! Adding glycerine leaves your skin soft and smooth. But don’t add too much though, just a few drops will go a long way. To use, take a cotton ball and dip it in the solution and use it both on the face and the neck. Nothing can beat holy basil when it comes to fighting off acne and keeping the skin blemish free.

8. Holy Basil | Tulsi | Thulasi For Hair: Dandruff Hair Mask

This homemade dandruff hair mask can be safely used by everyone and it is very effective to get rid of dandruff effectively. Equal quantities of henna, neem and tulsi leaves are taken and ground together with yogurt into a thick paste. This hair mask should be used regularly, at least weekly twice to get good results.

If you don’t get fresh leaves, you can substitute it with dried powders too. Dried powders of these leaves are available every where now. If you want to use only fresh leaves and don’t get all the three leaves, make this pack with the leaves that you get. But don’t skip yogurt, as the yogurt conditions the hair well.

 Apply this hair mask on the scalp and wait for at least 15 to 20 mts before washing it off. The henna in this mask will not color your hair red as we are using yogurt. This hair mask can be safely used even during the winter time as we are using tulsi. If you are using powders, make sure to buy good quality ones and just mix it with curd and use it the same way.



  1. Anonymous
    October 17, 2015 / 4:19 am

    Ramaya I was told to hv Krishna tulsi in a pot of copper that has been washed daily by a dakshinachrya tantric, someone who know plants a lot, to hv joy. Ekta

  2. Jagpreet Singh
    September 21, 2016 / 3:37 pm

    Hi Ramya, Really appreciate the information you share through your blog. I am a web developer by profession and incase you need any work done on your website then I will be more than happy to do it pro-bono 🙂 You can contact me at:jagpreetbhatia@gmail.com Thanks

  3. Ravichandran M. Kaushika
    November 19, 2016 / 5:02 pm

    Ms. Ramya, நமஸ்காரம். v have a lot of Krishna tulasi in our backyard. with cold season on its way, the leaves are bound wither away like previous cold spells. I was wondering whether there is a way to get the leaves and store them for a few months or more and get the same medicinal benefits. I could not find any link handy.thought of asking you – please share any links for all readers benefit. best wishes for your continued service.regardsravichandran

  4. Kohila
    October 27, 2018 / 11:47 am

    Hi Ramya,

    I am a long time(>3 yrs) beneficiary from your wonderful blog. Really you are doing a great job. I appreciate the efforts taken by you to explain things. Actually i was amazed on knowing the benefits of so many plants which we used to see daily in and around us. Nowadays my perspective of seeing plants around me have changed a lot. Everything is because of you. And I am from coimbatore only. Really hats of to your knowledge about herbs. I always used to praise about your blog to my husband. Till now i used your blog silently for many health benefits.

  5. Kohila
    October 27, 2018 / 12:00 pm

    Now I have one question.

    Actually i was searching in your blog for something today and landed in this topic thulsi. I have a daughter whose age is 12. She have one problem. Some 5 yrs before when she was around 7 yrs old, similar thing like whatever you have mentioned in this post happened. We were also in one remote temple and suddenly she felt more itchiness & slowly red patches throughout her body. She started feeling uncomfortable. Slight dizziness. We were not able to find the cause of it. And we took to a nearby hospital within 20-30 mins. And they immediately gave her oxygen to breathe & injected the avil injection. And immediately she recovered. Then after 5 months during diwali day when she was in my village firing crackers, she had a simliar symptom and at that time only we realized the actual cause. It is because of ant bite (Sevappu Sulukkai). Again we rushed to a nearby hospital & immediately they have again gave same avil injection and she is ok. They said it is because of some protein in the ant which is allergy to her. If someone have told me about ant allergy may be i would have doubted them. But when it occurred in my life really i don’t know what to say. Normally we are following only homeopathy & natural medicines for her from 4-5 yrs of her age. But at this situation we can’t take risk, so no other go. And after that she didn’t had any issue. May be she is not exposed to that kind of ant. And suddenly last year when i visited my cousin the same problem occurs. We have given turmeric water to drink and all but she still faced the same symptom and again same treatment. So 3 times as of now. Can you just give me a solution for this naturally.

    Sorry for this long story.

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