Holy basil is prized for its healing properties. It is originally from India and is used in Ayurvedic medicine as an “adaptogen” to counter life’s stresses. It is considered a sacred plant by the Hindus and is often planted around Hindu shrines. The Hindu name for holy basil, Tulsi, means “the incomparable one.” Medicine is made from the leaves, stems, and seeds.
Holy basil is used for the common cold, influenza (“the flu”), H1N1 (swine) flu, diabetes, asthma, bronchitis, earache, headache, stomach upset, heart disease, fever, viral hepatitis, malaria, stress, and tuberculosis. It is also used for mercury poisoning, to promote longevity, as a mosquito repellent, and to counteract snake and scorpion bites.
There are three varieties of tulsi: Rama Tulsi (Green Leaf Tulsi), Krishna Tulsi ( Shyama Tulsi or Purple Leaf Tulsi), and Vana Tulsi (or Wild Leaf Tulsi). Of the three varieties, Purple Tulsi is considered the most beneficial.