Tulsi – Medical Benefits by Dr. Christie Smirl


Tulsi, also known as ocimum sanctum or holy basil, has been revered as a sacred plant with healing properties. This beneficial herb has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine for it’s mind enhancing properties and physical benefits earning the names “The Elixir of Life” and “Mother Medicine of Nature”.

In Ayurveda, tulsi is classified as a rasayana – a class of adaptogenic herbs that restore balance and harmony in the mind, body and spirit. Tulsi is an excellent anti-inflammatory agent, anti-oxidant, smooth muscle relaxant and immune modulator. 

Ayurvedic Properties of Tulsi

  • Rasa (taste): Katu (pungent), tikta (bitter)
  • Guna (qualities): Laghu (light), ruksha (rough)
  • Veerya (power): Ushna (warming)
  • Karma (action): Kaphavatashamak – useful for kapha and vata conditions

WebMD.com lists the following as beneficial uses of tulsi.  

  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Diabetes
  • Diabetic foot ulcers
  • Diabetic microangiopathy
  • Diabetic nephropathy
  • Diabetic neuropathy
  • Influenza
  • Fever reducer
  • Cough, asthma, bronchitis, malaria, tuberculosis

In Chinese Medicine, holy basil is considered a “shen tonic” which nourishes the spirit. Yogis, rishis and sages use tulsi to restore balance to emotions and subtle electromagnetic fields of the chakras. 


Dr. Christie Smirl has over 25 years of medical experience. She completed a Doctorate of Ayurvedic Medicine from American University of Complimentary Medicine, Nurse Practitioner from Loma Linda University, Master of Science, E-RYT 500 Yoga Teacher Trainer YACEP, Reiki Master/Teacher, Tantric Energy Healer and Musician.

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