Scientific Name Oscimum tenuiflorum Linn (= O.sanctum Linn)

Family Lamiaceae

Used Part Dried stem.

Distribution Area, Found throughout India ascending up to 1,800 m. in the Himalayas, and in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Common Uses . Tulsi is aromatic,carminative,antipyretic, diaphoretic and expectorant. Leaves, flowers and occationally the whole plant are used in medicine. Leaf juice is domestic remedy for infantile cough, cold, bronchitis, catarrah, dysentery and diarrhoea. Infusion of leaves is given in malaria as a stomachic in gastric diseases of children and in hepatic affections. It improves appetite, afflictions of the ear, destroys intestinal worms and cures skin diseases such as itches, ringworm, leprosy, ulders and poisonous affections. In Ayurveda tulsi is widely used as specific for all kinds of fevers. It forms an ingredient of preparations like Tulsyadi tailam, Manasamitravatakam, Sitajavarari kasayam, Vilvadi gulika, Balatailam etc..

The plant is bitter, acrid, aromatic, stomachic, demulcent, diaphoretic, digestive, diuretic, expectorant, febrifuge, vermifuge, and alexeteric. It is useful in cardiopathy, haemopathy, leucoderma, asthma, bronchitis, catarrhal fever, otalgia, hepatopathy, vomitting, lumbago, hiccough, ophthalmia, gastropathy, vomitting, lumbago, hiccough, opthalmia, gastropathy in children, genito-urinary disorders, ringworm, verminosis and skin diseases.

The juice of leaves possesses diaphoretic, antipyreitic, stimulating and expectorant properties; it is used in catarrh and bronchitis, applied to the skin in ringworm and other cutaneous diseases and dropped into the ear to relieve earache. An infusion of the leaves is used as a stomachic in gastric disorders of children. A decoction of the root is given as a diaphoretic in malarial fevers. The seeds are mucilaginous and demulcent, and are given in disorders of genito- urinary system.

A mixture of leaves and seeds, with black pepper (Piper nigrum Linn.) is given in malarial fever, specially to pregnant

women. In Brunei the children are treated with fresh flowers for coughs and colds. The plant is one of the principal ingredients of a herbal drug `Koflet' for various respiratory disorders. The plant has shown promise in alleviating hepatic dysfunction in clinical trials on patients suffering from viral hepatitis. Ingestion of an aqueous decoction of the whole dried plant is reported to lower blood sugar level. The plant is used in ointment as well as in pills to cure eczema.

Tulsi has been found to be very effective in the treatment of viral encephalitis and tropical pulmonary eosinophilia in children. It has antispasmodic and antiasthmatic activity.