What is the Tulsi Plant Called in English?

The Tulsi plant, scientifically known as Ocimum tenuiflorum or Ocimum sanctum, is a revered herb with deep-rooted cultural and medicinal significance. This article explores the various aspects of Tulsi, including its scientific name, types, medicinal uses, and cultural importance.

Scientific Name and Common Names

The Tulsi plant belongs to the Ocimum genus and is scientifically named Ocimum tenuiflorum, which is also known as Ocimum sanctum. In English, it is commonly referred to as Tulsi. Additionally, it is known by other names such as Holy Basil and Sacred Basil.

Types of Tulsi

There are four main types of Tulsi, each with its unique characteristics and properties.

  1. Rama Tulsi: Rama Tulsi, also known as Sri Tulsi, is characterized by its green leaves and a pleasant aroma. It is considered the most common and widely cultivated type of Tulsi. Rama Tulsi is known for its cooling and mellow flavor.
  2. Krishna Tulsi: Krishna Tulsi, also known as Shyama Tulsi, is distinguished by its dark purple or bluish leaves. It has a strong aroma and a slightly spicy taste. Krishna Tulsi is believed to have potent medicinal properties and is often used in Ayurvedic preparations.
  3. Vana Tulsi: Vana Tulsi, also known as Wild Tulsi or Forest Tulsi, is characterized by its light green leaves and a strong, refreshing aroma. It is considered a wild variant of Tulsi and is known for its adaptogenic properties.
  4. Kapoor Tulsi: Kapoor Tulsi, also known as Temperate Tulsi or Kapoor Tulsi, has green leaves with a strong fragrance. It is commonly used in making essential oils and has a prominent place in aromatherapy.

Medicinal Uses of Tulsi

Tulsi has been highly valued in traditional medicine for its numerous medicinal properties. It is known to possess antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. Some of the common ailments for which Tulsi is used as a remedy include:

  • Cold and Fever: Tulsi is known to help alleviate symptoms of cold and fever, boost the immune system, and provide relief from respiratory congestion.
  • Bronchitis and Cough: Tulsi leaves and decoctions are used to soothe bronchial inflammation, reduce cough, and promote expectoration.
  • Indigestion and Digestive Disorders: Tulsi is believed to aid digestion, relieve gas and bloating, and improve appetite.
  • Headache and Migraines: Tulsi leaves are used topically or consumed to alleviate headaches and migraines.
  • Insomnia and Sleep Disorders: Tulsi is known to possess calming properties that can help promote sleep and alleviate insomnia.
  • Cholera and Other Infections: Tulsi has antimicrobial properties and is traditionally used to treat infections like cholera, respiratory infections, and skin disorders.

Tulsi is used in various forms in traditional medicine, including:

  • Herbal Tea: Tulsi leaves are often brewed to make a herbal tea that is consumed for its medicinal benefits.
  • Tulsi Oil: Tulsi oil is extracted from the leaves and used topically for its antimicrobial properties and in aromatherapy for its soothing aroma.
  • Fresh Leaves and Extracts: Fresh Tulsi leaves are chewed or consumed in different forms to reap its medicinal benefits.

Cultural Importance of Tulsi

Tulsi holds immense cultural significance in India and is considered a sacred plant in Hinduism. It is often found in households and temples, where it is worshipped and revered. Some of the cultural aspects associated with Tulsi include:

  • Rituals and Customs: Tulsi is an integral part of religious ceremonies and rituals. It is worshipped daily, and its leaves are used in offerings and prayers.
  • Tulsi in Marriage Rituals: Tulsi is considered a symbol of purity and is involved in traditional marriage rituals. A Tulsi plant is often present in the courtyard of Hindu households and is worshipped during wedding ceremonies.
  • Symbolism of Tulsi: Tulsi is associated with various symbolic meanings, including purity, auspiciousness, longevity, and happiness. It is believed to bring positive energy and ward off negative influences.


The Tulsi plant, with its scientific name Ocimum tenuiflorum, holds immense importance in both traditional medicine and Indian culture. Its rich medicinal properties and cultural significance make it a cherished herb that continues to be revered and utilized to this day.



What is the Tulsi plant called in English?

The Tulsi plant is commonly called “Tulsi” in English. It is also known as Holy Basil or Sacred Basil.

What are the different types of Tulsi plants?

There are four main types of Tulsi plants: Rama Tulsi, Krishna Tulsi, Vana Tulsi, and Kapoor Tulsi. Each type has distinct characteristics and properties.

What are the medicinal uses of Tulsi?

Tulsi has a wide range of medicinal uses. It is known for its antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. Some of the common ailments for which Tulsi is used include cold and fever, bronchitis and cough, indigestion and digestive disorders, headache and migraines, insomnia and sleep disorders, and cholera and other infections.

How is Tulsi used in traditional medicine?

Tulsi is used in various forms in traditional medicine. It can be consumed as herbal tea, used topically as Tulsi oil, or consumed in the form of fresh leaves and extracts. These different forms of Tulsi are utilized based on their specific medicinal benefits.

What is the cultural significance of Tulsi?

Tulsi holds great cultural importance in India, especially in Hinduism. It is considered a sacred plant and is worshipped in households and temples. Tulsi is involved in religious ceremonies, marriage rituals, and is believed to symbolize purity, auspiciousness, longevity, and happiness.

How do you grow and care for Tulsi plants?

Tulsi plants can be grown easily in pots or in the garden. They require well-drained soil, regular watering, and a sunny location. Tulsi plants can be propagated from seeds or cuttings. It is important to provide proper care, including pruning and regular fertilization, to ensure the healthy growth of Tulsi plants.

Can Tulsi be consumed by pregnant women?

While Tulsi is generally considered safe for consumption, it is recommended that pregnant women consult their healthcare providers before using Tulsi as a medicinal herb. This is to ensure that it does not interfere with any ongoing treatments or have any adverse effects during pregnancy.

Are there any side effects of Tulsi?

Tulsi is generally safe for most people when consumed in moderate amounts. However, some individuals may experience mild side effects such as upset stomach or allergic reactions. It is advisable to consult a healthcare professional if any adverse reactions occur.