Author(s): Harshal A. Pawar1, Khilan H. Khimasia2 , Keval J. Nandu3
Ocimum sanctum also commonly known as “Tulsi” or “Holy basil” is a small, branched, and aromatic herb. It has height of about 70cm. This aromatic herb is widespread throughout India and is commonly cultivated near Hindu houses and Hindu temples. All the parts of this herb including roots, leaves, seeds have been widely used since thousands of years for various diseases and disorders with wide application in Ayurveda and Siddha system of medicines. Chemically, it is very complex as it contains a large number of healthy nutrients and various biologically active compounds. Various scientific studies have proved that it possesses antioxidant, anti-stress, hepatoprotective, immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory, antimalarial, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, antidiabetic, and hypo-lipidemic properties with a wide margin of safety. In Ayurveda, out of many herbs “Tulsi” is known as “The incomparable one” and is used either alone or in combination with other herbs for treating chronic cough, cold, fever, bronchitis, and many other common disorders. The purpose of this review is to provide a brief overview of the plethora of research regarding the pharmacognosy, phytochemistry and various health benefits of Tulsi.