Origin & Types
There are more than 100 varieties, but the three popular varieties are Krishna Tulsi, Rama Tulsi and Vana Tulsi.
Tulsi (Holy Basil)-Fact Sheet)
|Scientific Name||Ocimum Tenuiflorum|
|Other Names||Hot Basil
Green Holy Basil
|Country of Origin||Indian sub-continent|
|Plant Height||2 to 4 feet high|
|Length of Leaves||5 cm long|
|Years Nurtured before Harvesting||Three months|
|Years of Mature||One year|
|Parts of the Plant Used||Leaf and seed|
|Best Time to Grow||Mid-April|
It is found in different regions in Australia, North Africa, Middle East and Asia and native to Indian sub-continent and mass cultivation is done in Sri Lanka, Nepal, Middle East, Thailand and other Asian countries.
The plant has numerous branched subshrub measuring 30 to 60 cm tall with hairy stems. The leaves are green or purple in color and measures up to 5 cm long.The blade of the leaves have a slightly toothed margin and is petiole as well as ovate in shape. The leaves emit a strong aroma and the purple flowers are placed in a close whoris on elongated racemes. The brown seeds have black colored spots, blooms in winter and grow in the warm as well as tropical zones.
Medicinal Uses & Health Benefits
- Used as an antibiotic, antiseptic, antivirus and anti-bacterial properties
- The juice used as a stimulant, expectorant as well as demulcent agent
- Helpful in curing a cold, cough and asthma when we mix with ginger, pepper and honey
- Used as a natural treatment for fever
- Prevents various skin diseases, cures acne and pimples on the face and a proven medicine for promoting the skin
- A regular dose of the leaves help to break the kidney stones and let them release through the urinary tract
- Chewing the leaf regularly protects from cardiac problems as well as lower the cholesterol level
- Cures infection in the mouth and provides relief from oral ulcer
- Juice helps to provide relief from insect bites
- Applying the paste on the head provides comfort from stress, headache and heaviness
- Powder helpful for Pyorrhoea used as a tooth powder and used as a herbal paste
- Children suffering from gastric problems get relief by taking this medicine
- The juice cures night blindness and soars eye as the leaf contains vitamin B and vitamin A
- Used as a home remedy to stop menstrual bleeding
- Provides relief from itching skin and when the juice mixed with rice water cures leucorrhoea
- Cures internal bleeding in the stomach and reduce labor pain
- Taken with lemon juice cures the infection in urinary parts and keeps the uterus strong and healthy
- Extract help in regularizing the level of blood sugar
- Helpful against a tumor and helps in promoting a long as well as healthy life
- Reduces the pain in the ear when one applies the juice in the ear
Possible Side Effects
- It has the trait to thin the blood vessels so better avoid with other anti-clotting medications
- People suffering from diabetes or hypoglycemia must avoid the medicine
- Causes infertility in males
- Might trigger reactions in pregnant mothers
Cultivation & Propagation
The crop flourishes well in high rainfall and humid conditions. The warm temperatures and long days are favorable for crop growth and production of oil. It is grown under partial shade and also in moderate frost and drought conditions.
Propagation is done through seeds and for fresh plantation, take fresh seeds from the pedigree stock. Raise the seed beds measuring 15 by four by 9 ft size and prepare the soil with farmyard manure of 10 kg per bed. In one hectare of land, 200 to 300 g seeds are required to raise the seedlings for transplantation.
Sow the seeds by mixing with sand at a depth of 2 cm and irrigate the soil with a sprinkler hose. Germination takes place in 10 to 12 days and the seedlings become ready for transplantation by 45 days during leaf stage. Spray 2% of urea solution on the nursery plants before 15 to 20 days of plantation in the field which helps to get healthy seedlings.
To get a fine tilth of land, add 15 t/ha of farmyard manure and other fertilizers as a basal medium. Mix it with the soil. During the summer season, three irrigations in a month are essential and 12 to 15 irrigations are required in a year. Apply mulch for conserving the moisture in the soil and test the irrigation water for any types of contaminants.
Tulsi thrives on poor laterite, rich loamy, saline and alkaline to moderately acidic soils. There should be proper drainage system with a pH level of 6 to 7.5.
Best Time to grow Tulsi (Holy Basil)
Seedlings are planted in the third week of February and transplantation is done after the second week of April.
Health & Security
The plant is infested by diseases and insect pests like leaf rollers and Tulsi lacewing. Spray Azadirachtin of 10,000 ppm at the rate of 5 ml per litre, wettable sulphur at 4 g per litre of water and drench the nursery beds with Bavistin of 1 percent.
Harvesting & Storage
Clean all the surfaces that come in contact with the plants. During full bloom stage, one should harvest to get maximum yield of oil and high quality. The first harvest is done after three months of planting and subsequent harvesting is done in 2 and a half month time interval. Cut the upper part of the crop measuring 15 to 20 cm and store the plant oil in sealed amber glass bottles or aluminium containers in a dry and cold environment.
Marketing Tulsi (Holy Basil)
The basil oil market is divided into diversified industries like cosmetics, beverages, personal care, therapeutic and pharmaceutical. The pharmaceutical segment has a strong base in the Indian market while in the western countries Tulsi oil contributes a major chunk of revenue. Due to hectic lifestyle, there is an increase in stress and this medicine is a stress buster which plays a vital role in improving the global market.