Tulsi Tea: The Tea With A Sea Of Benefits

Reviewed by Thais Tisatto, BHSc Thais Tisatto Thais TisattoBHSc facebook_iconinsta_icon
Written by , MSc (Biotechnology), Professional Certificate In Food, Nutrition & Health Swathi Handoo MSc (Biotechnology), Professional Certificate In Food, Nutrition & Health Experience: 4 years

There’s a lot more than just holiness to holy basil. Tulsi or holy basil deserves a special place in your garden for its wholesome benefits. Which is why some chew on its leaves, burn its oil for a soothing effect, and also add it to pestos, sauces, and salads.

But do you know the most common and effective way of getting the best out of basil? Through tulsi tea or basil tea.

Why is tulsi tea considered valuable? What does it exactly do to your body? How do you make this tea? You’ll get to know the answers only if you read on!

Table Of Contents

What Is Tulsi Tea?

Tulsi is the Sanskrit name of the holy basil (Ocimum sanctum). Different parts of the plant (leaves, stems, roots, flowers, and seeds) have been used to cure respiratory, digestive, dermal, inflammatory, and ophthalmological disorders.

Since the raw plant parts are not very palatable and liked by many, the simple way of assimilating the goodness of basil is by adding it to the food we eat or drink. One such preparation that is least made and yet has the most medicinal value is tulsi tea.

Tulsi tea is made by brewing the tulsi leaves in water. This infusion is exceptionally healthy and has been an important part of Ayurveda for thousands of years.

It has digestive, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, stimulating, and stress-relieving properties and is the best choice of beverage for those interested in natural healing.

That brings us to the next question.

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What Give(s) Tulsi Tea Its Therapeutic Properties?

All credit goes to the complex biochemical composition of these plants of Ocimum genus. The plant contains eugenol, ursolic acid, and carvacrol, along with apigenin, luteolin, orientin, vicenin, and other flavonoids.

Terpenes like linalool, limatrol, and caryophyllene, compounds like rosmarinic acid, estragol, propanoic acid, apigenin, cirsimaritin, isothymusin, orientin, and vicenin, various saponins, triterpenoids, and tannins are all present in different parts of the Ocimum plants (1).

When you boil the tulsi leaves (sometimes slender stems and seeds) in water, most of these phytochemicals are drawn into the water, making it a rich and therapeutic concoction – the purest you can get!

Isn’t it too good to be true?

Fortunately, it is true, and we have enormous research backing the benefits bestowed by the holy basil.  Wouldn’t you want to know what they in detail are?

Scroll down, then!

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10 Incredible Benefits Of Drinking Tulsi Tea

1. Is A Potent Antimicrobial

Tulsi tea has high antibacterial (Staphylococcus, Bacillus, Pseudomonas, Vibrio species), antifungal (Candida species), antimycotic, antiviral, and antimicrobial activity because of high levels of specific flavonoids, terpenoids, and phenolic acids like linoleic acid (1).

Drinking tulsi tea can relieve bacterial, fungal, and viral infections in the respiratory, digestive, dental, dermal, nervous, and urinary systems.

It can also reduce the inflammation in various parts of your body caused due to these pathogens. 

Did You Know?

The famous monument in India, and one of the seven wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal has vast tulsi plantations to curb air pollution. Such is its cleansing power!

–         Rosaries made of tulsi wood (tulsi mala) are used during meditation and in devotional practices because they help one focus and connect the body, mind, and soul.


2. Relieves Stress, Anxiety, And Insomnia

One of the most common and prevalent occupational disorders is mental stress. It can be accompanied by depression, anxiety, and sleeplessness (insomnia). The medication in such cases is also generic and of steroidal origin, which does more harm than good.

Herbal teas like tulsi tea have flavonoids (like eugenol) that can calm you down, work as an antidepressant, and trigger the production of neurotransmitters that can reduce anxiety and stress (2).

Making tulsi tea a part of your diet can help you manage your circadian rhythm, regularize your sleep cycle, boost your memory and cognition, and also avert aging-induced neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s.

3. Protects Your Heart And Regulates Blood Pressure

The ursolic acid and derivatives present in tulsi leaves have shown cardioprotective properties.

The phytochemicals in this tea reduce free radicals in the blood, prevent the accumulation of cholesterol derivatives on the blood vessel walls (atherosclerosis), and promote hassle-free circulation, hence regulating the blood pressure.

Minerals like potassium and calcium in tulsi tea protect your heart from myocardial infarction, ischemic attacks, and chemical and oxidative stress.

4. Treats Respiratory Issues

Ayurveda describes holy basil as the herb that cures breathing issues such as asthma, bronchitis, and pneumonia, along with common cold and cough.

Due to the anti-inflammatory phytochemicals like eugenol, camphene, and cineole, this tea works as an excellent expectorant. It releases the phlegm and mucus generated as a result of microbial infection.

Drinking hot to lukewarm tulsi tea frequently helps in maintaining good respiratory health and prevents the common cold from aggravating into complex respiratory diseases.

5. Aids Digestion And Weight Loss

5. Aids Digestion And Weight Loss
Image: Shutterstock

Tulsi tea can stimulate the production of gastric juices so that the food you take in gets digested completely and quickly.

It also has anti-ulcerogenic properties, i.e., it inhibits undesirable pepsin secretion and lipid peroxidation and increases the production of gastric mucin and mucous cells in defense.

Incorporating tulsi tea in your diet can result in lowering of your cholesterol levels because of its hypolipidemic action.

Since it enables quick digestion and assimilation of the ingested carbohydrates and proteins, the lipids and fats get broken down slowly – thereby reducing hunger pangs and leaving you with a full tummy. Also, drinking tulsi tea post-meals prevents GERD and associated risks of heartburn.

Indirectly, the delayed lipid assimilation without its peroxidation cause weight loss and lower your serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

6. Has Anti-inflammatory Properties

Components of tulsi leaves, such as apigenin, rosmarinic acid, civsilineol, linolenic acid, civsimavatine, isothymonine, and eugenol, have potent anti-inflammatory effects.

They inhibit the activation and production of pro-inflammatory compounds like cyclooxygenase-1 in your body (1).

Having tulsi tea may prevent and effectively cure inflammatory disorders like rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes type 2, asthma, irritable bowel disease, memory loss (due to inflammation of neurons), liver cirrhosis, gastric ulcers, hypersensitivity, sinusitis, migraine, periodontitis, acute tonsillitis (inflamed tonsils), and conjunctivitis.

[ Read: Best Anti Inflammatory Foods ]

7. Is An Excellent Antidiabetic And Antiglycemic Supplement

Tulsi leaves have shown to reduce blood glucose levels, stimulate insulin secretion from your pancreas, and increase insulin sensitivity in the surrounding tissues.

Brewing your regular tea with a few tulsi leaves makes insulin more available in your plasma so that blood glucose is rapidly taken up and metabolized.

Tulsi tea prevents the accumulation and peroxidation of blood glucose and the formation of toxic free radicals and ensures that none of the vital organs like the liver, kidneys, and pancreas are affected by the chemical stress and inflammation (3).

8.  Accelerates Wound Healing

8.  Accelerates Wound Healing
Image: Shutterstock

The holy basil is one of those herbs whose leaves and other parts’ extracts are applied to heal wounds.

Topical application of a paste made of tulsi leaves or a thick, concentrated tea preparation of these leaves will accelerate the wound contraction, drying up, and peeling off.

The flavonoids and terpenes in tulsi leaves have antioxidant properties, which enhance the activity of the antioxidant enzymes – superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase – in the wounded parts of your body. The action of such enzymes on the chronic, deep, and abnormal wounds helps in their rapid healing (4).

9. Is A Natural Analgesic And Antipyretic

Pain necessarily accompanies all wounds. Managing pain in the case of deep injuries without interfering with wound healing is one of the major challenges. In such cases, drinking tulsi tea frequently works like magic.

Pinene, limonene, linalool, carvacrol, eugenol, and related derivatives are responsible for giving tulsi tea the antinociceptive or analgesic property. It is as potent as a synthetic painkiller drug.

Ayurveda and ancient medicine mention tulsi to have antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. These properties, along with the anti-inflammatory effects, make it an effective antipyretic.

Administering tulsi tea to people with fever will bring down the body temperature, stimulate the elicited immune response, and reduce the severity of the pathogenic infection, if any, like in case of malaria, dengue, or influenza virus (5).

10. Cures Eye Infections

Inflammation of the eye is caused due to bacterial (e.g., Streptococcus, Pseudomonas), fungal (e.g., Fusarium,  Aspergillus), and viral (Herpes simplex virus) infections, or ocular injuries due to chemicals, sharp splinters, plant saps, or conditions like glaucoma and conjunctivitis.

Due to its anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and healing properties, tulsi tea supports the action of ophthalmic medication administered in the form of drops or flush eye suspensions and assists in rapid recovery.

All these benefits prove what an all-rounder basil tea is. Isn’t it?

Wouldn’t you want to know how to make tulsi tea and experience these benefits first-hand? Here you go, then!

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How To Make Tulsi Tea – A Simple Method

There are many variants of tulsi tea, each having elaborate recipes. But I’m going to share the easiest and fastest way of making it. You can customize this basic tea with additives of your choice and make it stronger and more flavorful.

What You Need

  • 1 small saucepan or teapot
  • Water: 3 cups
  • Tulsi or basil leaves: 10-15, shredded
  • 1 small lemon slice or lemon juice: 1 teaspoon (optional)
  • Ginger: ½ teaspoon, finely chopped (optional)
  • Green cardamom seeds: ½ teaspoon
  • Honey or sweetener or sugar

Let’s Make It!

  1. In a saucepan or a teapot, simmer the water.
  2. Add the shredded tulsi leaves, ginger, and cardamom seeds (if you like), and let the contents boil for 7-10 minutes.
  3. Strain the contents into a teacup with honey, sugar, or your regular sweetener. Serve it hot after adding some lemon juice.

That’s the simplest way of making a tea. Every sip is like a burst of pure oxygen. And congratulations on kick-starting the cheapest detox regimen!


While reading through the above sections, I’m sure you must have wondered at least once about the kind of side effects this tea might have. After all, it is an herbal infusion and a plant extract.

And that’s what we’d be looking at in the next section. Read on!

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Side Effects Of Drinking Tulsi Tea

There is insufficient and almost no evidence demonstrating the side effects of the tulsi tea. Whatever few drawbacks it has is because of the tulsi leaf and not specific to this tea preparation.

  • Has Antifertility Properties

One of the main drawbacks associated with basil and its extracts is it interferes with fertility. However, this effect is more pronounced in men than in women.

There is also not much written or said about how safe tulsi tea is for pregnant and breastfeeding women. It is better to do so only under strict medical supervision.

  • Might Act As A Blood Thinner

Tulsi tea reduces hypertension, by which it can modify the composition and physical properties of your blood, like its thickness.

If you are due for surgery, you might be asked to stop taking this tea because it might delay the blood clotting process, which could be lethal.


As a precaution and good practice, it is always better to inform your doctor about substituting your regular beverage (tea or coffee) with tulsi tea.


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What’s The Take-Home Message?

The fact that Ayurveda terms basil or tulsi as the “elixir of life” proves how healthy, wholesome, and beneficial this herb is.

Drinking at least one cup of tulsi tea a day can bring about a sea of change in your body. However, under medical guidance, taking 3-5 cups of hot or lukewarm tulsi tea per day is safe and recommended.

It’s high time you fought the occupational and lifestyle disorders by taking a healthy call. Choose herbal teas like tulsi tea to start and end your days instead of consuming caffeinated beverages and soft drinks, supporting what is called the “Liquid Yoga.”

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We’d love to hear from you about the different ways tulsi tea has impacted your body, mind, and soul. Please feel free to write us your feedback, comments, and suggestions in the box below.


  1. Ocimum sanctum Linn. A reservoir plant…” Pharmacognosy review, US National Library of Medicine
  2. Evaluation of ethanol leaf extract of…” Pharmaceutical Biology, US National Library of Medicine
  3. Ocimum sanctum leaf extracts stimulate…” Journal of Endocrinology
  4. Wound healing activity of Ocimum sanctum…” Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology
  5. Potential anti-dengue medicinal plants…” Journal of Natural Medicines, US National Library of Medicine
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Thais Tisatto

Thais TisattoBHSc (Health Science)

Thais Tisatto is a Holistic Nutritionist from the Gold Coast, Australia. She has a very strong passion for women’s health, gut health, hormonal balance, and sports nutrition. She analyzes every single one of her cases in clinic from a holistic perspective, taking into consideration not only physical, but also emotional and spiritual factors that might be affecting an individual's health....read full bio

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