Ocimum tenuiflorum

Ocimum tenuiflorum L.                            

Family     :  Lamiaceae/labiatae

Common Name : കൃഷ്ണതുളസി (Mal)

                                 Holy basil (Eng)

   तुलसी (Hin)                       

The natural habitat of Tulsi varies from sea level to an altitude of 2000 m. It is found growing naturally in moist soil nearly all over the globe. Tulsi is a branched, fragrant and erect herb having hair all over. It attains a height of about 75 to 90 cm when mature. Its leaves are nearly round and up to 5 cm long with the margin being entire or toothed. These are aromatic because of the presence of a kind of scented oil in them

Subshrubs; branchlets hirsute with reddish-purple hairs. Leaves opposite, 1.3-3 x 0.6-2 cm, elliptic-oblanceolate, obtuse at both ends, margin coarsely serrate, puberulous; lateral nerves ca. 5 pairs; petiole to 2 cm long, covered with reddish-purple hairs. Racemes to 11 cm long, generally simple, occasionally branched at base; pedicel c. 2 mm long; bracts to 2 x 3 mm, suborbicular. Calyx purplish, c. 3 mm long, campanulate; lobes 5, upper lip ovate, acute, lower lip hispid without. Corolla reddish-pink, to 4 mm long, tubular-campanulate; tube c. 2 mm long, dotted with sessile oil glands; lobes of upper lip oblong-orbicular; lower lip ovate-oblong. Stamens 4; filaments villous at the base of upper pair. Nutlets c.1.5 mm long, ellipsoid, dark brown.



 The plant is widely used in Ayurvedic and folk medicine, often as an herbal tea for a variety of ailments, and is considered sacred in Hinduism. It is also used as a culinary herb with a pungent flavour that intensifies with cooking. It is reminiscent of clove, Italian basil (Ocimum basilicum), and mint and has a peppery spiciness.



Flowering & Fruiting :  

Throughout the year