Get to know Tulsi, the queen of herbs and elixir of life

This month we introduce you to mood-enhancing Tulsi and help you discover your dosha within Ayurveda, the world's oldest medicine system. 

Tulsi, or Holy Basil, considered the holiest of adaptogens, boasts an impressive lineup of benefits ranging from promoting joy and soothing anxiety to enhancing longevity and detoxifying our cells. 

Hi readers, welcome to the curious world of Good Psyche as we explore the vast benefits of medicinal herbs and fungi on our emotional, physical, and spiritual wellbeing. As curious humans, we know you’ll have questions, and we encourage you to share them with us so we can dive deeper into the topics you care about. 

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Tulsi (Ocimum Sanctum), or Holy Basil, is a potent adaptogen* and aromatic herb originating from northern India. What earned this basil plant the monaker “queen of herbs” and “elixir of life”? Tulsi is highly versatile with both topical and ingestible applications. 

  • Combats metabolic stress by normalizing blood glucose levels
  • Mood-boosting, antidepressant effects
  • Antimicrobial properties to treat and prevent the most common skin issues 

Tulsi is a powerhouse, and one we believe you should have in both your kitchen, and your skincare. 

“All disease begins in the gut” - Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine. 

Known for its antidepressant effects, Tulsi is commonly used to reduce anxiety and regulate mood by restoring balance to the gut-brain axis. The gut-brain axis is a bidirectional relationship between your digestive system and your central nervous system. The health of your gut microbiome is thought to have a direct connection to your emotional and mental wellbeing. 

Tulsi’s antimicrobial (including antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal) and adaptogenic properties work to balance bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract to restore cognitive performance such as memory, and emotional wellbeing. 

Anything else? Here’s a rapid fire list of some of the other benefits of ingesting Tulsi: 

  • Promotes relaxation
  • Powerful antioxidant that protects your cells from damaging free radicals caused by pollutants such as heavy metals, radiation, industrial chemicals, pesticides
  • Antidiabetic
    • Lowers blood glucose levels to protect your liver and kidneys 
    • Prevents weight gain and insulin resistance 
    • Improves blood pressure 
  • Fights infection 
  • Used in ritual and ceremony 

How to consume tulsi 


I like to ingest tulsi as a tea or in powder capsules. Here are the brands I like: 

Organic India Tulsi Holy Basil, Positive Stress Response Capsules 

Gaia Herbs, Holy Basil Stress Support Capsules 

Organic India Tulsi Original Tea 

Or try one of their Tulsi tea blends with liver-cleansing turmeric, phytonutrient-rich moringa, or ashwagandha for extra stress relief. 

Big Heart Tea Co, Happy Tulsi 

Super Adapt Tea, Stress Suppress with Tulsi and Rhodiola 

Tulsi has been used for centuries in Ayurveda* and revered for its medicinal and spiritual properties said to combat physical, mental, and metabolic stress. It is considered tridoshic, or beneficial for all three doshas, or constitutions. See our next article on Ayurveda to discover which dosha you are!

As always, it’s best to consult your doctor before taking any herbs or supplements. 


Tulsi helps clarify and brighten your skin! Its antifungal, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties make Tulsi an excellent astringent to remove excess sebum (oil). Tulsi contains camphene, a terpene proven to fight infections and reduce inflammation, making for an effective toner. A potent antioxidant, Tulsi works to reverse hyperpigmentation (dark spots) resulting from UV damage and external pollutants to brighten your skin. 

Easy DIY Tulsi toner:


Boil 1 cup of Tulsi leaves 

Strain and let cool 

Pour into a mist bottle 

Mist onto clean skin morning and night 


DIY Tulsi face mask: 


1 tbsp of powdered Tulsi 

1 tbsp of plain, organic, whole-milk yogurt (full of lactic acid, a type of alpha-hydroxy acid found in many skincare products as an exfoliator, and active probiotics lactobacillus plantarum and streptococcus thermophilus, which aid in barrier function and regulate your skin’s microbiome). 

*Adaptogens are plants or fungi that are safe for daily use and aid your body’s response to internal or external stressors to bring it back to a state of homeostasis. 

**Ayurveda is the oldest known natural medicinal practice in the world, originating from India over 5,000 years ago. 



Isokauppila, Tero, Broida, Danielle Ryan. Healing Adaptogens: The Definitive Guide to Using Super Herbs and Mushrooms for Your Body's Restoration, Defense, and Performance. New York, New York, Hay House Inc., September 2022. 

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