Different Types of Tulsi Plants

Jul 06, 2024Neha Agarwal

You must have had a tulsi plant in your house growing up, with a fond memory of your mother watering it every morning, right? Tulsi plant holds a major significance in Indian culture, tradition and medicine. The Tulsi plant also holds a revered position within Hinduism, symbolising spiritual purity and divine presence. Moreover, its medicinal and aromatic qualities have led to its appreciation in various cultural and religious contexts beyond Hinduism. Explore the different types of tulsi plant and their medicinal importance.

What is the Tulsi Plant?

Tulsi plant, also known as Ocimum sanctum belongs to the mint family. It is known across the world for its medicinal properties. Not just ayurveda, even modern science uses tulsi for its healing properties. It is effective to treat infections like common cold, sore throat, and sinus. 

Here are some uses and features of Tulsi Plants: 

  1. Medicinal Uses of the Plant: Tulsi is used in ayurveda to treat symptoms of various diseases like asthma, arthritis, bowel inflammatory disease, diabetes, and malaria. It is also used as a home remedy for cold, flu, and other infections.
  2. Benefits of Tulsi for Skin: Tulsi has antimicrobial properties, which is why its topical application can treat and prevent acne and pimples. Regular consumption of different types of tulsi can give you clear skin.
  3. Use of Tulsi for Weight Loss: Tulsi is known to increase the metabolism of lipids. This means you can burn more fat by consuming tulsi leaves. Many nutritionists suggest boiling tulsi leaves and drinking the water on an empty stomach to boost the fat loss process.

3 Different Types of Tulsi Plants in India

These are the different types of tulsi plants that you can find and grow in your home:

1. Purple Leaf Tulsi

Also known as Krishna Tulsi, Shyama Tulsi, or Kapoor Tulsi, this variety of tulsi is known for its distinctive blueish-purple leaves. The dark colour of the leaves earn it the name of Krishna tulsi, after the name of Lord Krishna. 

It had a strong clove- like odour and a pepper- like taste. It is considered very potent and is extensively used to treat many diseases in ayurveda. Krishna tulsi is used to treat diseases like cholera, malaria, indigestion, insomnia, gastric issues, and common cold and flu. It has a pungent taste and strong odour.

2. Green Leaf Tulsi

Green leaf tulsi or Rama Tulsi is commonly found in Indian households. It has light green leaves and bears tiny purple flowers during the flowering season. It is extensively used for making tea and concoctions to relieve symptoms of cold like blocked nose, sore throat and headaches. It is also boiled with water to relieve the symptoms of sinus. 

Owing to the presence of eugenol, a compound that is also found in cloves, it has the taste and smell similar to cloves.

3. Wild Type 'Vana' Tulsi

Native to the forests of India, Sri Lanka and Africa, Vana tulsi has light green leaves and a lemony fragrance. It is commercially cultivated for its medicinal benefits. It is considered to be less pungent in taste compared to other varieties of tulsi. Vana tulsi requires full sun and dry conditions to thrive. Believed to have adaptogenic properties, meaning it helps our body to adapt to stressors, this tulsi is used to make medicine for mental ailments like anxiety, stress, and insomnia. 

Cultivation of Tulsi Plants

If you are planning to plant Tulsi in your garden, but are unsure how to take care of it, we have got you covered. Here is everything you need to know about caring for your Tulsi plant:

  • Location: Choose a sunny spot for your tulsi plant where it can receive at least 6-8 hours of sunlight each day. Tulsi prefers warm temperatures and cannot tolerate frost, so if you live in a colder climate, consider growing it indoors or in a greenhouse.
  • Soil: Use well-draining soil to grow tulsi in a pot. Clayey soil can cause root rots in the plant. Opt for a potting mix soil with a pH level between 6.0 and 7.5. A mixture of potting soil and perlite or sand works well for container-grown tulsi plants. Ensure that the pot has drainage holes to prevent waterlogging.
  • Watering: Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Water the plant when the top 1-2 inches of soil feels dry to the touch. Avoid overwatering, as this can cause root rot. Tulsi plants are sensitive to chlorine, so it's best to use filtered or dechlorinated water, if you live in a metro city. The residual water from air conditioners can be very good for watering your tulsi plants.
  • Fertilising: Tulsi plant needs nutrients in the growing and flowering stage. Feed your tulsi plant with a balanced organic fertiliser every 2-4 weeks during the growing season, that is, spring and summer. Organic fertilisers like manure and compost are the best fertilisers for tulsi plants. You can make liquid fertiliser at home with onion and banana peels too. Avoid fertilising in fall and winter because the plant is dormant in the winter season.
  • Pruning: Regularly pinch back the growing tips of your tulsi plant to get a bushier growth and prevent it from becoming leggy. This will push your plant to grow more branches, instead of growing tall. Remove any yellowing or dead leaves to maintain the plant's health and appearance.
  • Pest and Disease Control: Generally tulsi plants are durable and healthy and not prone to diseases. However, keep an eye out for pests like aphids, spider mites, and whiteflies, which can infest tulsi plants. Use organic pest control methods such as spraying with neem oil or insecticidal soap if necessary. Prevent fungal diseases by ensuring good airy soil and avoiding overhead watering.

If you are looking to buy a Tulsi plant for your house, but have no time, you can easily order your tulsi plant online from Kyari. Kyari is a one-stop shop for all your gardening needs. If you live in a metro city and are a beginner urban gardener, Kyaari can help you turn your home into a peaceful green haven. We, at Kyari, believe that anyone can be a gardener. Checkout Kyari to buy indoor plants, medicinal plants, ornamental plants or plants for mental health. We also have a wide variety of aesthetic planters to choose from. Visit Kyari for all your gardening needs.

FAQs on Types of Tulsi Plants

1. Which tulsi is best for home?

Even though all kinds of tulsi can be grown at home, religiously, rama tulsi is considered to be more sacred and is most commonly grown at homes.

2. What are the ayurvedic uses of Tulsi plants?

Tulsi is used in ayurveda for its anti-inflammatory effects, antimicrobial properties and immunity boosting effects. It is used to treat infections, common cold, arthritis and many other diseases. 

3. How do I care for a Tulsi plant?

Tulsi is a sturdy and durable plant, and does not require special care. Just plant it in well draining soil and keep it in a sunny spot. If you live in colder regions, keep the tulsi plant indoors during the winter months.

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