Next to the Lotus, Holy Basil is the most prized plant of India. Every home has a Holy Basil / Tulsi planted outside because of it's purifying effects and beliefs to ward off pests, bugs, and bad energies. Holy Basil absorbs positive ions, energizes negative ions, and liberates ozone from the sun's rays.
Tulsi is purely Saatvic in nature, meaning 'that which inspires pure consciousness.' It opens the heart and mind, bestows the energy of love and bhakti, and strengthens faith, compassion and clarity. It is an important herb for clearing the mind and for increasing both wisdom and devotion, as well as promoting higher pranas [life force]. Holy Basil is known to be sacred to Vishnu and Krishna, two of the most important and celebrated dieties of Ancient and Modern India. It gives the protection of the divine by clearing the aura and strengthening the immune system, and its stems are commonly worn as rosaries to promote the energy of attachment. It contains natural mercury which, as the semen of Shiva, gives the seed-power of pure awareness.
Used as an herb, Tulsi imparts great calming and grounding effects as well as has a positive effect on the mind. It is one of the herbs I recommend the most for those dealing with high levels of anxiety and for better management of stress. [Tulsi helps you calm down so that you can better manage whatever is in front of you.] It also has an beneficial effect in most colds, flu's, sinus allergies and lung problems. It removes excess stagnation / Kapha from the lungs and natal passages, increasing life force / Prana and promoting sensory acuity. It also removes air + space / dryness / Vata from the colon, improving absorption and strengthening nerve tissue. Externally, Tulsi leaf juice can be used for fungal infections on the skin.
As a tea:
-Brew 1 Tbsp of Holy Basil / Tulsi leaves in hot water. Steep for 5 min. Strain and enjoy!
-Add Honey for improved memory and clarity of mind
In capsule form:
-Take 1-2 Holy Basil capsules as needed to relieve anxiety and better deal with stress.
In powder form:
-Brew 1 tspn in hot water for 5min, or sprinkle in plain water and drink throughout the day.
* Source: The Yoga of Herbs by Dr. David Frawley and Dr. Vasant Lad; Yoga and Ayurveda by David Frawley