Tulsi tea is a medicinal drink that originated in India and is made from the leaves of the holy basil plant. "Tulsi," the Hindu name for holy basil, means "the incomparable one." The Tulsi herb is considered sacred by the Hindus and is used in religious ceremonies and holistic remedies.
The Tulsi herb is considered an adaptogen, meaning it assists the body with handling stress. It is used for a wide variety of ailments, including colds, flu, fever, malaria, asthma, bronchitis, heart disease and tuberculosis. In a 1996 study published in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, researchers found that drinking Tulsi tea caused an 18-percent decrease in diabetic patients' blood sugar levels. The herb was also found to be effective at preventing convulsions in a 2003 study at the Maryland Medical Center. Tulsi tea helps support the immune system, assists in preventing gum disease and is used as a natural sleep aid.
Tulsi is a ubiquitous part of Indian households and is typically grown in pots around a family's house or garden. It is also planted around places of worship and consumed as part of religious rituals. Most people in nearly all economic classes of Indian society consume Tulsi tea regularly to maintain physical and spiritual well-being.