The tulsi plant reduces fever, relieves coughs and sore throats, and treats respiratory, skin, eye, teeth and heart disorders as well as headaches and insect bites, according to About.com. Hindus worship tulsi or holy basil both morning and evening and use it as an herbal remedy for many ailments.
Wikipedia reports recent studies of holy basil show it's a potential COX-2 inhibitor due to a high concentration of eugenol. COX-2 inhibitors are a special class of NSAIDS that block pain and reduce swelling. They are particularly effective with menstrual cramps, athletic injuries and certain types of arthritis, according to MedicineNet. Since they do not block COX-1 enzymes that protect the lining of the stomach, they do not cause the damage to the gastrointestinal track seen with other NSAIDS.
Laboratory experiments using extracts of the plant show potential pharmaceutical applications in cancer treatment. Researchers believe it to have possibilities for mitigating radiation exposure effects, according to Wikipedia.
About.com claims holy basil is useful for individuals suffering respiratory disorders. It recommends creating a decoction with honey and ginger as a remedy of asthma, bronchitis, cough, cold or influenza. When boiled with cloves and salt holy basil offers relief for influenza.
Wikipedia says tulasi extracts are used for a variety of ailments in Ayurvedic remedies and mentioned in mentioned in the Charaka Samhita, an ancient Ayurvedic text. Before using this or any herbal medication, individuals should contact their physician, according to About.com.