The name Tulsi may not be immediately recognizable but you’ve likely heard about it by one of its other common names—Holy Basil, tulasi, or even Elixir of Life. Tulsi is an herb that stems from the same family as basil, and its popularity skyrocketed in late 2017 thanks to Tulsi tea. Tulsi tea, although traditionally brewed like English Breakfast or Chamomile, offered a series of medicinal properties, including reduction of cortisol levels and anxiety.
Tulsi was highly regarded in Hindu religious practices as well as Ayurvedic medicine. It was believed to reduce stress and help the body adapt to its surroundings. It even served as a symbol of transition from one life to the next.
However, it seems Tulsi’s benefits aren’t limited to stress reduction; it’s one of nature’s best skincare ingredients.
Tulsi detoxifies the body. In 2013, studies surfaced showing that the herb helped remove fluoride and other toxins from water. Seeing those same benefits take place when it’s ingested or applied to the skin explains Tulsi’s common inclusion in cleansing drinks and diet plans.
Tulsi is deeply absorbed by the skin, reaching all layers evenly and making it possible for purification and cleansing to happen on the surface and the epidermis– the surface just beneath the outer layer.
Tulsi is antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory, and these properties are mainly aided by adaptogens. Adaptogens control the body’s response to different stressors. Thus, Tulsi doesn’t just reduce inflammation at the site of a skin disturbance but it directs the way the body reacts to future occurrences.
Additionally, Tulsi is antibacterial. Because of this, it has been used as a natural treatment for acne as well as skin infections. Tulsi leaves cease the growth of harmful bacteria while also purifying the skin (if used topically) or the blood (if ingested).
When the leaves are mixed into a paste, along with rose water or sandalwood paste, they can be used as a natural mask. Leave the mask on for 20 minutes and then remove it with cold water. The Tulsi mask helps kill bacteria and pull impurities to the surface. In the process, it reduces the appearance of dark spots and acne scars, and it removes blackheads.
Most of Tulsi’s benefits can be achieved by either drinking the leaves in a brewed tea or combining them, with other natural ingredients, in a homemade paste. Either way, this herb is effective in regulating and improving holistic health, which influences and leads to healthy, glowing skin.