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Ocimum tenuiflorum, also known as Ocimum sanctum, holy basil, is an aromatic plant in the family Lamiaceae which is native to the Indian subcontinent and widespread as a cultivated plant throughout the Southeast Asian tropics. It is an erect, many-branched subshrub, 30–60 cm (12–24 in) tall with hairy stems and simple phyllotaxic green or purple leaves that are strongly scented. Tulasi (Sanskrit:-Surasa) has been used for thousands of years in Ayurveda for its diverse healing properties. It is mentioned in the Charaka Samhita, an ancient Ayurvedic text. Tulsi is considered to be an adaptogen, balancing different processes in the body, and helpful for adapting to stress.Marked by its strong aroma and astringent taste, it is regarded in Ayurveda as a kind of "elixir of life" and believed to promote longevity.
Tulasi extracts are used in ayurvedic remedies for a variety of ailments. Traditionally, tulasi is taken in many forms: as herbal tea, dried powder, fresh leaf or mixed with ghee. Essential oil extracted from Karpoora tulasi is mostly used for medicinal purposes and in herbal cosmetics. Some of the main chemical constituents of tulsi are - oleanolic acid, ursolic acid, rosmarinic acid,eugenol, carvacrol, linalool, β-caryophyllene (about 8%), β-elemene(c.11.0%), and germacrene D (about 2%).