As an Amazon Associate and affiliate with other programs, I may earn revenue from qualifying purchases through affiliate links. This does not affect the price you pay. Privacy Policy / Disclosures. This site is for educational purposes only.

Guide To Holy Basil Essential Oil and Its Benefits and Uses

Tulsi, also called holy basil essential oil (Ocimum sanctum or Ociumum tenuiflorum), is a species of basil high in eugenol. Other essential oils rich in eugenol include clove bud and cinnamon leaf. Tulsi is an adaptogen, with an intuitive sense for creating wellness based on what the body needs, according to Aromatics.

Photo of holy basil plant with the words Guide to Holy Basil (Tulsi) Essential Oil Benefits and Uses

Plant family: Lamiaceae

Production: Steam distilled from leaves and flowering tops of the herb, which is a small annual or short-lived perennial shrub.

Aroma: Sweet and herbaceous, with clove-like nuances; some varieties have a characteristic blackcurrant bud note, according to Listening to Scent.

Perfume/Aromatic note: Top

Is holy basil essential oil safe to use during pregnancy? No, according to multiple sources.

Is holy basil essential oil safe for children? Yes, for children age 2+, according to Rocky Mountain Oils. Consult a professional for specifics.

Main components:

  • Eugenol     31.9–50.4%
  • 1,8-Cineole 12.6–16.5%
  • Estragole     9.7–12.9%
  • B-Bisabolene 9.7–10.5%

Cautions: The eugenol in tulsi may irritate highly sensitive skin. Recommended dermal maximum of 1%. May inhibit blood clotting.

Source: Essential Oil Safety, 2nd Edition

Holy Basil Aromatherapy Benefits and Uses

The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy: Use holy basil to help relieve muscle spasms, respiratory conditions, menstrual cramps and other problems, headaches and migraines, and mental and physical fatigue.

Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art: Tulsi essential oil aids relaxation and increases sleeping time.

Floracopeia: Ayurveda considers holy basil a purifier of mind, body and spirit. Heating in nature, the oil helps relieve cold, phlegmatic conditions.

Essential Oils: A Handbook for Aromatherapy Practice: Tulsi is a pungent, bitter, hot oil that controls vata and kapha but can increase pitta. Uses of the oil include purification and eliminating toxins, expelling mucus, and reducing spasm. You can use the oil to reduce acne and possibly prevent scarring.

Nature in Bottle: Tulsi essential oil may help manage minor pain and inflammation, especially relating to muscle tension, and ease muscle spasms. Emotionally and energetically, this essential oil encourages emotional healing, supports reflection and introspection, and brings peace and calm, especially during meditation. The oil fosters greater self-confidence and promotes self-assurance and can help deal with situational anxiety or depression. Because holy basil is an adaptogen, it may promote deep, restful sleep, or be uplifting and mentally clearing, helping reduce negative thoughts and feelings.

Aromatherapeutic Blending: Indications for holy basil essential oil include helping relieve acne (may help prevent scars), allergies, sore muscles, spasm, tension, rheumatism, rheumatoid arthritis, poor peripheral circulation, and high blood pressure. The oil may also help support the immune system. Energetically, use the oil for purification, to invite divine presence, and to invoke spiritual protection. Suggested essential oils to blend with holy basil:

  • For aches and pains: black pepper, pink pepper, lavender, rosemary, sweet marjoram
  • For rheumatoid arthritis: geranium, coriander seed, ginger, nutmeg, plai.
  • To help improve peripheral circulation: black pepper.
  • To relieve hypertension/stress: lavender, bergamot mint, bergamot, ylang ylang.
  • For immune support: lemongrass, ginger.
  • To reduce acne: kaffir lime leaf, white champaca, ylang ylang, sandalwood.

Essential Oils in Spiritual Practice: Use tulsi to purify and protect your energy and that of your environment. This essential oil opens and heals the heart (fourth) chakra, teaching the true energy of loving detachment and devotion.

Stillpoint Aromatics: Use holy basil for the brow (sixth) chakra for perspective, clarity, expansiveness, and upliftment.

Sacred Oils: Holy basil helps you reconnect with the divine life force, dissolve difficult relationships, and cut negative emotional ties. The oil has an affinity with the crown (seventh) chakra.

Holy Basil Essential Oil Blends

Massage Oil to Balance Kapha 

  • 4 tablespoons organic sesame oil
  • 5 drops tulsi essential oil
  • 5 drops rosemary ct. verbenone essential oil
  • 5 drops lemon essential oil
  • 3 drops Eucalyptus smithii essential oil
  • 3 drops Eucalyptus dives essential oil
  • 6 drops Himalayan cinnamon (Cinnamomum cecidodaphne)

Source: Radha Crawley, "Exploring Ayurveda, The Language of Nature in Spring," NAHA Aromatherapy Journal, Spring 2013.1, p. 15.

Sore Muscle Relief Massage Oil

  • 9 drops roman chamomile essential oil
  • 9 drops lavender essential oil
  • 3 drops holy basil essential oil
  • 2 tablespoons carrier oil

Source: Rocky Mountain Oils

Diffuser Blends

For a calming and grounding diffuser blend that promotes relaxation and reduces stress, use 3 drops holy basil and 3 drops frankincense essential oil.

For meditation and spiritual practices, use this blend:

  • 1 drop tulsi essential oil
  • 1 drop palo santo essential oil
  • 2 drops frankincense essential oil
  • 3 drops helichrysum essential oil

Buy Eden's Garden Essential Oils on Amazon
Click Here to Buy Massage Supplies at Massage Naturals
Hydragun self massage tool on leg. Click for more information about hydragun.

You might like these

Photo Credit: Joydeep, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons