Tulsi is an upright bushy shrub that grows up to 18 inches.
It’s hairy stems sprout oval leaves with serrated edges, and depending on the variety, range in color from light green to dark purple. The tulsi plant blooms erect purple or reddish flowers and produces tiny rust-colored fruit. It has a strong, pungent aroma and taste that is similar to other varieties of basil.
The Tulsi or Holy tulsi (Osimum sanctum) is an important symbol in many Hindu religious traditions. The name “tulsi” means “the incomparable one”. Tulsi is a venerated plant and devotees worship it in the morning and evening. Tulsi grows wild in the tropics and warm regions. Tulsi has two varieties one Dark Tulsi (Red) and other light (White). The former possesses greater medicinal value and is commonly used for worship.
Tulsi has also been recognized by the rishis for thousands of years as a prime herb in Ayurvedic treatment. It has been traditionally used by Hindus, and now others, for its diverse healing properties. Its aroma is distinctively different from its close cousin, the Thai Basil, which is sometimes wrongly called Holy basil, but they can be distinguished by their aroma and flavor. Holy basil is slightly hairy, whereas Thai Basil is smooth and hairless, also Holy basil does not have the strong aniseed or licorice smell of Thai Basil; Holy Basil has a hot, spicy flavor sometimes compared to cloves.