Tulsi vs. Basil

Difference Between Tulsi and Basil Basil and Tulsi are two different plants, the leaves of which are often…

Difference Between Tulsi and Basil

Basil and Tulsi are two different plants, the leaves of which are often thought to be one and the same. Strictly speaking, these are two different types of leaves that are strictly meant for different purposes. The botanical name of Tulsi is Ocimum tenuiflorum. It has a very unique and characteristic aroma. Basil is also referred to as Sweet Basil. It alternatively called  Saint Joseph’s Wort.

Basil is mainly used in Italian cuisine. It is usually found in India. Thailand, Taiwan, Combodia and Vietnam also make use of Basil in their cuisines. Basil leaves have a sharp and strong taste and scent. Basil’s botanical name is Ocimum basilicum. It is generally used in cooking recipes.

Tulsi, on the other hand, is used by practitioners of Ayurveda as it possesses healing properties. In fact, this plant was mentioned in the Charaka Samhita, a very renowned text on Ayurveda. It strongly believed that consumption of Tulsi can help cure problems arising out of migraines, inflammation, colds, malaria and heart disease. It is also believed that Tulsi provides relief from the effects of food poisoning.

Tulsi is consumed in various forms. It is even taken raw in juice form. It is also consumed as tea, dried leaf powder, fresh or sometimes mixed with ghee (clarified butter). Tulsi is widely used as a form of herbal cosmetics. Since Tulsi possesses some antibacterial properties, it is used as a skin nourishing agent as well.

One of the purest aspects of Tulsi is its religious significance and importance. In Hinduism, Tulsi plant is considered very sacred. It is considered a symbol of chastity and purity. It is normally given to people in their death bed with a belief that they reach heaven after death. Brahma Vaivarta Purana refers to tulsi as another form of Sita.

There are two important types of Tulsi called Krishna Tulsi and Rama Tulsi . Rama Tulsi has a larger size and appears very greenish in color. In contrast the Shyama Tulsi has a dark green color and is highly recognized  as loved by Hanuman. In other words we can say that Shyama Tulsi is used in the worship of Hanuman.

Basil, on the other hand, has no religious significance. It is used in the preparation of different food items. It is, in fact, one of the main ingredients in the preparation of ‘pesto’, a  delicious Italian sauce. Basil is sometimes boiled with milk in the preparation of ice cream.

It is interesting to note  that Basil is added to food only in the last minute of cooking process because it’s flavor is completely lost if it is cooked for a long time. This is an important observation to make in the use of Basil. In fact Basil leaves can be preserved for a long time in the refrigerator. Basil seed are used in the preparation of different types of desserts. These are the a few differences between Basil and Tulsi.



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