Tulsi, also known as holy basil, is a species of basil that can be seen as a distant cousin of the familiar sweet basil plant used in western cooking. Tulsi has powerful medicinal properties, and is widely used in Ayurveda, the traditional medicine of India. In Ayurveda, tulsi is used to treat type II diabetes, as well as a number of other conditions. It is considered by modern herbalists to be an adaptogen, meaning an herb that has a normalizing effect on the body.
Tulsi has not been as thoroughly studied in the West as most Western herbs, but it shows promising preliminary evidence supporting many of its uses in Ayurvedic medicine, including its ability to treat type II diabetes.
Tulsi seems to be able to lower blood sugar, much like chamomile. Also of interest, tulsi shows strong evidence of being able to reduce stress and anxiety, and protect the body against damage caused by stress. As stress is one of the major factors that can aggravate type II diabetes, this herb is of special interest to diabetics. Like chamomile, however, tulsi also acts as an anticoagulant or blood thinner.
RateTea also has an extensive page about tulsi / holy basil, which has detailed information about the health and medicinal properties of this herb, citations to scientific studies on this herb' effectiveness, and ratings, reviews, and different sources of buying this herb.
Basil lovers may be pleased to learn that other types of basil, including Italian sweet basil, and Thai basil, contain many of the same chemical components as tulsi. It certainly cannot hurt to include these herbs in your diet as well.