Tulsi, the herb also known as Ocimum sanctum or holy basil, is a traditional anti-diabetic tea in Ayurvedic medicine. Scientific studies indicate that as-yet unidentified compounds in the herb increase insulin sensitivity in the muscles. The muscles take glucose out of the bloodstream, combine it water, and make glycogen. This bulks the muscle and lowers blood sugar levels--a combination of effects most diabetics find highly desirable.
It's best to use tulsi under the guidance of an herbalist or Ayurvedic physician who is knowledgeable and experienced with its effects in diabetes. As with any other herb or medication, be sure to take your blood sugar levels often so you will know precisely how the herb interacts with other aspects of your treatment program.
Bhat M, Zinjarde SS, Bhargava SY,
, Joshi BN. Antidiabetic Indian Plants: a Good Source of Potent Amylase Inhibitors. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2008 Jun 27. Kumar AR