Holy basil, also called Tulsi

Holy basil, also called ‘Tulsi‘ or ‘Tulasi‘ (Hindi), ‘Thulasi / Tulsi-Chettu‘ in Telugu, ‘Tirunirrippachai‘ in Tamil, ‘Sivatulasi‘ in Malayalam, ‘Amli / Huli‘ in Kannada ‘Tulasigidda‘ in Punjabi, ‘Tulsina / Sabje‘ in Gujarati, ‘Babui Tulsi‘ in Bengali and ‘Tulsichi‘ in Marathi. Holy Basil, the “queen of herbs” is the most sacred of all the herbs found in India! This sacred plant is found in almost every Indian household. Tulsi has been used in India for around 5000 years and is acclaimed for its healing properties of the mind, body and spirit. Tulsi has been widely popular in South Asian countries for many centuries and now is also gaining popularity in the West.

The scientific name of Tulsi is Ocimum Tenuiflorum and is its English term in Basil. There are three variants of Tulsi; Rama Tulsi, Krishna Tulsi and Vana Tulsi. Each of the variants has its own distinctive taste. The parts of Tulsi generally used are its leaves, seeds and dried roots.

Tulsi has played a significant role in the history of mankind due to the multitude of benefits that it possesses and uses it offers. The extract obtained from the plants is used to cure various diseases such as common cold, inflammation, malaria, heart diseases and many more. Tulsi contains hundreds of beneficial compounds and possess strong antioxidant, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, adaptogenic and immune enhancing properties. Tulsi also aids in the purification of atmosphere. It has been used for centuries as an important component of Ayurveda for its diverse healing properties. Tulsi is considered to be an adaptogenic, balancing different processes in the body and enabling the body to adapt to stress. Marked by its strong aroma and astringent taste, it is regarded in Ayurveda as an “elixir of life” and is well known to promote longevity. It is because of these numerous benefits that “tulsi medicinal plant” is worshiped as a goddess in India!

A. Health Benefits of Tulsi:

Not only from a religious point of view, but from a medicinal perspective too, Tulsi has endless value. In Ayurveda, it is considered as the destroyer of all the doshas. The tulsi benefits are many and people also chew raw leaves regularly to reap these benefits. Tulsi leaves also re-energize and rejuvenate the body of a person. It keeps one fresh mentally and stimulates the thought process. The holy basil is a homemade remedy for a lot of common ailments.

Listed below are some of the uses of plant.

1. Fever and Common Cold:

The tulsi medicinal uses begins with the ability of the leaves to cure many kinds of fever.

·         Tender Tulsi leaves boiled in water act as a preventive against malaria and dengue fever.

·         In case of acute fever, a decoction of the leaves boiled with cardamom powder in half a litre of water mixed with sugar and milk brings down the temperature.

Tulsi is also a good germicidal agent and a disinfectant that protects the human body from all types of viral infections.

2. Cough and Respiratory Problems:

Chewing Tulsi leaves also cures cough and flu. It helps to mobilize mucous in bronchitis and asthma attacks. A decoction of leaves with honey and ginger is an effective remedy against bronchitis, asthma, influenza and cold. A decoction of leaves, cloves and common salt also relieves influenza.

Water boiled with basil leaves can be taken as a drink in case of sore throat. You can also gargle with this water to soothe sore throat. Tulsi is an important ingredient in the preparation of cough syrups and expectorant.

3. Kidney Stones:

One of the tulsi plant uses is that its leaves have a strengthening effect on the kidneys. In case of renal stones, the consumption of juice of basil leaves mixed with honey helps remove these stones through the urinary tract. Tulsi being a detoxifying agent can help to reduce uric acid level which is the main reason behind kidney stones.