Sometime back I got a request from a reader of my blog, to write about Holy Basil.
So as promised, here are some details on this wonderful and timeless medicinal herb ! Wiki details on Tulasi – Ocimum tenuiflorum, also known as Ocimum sanctum, Holy basil, or tulasī, is an aromatic plant in the family Lamiaceae which is native to the Indian Subcontinent and widespread as a cultivated plant throughout the Southeast Asian tropics. Tulsi is considered as a goddess in Hinduism and sometimes referred as wife of Lord Vishnu. She is often called as Vishnupriya – the beloved of Vishnu. Tulasi leaves is an essential part in the worship of God Vishnu (Narayana) and his Avatars including God Krishna.The legend behind Tulsi Vivah and its rites are mentioned in the scripture Padma Purana. It is regarded in Ayurveda as a kind of “elixir of life” and believed to promote longevity. Tulasi extracts are used in ayurvedic remedies for a variety of ailments. Traditionally, tulasi is taken in many forms: as herbal tea, dried powder, fresh leaf or mixed with ghee (clarified butter). Essential oil extracted from tulasi is mostly used for medicinal purposes and in herbal cosmetics. Tulasi or Holy basil as its commonly known, has been part of Grandma’s favorite herbs for all kinds of minor to major ailments. Some common home remedies using Tulasi as a standalone or in combination with other things are listed below. Like most other Ayurvedic medications/herbs, there are no side effects of using it – though sometimes the effectiveness (depending on the severity of the health condition) might vary. Being widely available , its not only a cheap but highly effective herb for a multi-tude of ailments.
- Chew a few leaves of Holy basil daily – as an natural mouth freshener and oral disinfectant. Its freshness can last for a very long time. Also, Holy Basil is known to destroy more than 99% of the germs and bacteria in the mouth. If taken regularly, it can also cure/prevent ulcers in the mouth.
- Its also known to have very good anti- stress compounds, which help in reducing labor pain, treating gastroenteritis, cholera, whooping cough, measles, mumps, rheumatism, nausea, septic, urinary and genital infections, destroying worms in the stomach.
- Wash eyes daily with a few leaves of basil soaked in water, to help prevent/cure conjunctivitis, boils and many other problems of the eyes which are caused due to viral, bacterial or fungal infections. A cheap and effective eye and face wash 🙂
- Quite effective in dental cavities, plaque, tartar, and bad breath prevention.
- The astringent properties in it, helps control blood pressure and lowering his/her cholesterol levels.
- Having regular dose of Tulasi leaves juice combined with honey in the right proportion helps prevent/cure kidney stones.
- Holy Basil helps boot immunity when consumed in moderate amount on a regular basis.
- Tulsi is a effective germicidal, fungicidal, anti-bacterial and anti-biotic herb, that helps preventing or curing fever,Common Cold,Coughs,Headaches etc.
- Make a nice herbal tea with a few Tulasi leaves combined with honey and ginger for those cold winter days 🙂 Helps in obesity too..
A muti-use herb that has been used for generations in Indian medicine system as a general tonic. A ‘must-have’ plant in most Hindu traditional homes. There are more than a dozen varieties of this herb, which grows in Indian sub-continent alone. Some of the common variants of Tulasi/Holy Basil are as shown below – more on these varieties and their unique medicinal properties in future articles – stay tuned !