The holy Tulsi, also known as 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!
Nutritional Value of Tulsi/Basil:
Have a glimpse at the nutrient facts of tulsi before progressing to its benefits:
Percentage of RDA
|Total Fat||0.64 g||2%|
|Dietary Fiber||1.60 g||4%|
|Pantothenic acid||0.209 mg||4%|
|Vitamin A||5275 IU||175%|
|Vitamin C||18 mg||30%|
|Vitamin E||0.80 mg||5%|
|Vitamin K||414.8 µg||345%|
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.
4. Heart Disorder:
Basil is very beneficial in combating cardiac disease and the weakness resulting from it. It reduces blood cholesterol levels. Tulsi also contains Vitamin C and other anti-oxidants such as Eugenol which protects the heart from harmful effects of free radicals. Tulsi can also reduce blood pressure and thus is useful for heart patients.
5. Children’s Ailments:
- Common paediatric problems like cough, cold diarrhea and vomiting respond favourably to tulsi juice.
- Basil leaves taken with honey keeps chicken pox at bay.
- If a baby is given tulsi juice regularly before teething, it helps grow teeth easily without any of the usual teething troubles. Massaging the gums with a mixture of tulsi leaves and honey will also help.
- Giving children a mixture of tulsi juice and honey helps bring relief to cough and sore throat too.
- Warm tulsi juice gets rid of the worms in the stomach.
[ Read: Benefits Of Neem Oil For Skin And Hair ]
6. Teeth Disorder:
The leaves are also useful in treating teeth disorders. Tulsi leaves dried and powdered can be used for brushing teeth. It can also be mixed with mustard oil and can be used as a tooth paste. It maintains the health of the gums and helps to counteract bad breath, pyorrhoea and other dental problems. This tooth paste can also be rubbed on the gums to hinder gum inflammation.
Tulsi is also used as a mouth wash to relieve tooth ache. Tulsi is an excellent mouth freshener and oral disinfectant and destroys 99% of germs and bacteria found in the mouth. These leaves are quite effective for several mouth infections like ulcer.
Basil leaves are a good medicine for headache. Pounded leaves mixed with sandalwood paste can be applied on the forehead for relief from headache.
8. Eye Disorder:
Basil juice is an effective remedy for sore eyes and night blindness, which is generally caused by lack of Vitamin A. Two drops of basil juice can work wonders for the eyes. It soothes eyes and reduces stress. Also it can protect from conjunctivitis, boils and other problems of the eyes which are caused mainly due to bacterial and fungal infections by washing eyes with water soaked in tulsi leaves.
9. Stomach Problems:
Several stomach problems like acidity, constipation and flatulence can also be cured with tulsi leaves. Tulsi supports digestive system and makes you feel less bloated and more comfortable. It also helps people suffering from vomiting and lack of appetite.
Tulsi is one of the many herbs that help to control blood sugar level in a person. It reduces the blood sugar levels by causing a sudden or drastic drop.
[ Read: Benefits Of Neem Leaves]
11. Pain Relief:
Tulsi plant acts like a COX-2 inhibitor and benefits people with painful medical condition. Some compounds found in tulsi helps to ease inflammatory and neurological pain and has no side effects whatsoever. Tulsi is also used in the treatment of ulcers, cuts and wounds because of its beneficial antiseptic and healing properties.