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:
- 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.
Tulsi is anti-carcinogenic in nature and helps to treat some forms of cancer including breast cancer. Tulsi restricts the blood vessels that feed tumours. It also helps to inhibit the growth of oral cancer that is caused due to tobacco. But tulsi should not be used as a sole treatment of cancer however.
13. Stress Reliever:
The anti-oxidants present in Tulsi help in balancing different processes of the body. Drinking Tulsi extract daily smoothes the nervous system and helps to relieve stress.
14. Lung Disorder:
Several compounds present in tulsi like Vitamin C, camphene, Eugenol can cure lung congestion. They have proven to be effective in healing damage caused by smoking, tuberculosis etc.
15. Insect Bite:
This herb also prevents insect stings and bites. A teaspoon of fresh juice should be applied on the affected areas and repeated after a few hours. A paste of fresh roots is also effective in case of bites of insects and leeches.
Apply a paste of Tulsi leaves and roots ground together on the sting of the scorpion. It will completely eliminate the effects of poison. Also in such cases, crushing a few leaves of Tulsi and mixing it with lemon helps too. Apply it on the area of the sting and it will cure the problem. The pain caused by the sting can be reduced by drinking Tulsi juice and also by applying it on the sting.
16. Helps to Quit Smoking:
Tulsi can also help you immensely if you are trying to quit smoking. It is more helpful than nicotine gums and candies which claim to keep you distracted from your need of smoking. Keep some fresh tulsi leaves in your pocket and munch whenever you feel the urge to smoke. The tulsi juice will cool your throat just as the mint drops do and chewing will distract you. The anti-oxidant will actually help you to undo the damage done by years of smoking.
B. Skin Care Benefits of Tulsi:
[ Read: Amazing Benefits Of Green Tea ]
Time and again, this wonder herb has proved itself to be one of the most essential ingredients used in herbal skin care products. The beauty benefits of tulsi plants are plenty. It helps in maintaining a healthy skin and shiny hair. Tulsi extracts make the most organic solution for your skin and hair problems. Tulsi is endowed with antiseptic and purifying qualities which help to prevent skin diseases. Some of them have been listed below.
17. Treats Skin Issues:
Tulsi works very well on eczema, acne and pimples and many cosmetic companies use Tulsi as an ingredient in skin ointments due to its anti-bacterial properties. People suffering from scabies and eczema should drink Tulsi juice to help cure it.
18. Eliminates Pimples and Acne:
Tulsi works great on the skin, whether you eat raw leaves or apply a paste to the face. When eaten raw, it purifies the blood from toxins and prevents appearance of acne and pimples. You can also make a toner by boiling Tulsi leaves in water. Let it cool for 15 minutes and then apply on the acne affected areas. This remedy will not only help eliminate pimples but will also impart an instant glow to the skin and will smooth the skin out completely.
19. Lightens Scars and Marks:
Besan and tulsi paste face pack is a popular pack to get rid of scar marks and get a clean and even skin tone. Skin whitening effects of besan lightens the appearance of scars and black marks and Tulsi kills the bacteria that lead to acne.
20. Adds Glow to the Face:
Rubbing finely powdered dry tulsi on the face like a loose powder adds glow to the face glow and removes dark spots from the face.
21. Prevents Inflammation:
Tulsi leaves contain anti-bacterial and anti-fungal compounds. A paste made of Tulsi leaves along with sandalwood paste and rose water can be applied on the face as it helps to prevent inflammation.
22. Adds Young and Fresh Look:
The antioxidants present in Tulsi makes you look younger and fresher. Tulsi is very healthy for the skin. It works well as a skin and hair moisturizer too.
23. Tightens Skin Pores:
Skin with blemishes can also benefit from Tulsi leaves. Make a face pack using one egg white and Tulsi leaves paste. Then rub the mixture gently on the face particularly on the infected areas of the skin. Wash off the face pack after 20 minutes scrubbing it gently. The egg white used will tighten the pores while the tulsi paste will disinfect the skin and prevent infections which cause pimples and acne.
24. Cures Ringworm:
Using tulsi paste and lemon helps to cure ring worms.
25. Cures Skin Diseases:
Continued ingestion of powdered tulsi roots and leaves is believed to cure all skin diseases.
26. Promotes Quick Healing:
Another good remedy for treating all types of skin diseases is boiling tulsi in mustard oil till the oil turns black. Let it cool, then strain the oil and apply all over the body during winters. This promotes quick healing. Application of tulsi juice on the boils is beneficial and gives relief too.
27. Relieves Skin Irritation:
Apply tulsi paste for relief from skin irritations caused due to plucking of the hair.
28. Heals Wounds, Cuts and Burns:
Dry tulsi leaves in a shade, add alum, grind and sieve well and store the powder in a clean glass bottle. Apply the powder on wounds and cuts. Pain due to burns can be alleviated by applying equal amounts of Tulsi juice and coconut oil mixed in it.
29. Soothes Itching:
Rubbing tulsi leaves on areas that itch gives quick relief. Itching can also be soothed by applying a mixture of Tulsi and lemon juice.
[ Read: Benefits Of Aloe Vera Juice ]
C. Hair Care Benefits of Tulsi:
Dry and damaged hair is often a cause of concern for beauties. Further high pollution in cities and several other factors combine to wreak havoc on our crowning glory and damage our hair to the very roots. It is highly important to keep ourselves hydrated and eat a balance diet to ward off hair problems. Always rely on herbal products and homemade remedies for hair problems rather than using over the counter, chemical laden hair care products which do nothing but make the matter worse for us. Tulsi is a wonder herb which helps to achieve lustrous shiny and healthy hair.
30. Treats Dandruff and Dry Scalp:
One of the major causes of hair loss is dandruff and dry scalp. Add a small quantity of Tulsi oil to regular carrier oil like coconut oil and massage well on your scalp. Tulsi helps to improve the blood circulation and keeps your scalp cool reducing itchiness and dandruff and thus promotes hair growth. You can also apply tulsi paste which keeps the scalp, roots clean and keeps the dandruff at bay.
31. For a Healthy and Itch Free Scalp:
A paste of tulsi, hibiscus and neem leaves can be applied on the hair to keep it healthy and itch free.
32. Energizes Hair:
Regular massage of tulsi oil in your scalp energizes you and your hair.
33. Boosts Immunity:
Tulsi has a complex constitution that includes immunity booster, adaptogens and anti-oxidants. Hence, tulsi juice when taken every week keeps our scalp healthy and hydrated.
Apart from all these benefits, it has been recently discovered that tulsi has environmental benefits too. Tulsi apparently gives out oxygen for 20 hours and ozone for 4 hours along with the formation of nascent oxygen which absorbs harmful gases like carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and sulphur dioxide from the environment.
After knowing all these amazing benefits of this herb, I’m sure all of you would try these home remedies. It will work wonders on your life and living habits.
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