I have always wondered as to why ‘Tulsi’ is given so much importance in India.I have known my aunts and great grand aunts telling me the story of Tulsi being the consort of Lord Vishnu. As an inquisitive child, I questioned this. “How can a plant be a consort? A plant is a plant! Period! It gives oxygen and takes in carbon dioxide.”
Today, as a doctor, I feel that the importance of many plants is hidden in folklore. Unfortunately, the folklore remained and the importance is now dying away.
In this article, I try to bring out the importance of “Tulsi”- The Holy Basil, which is also considered as the queen of herbs! Tulsi is grown in almost every household in India for religious purposes. But I suggest we all grow it for its medicinal purposes (at the cost of paying hefty fee to doctors for minor ailments!).
- Antiseptic and
Tulsi helps in cold & cough because of its antiviral&antibacterial properties. Juice of basil leaves along with ginger and betel leaf juice mixed in honey taken twice or thrice a day is beneficial. For extreme cough one should add a pinch of black pepper powder with little black salt in above mixture.
The antipyretic properties of tulsi work on Fever of any origin like malarial, fever due to influenza, cold or fever with pain in ribs. Take juice of 10 to 12 basil leaves with honey three times a day.
Tulsidetoxifies. Consumption of 10 Tulsileaves with jaggery regularly for 15 days controls formation of worms in abdomen. In case of ringworm, the juice mixed with camphor to be applied daily on the affected part twice daily. Tulsi consumed daily keeps the stomach clean because of its properties.
Regular intake of juice of 15 to 20 basil leaves mixed in aloe vera is beneficial in liver disorders.
The mixture of Tulsileaves and clove powder on teeth provides instant relief from pain. Leaves dried in the sun and powdered can be used for brushing the teeth. Leaves dried and mixed with mustard oil are used as toothpaste. This paste is very good for maintaining the overall dental health, countering bad breath and massaging the gums. The paste is also useful in treating pyorrhea (gum disease) and other tooth disorders.
The anti-inflammatory properties of tulsi helps to diminish swelling and pain.
The holy basil is a great diuretic and detoxifier for the kidneys. It reduces the uric acid levels in the blood (one of the main reasons for kidney stones), helps cleanse the kidneys. The presence of acetic acid and other components helps in breaking down kidney stones and its painkiller effect helps dull down the pain of kidney stones. To relieve kidney stones one must have the juice of tulsi leaves with honey, every day for six months to help wash out the stone from the kidney.
Holy basil is a purifier and will give you a glowing skin if eaten raw. It purifies the blood prevents the appearance of acne and blemishes. Its antibacterial and antifungal properties prevent breakouts on acne prone skin. The anti fungal properties reduce itchiness of the scalp and hair fall. Mix the powder in coconut oil and apply regularly to the scalp to prevent hair fall.
Consuming 10 – 12 leaves of Tulsi per day helps to reduce stress (Read on stress induced migraine).
According to Shyamkant Padoley, an eminent botanist, “Tulsi gives out oxygen for 20 hours and ozone for four hours a day along with the formation of nascent oxygen which absorbs harmful gases like carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and sulphur dioxide from the environment”.
Ensure that tulsi becomes a part of your daily diet today! It is cheap, it is available at your doorstep & it has no side effects!