Tulsi or Basil leaves is a small light green to dark purple coloured plant, which is often seen to be grown in front off or near houses in a special pot or special small masonry structures in almost every Indian home. Whether you like keeping plants at home or not, this sacred and medicinal plant is seen in every house. It is considered sacred in India and a manifestation of goddess Tulsi, a consort of God Vishnu.
Talking about its medicinal properties, Tulsi is classified as an adaptogen: It adapts itself to whatever ailment the body is experiencing. Name any body part, beginning from your head, eyes, mouth, throat, stomach, or kidney, Tulsi has a cure for it.
Its anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties make it a much talked about the herbal plant in medicine…
Let’s quickly go through some of them:
- Head: In heating summer, by applying the paste of crushed Tulsi and Chandan will give you immediate cooling and relief from headaches.
- Eyes: Dark Tulsi is known to be rich in Vitamin A and hence no doubt that it helps in curing eye soreness and night blindness.
- Mouth: Soaking Tulsi seeds in water at night and consuming it in the morning along with milk will surely give you relief from mouth ulcers. I have tried this and it has benefited me by giving immediate relief.
- Teeth: A paste made by sun drying the tulsi leaves and mixing them with mustard oil is known to maintain dental health and gives you relief from bad mouth odour.
- Nose, throat, and chest: Water boiled with basil leaves and a pinch of salt should be used to gargle to get relief from a sore throat. Almost all the ayurvedic cough syrups and expectorants have tulsi as their main component, as it is known to melt the mucus giving relief to bronchitis and asthma patients.
- Fever: A hot and tasty tulsi decoction made by adding cardamom, clove, coriander seeds, Jeshthamadh or Jashthamadh or Mulethi with a small amount of jaggery helps to bring down fever after one has drunk the decoction in small portions.
- Kidney: In case of renal stone the juice of basil leaves and honey, if taken regularly for 6 months will flush them via the urinary tract.
The flavonoids in tulsi leaves are believed to reduce the risk of platelets forming clots on the arterial wall, preventing coronary heart disease and heart attacks.
Tulsi juice is also beneficial in treating many of the skin infections like ringworm and other skin diseases.
Note: These are only general guidelines as a first aid. It is always better to see a doctor depending upon the intensity of the case.