The plant Tulsi or Holy Basil (Botanical name Ocimum Sanctum ) belongs to family Lamiaceae. It is a tropical plant which grows as weed and also cultivated. Tulsi is worshipped by Hindus and is an important symbol of Hindu religion. It is a very common sight to find Tulsi Vrindavan ( A special structure where tulsi is grown) in houses of Hindus.
The tulsi shrub is an erect plant which grows to a height of 50 to 60 cm tall. It has hairy stems, opposite ovate leaves and purple flowers. Leaves have strong scent. There are two types of tulsi
1. Krishna tulsi – Has purple leaves
2. Shri tulsi – Has Green leaves
Texts of ayurveda describe the properties of tulsi as follows. It is light to digest and dries tissue secretions. Tulsi tastes hot and bitter. It can penetrate deep tissues and has anti helmenthic properties. Due to these properties it normalizes kapha and vata. Leaves, flowers, seeds and roots of Tulsi are used in ayurvedic preparations.
Medicinal properties of tulsi:
1.Tulsi has anti inflammatory properties as it reduces vata . Hence its external application on swollen parts helps to diminish swelling and pain.
2.Tulsi helps in many skin disorders. It is effective in skin rashes, insect bites and itching. Leaves of this plant are effectively used in ring worm infections and lucoderma.
3.Fresh juice of Tulsi leaves is used in nasya karma. This method helps to relieve headache and diseases of head and neck. Tulsi leaves act as nervine tonic and help to sharpen memory.
4.Paste and Juice of Tulsi leaves help to reduce acne, pimples and scars.
5.According ayurveda, preparations of Tulsi are beneficial in indigestion, intestinal parasites and constipation.
6.Crushed leaves of tulsi are very effective in fever, cough, bronchitis and other diseases of lungs. It helps in expectoration of excess mucous secretion.
7.Tulsi acts as a cardiac tonic and purifies blood.
8.Seeds of tulsi are effective in premature ejaculation .It also increases quantity of semen.
9.Consuming 10 – 12 leaves of Tulsi per day helps to reduce stress.
Apart from these researches have shown that tulsi is very effective in reducing blood sugar and blood cholesterol.
Home remedies with Tulsi
1.Paste of tulsi leaves when applied on inflamed areas help to reduce pain and inflammation.
2.It is beneficial to smear crushed tulsi leaves on skin rashes, ring worm affected areas and insect bites
3.Make a smooth paste of tulsi leaves and apply it on acne and pimple to see effective results.
4.Fresh tulsi juice mixed with ginger and honey help to reduce cough and cold.
5.Tulsi decoction is very beneficial in fevers like dengue and malaria.
6.Gargling with tulsi decoction helps to reduce throat pain and mouth ulcers.
7.Regular consumption of Tulsi leaves help to control diabetes and blood cholesterol.