Ocimum sanctum (Tulsi) is a medicinal and holy plant native to the Indian subcontinent. This plant belongs to the labiateae family. It is also referred as Manjari or Krishna tulsi in Sanskrit. In the Hindu religious tradition, tulsi is an important symbol and it is adored by the large number of Hindus in the morning and evening. It is an aromatic sub-shrub and also a cornerstone of Ayurveda (traditional Indian herbal medicine). Each part of the Tulsi plant possesses medicinal properties and so every part of the Tulsi plant can be used in herbal remedies to treat a variety of conditions.
Malaria, periodic fever and all other ailments will be cured if eleven Tulsi leaves are taken along with four black pepper seeds. Tulsi has more effective health benefits when used with Yogic asanas and breath-control exercises. For poor digestion, lack of appetite, constipation, flatulence, acidity and other disorders of the digestive tract, tulsi is reliable remedy.
Medicinal Properties of tulsi:
Medicinal uses of tulsi:
In Ayurvedic medicine, the Tulsi plant is used as topically for skin conditions like eczema, ringworm and insect bites according to Plant Cultures project of the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) of the United Kingdom. Tulsi contains essential oils and antioxidants which has stress reducing effects in the body. Generally, it is used to decrease fevers, improve lung and digestion issues, reduce the effects of colds, eliminate toxins/poisons and also as a preventative antibacterial measure for infections.
In Modern Medicine:
New researches on tulsi specifies that it might potentially be an effective treatment for conditions like high cholesterol, Type 2 diabetes, ulcers, obesity and compromised/suppressed immune systems (from conditions like cancers and AIDS). The traditional uses of Tulsi in Ayurveda said by plant cultures may be because of some intrinsic properties in many varieties of Tulsi essential oils containing eugenol, and various acids having antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Medicinal uses of tulsi as first aid:
- Fever & Common Cold:
- The tulsi leaves are specific for many fevers. When malaria and dengue fever are widely spread mostly during the rainy season, tea which is prepared by using tulsi leaves, act as preventive against theses diseases. An extraction of the leaves by boiling it with powdered cardamom in half a liter of water and then mixed with sugar and milk helps in case of acute fevers. To bring down fever, the juice of tulsi leaves can also be used.
- Sore Throat:
- In case of sore throat, water boiled with basil leaves can be taken as drink to relief the pain. This solution can also be used as a gargle in sore throat.
- Respiratory Disorder:
- In the treatment of respiratory system disorder, the tulsi herb is also useful. For bronchitis, asthma, influenza, cough and cold, an extraction of the leaves, with honey and ginger is an effective remedy. However, in the case of influenza, a decoction of the leaves, cloves and common salt provides instant relief.
- Healing Power:
- Tulsi leaves are nerve tonic. They encourage the removal of the catarrhal matter and phlegm from the bronchial tube. They also help to boost the memory power. The leaves induce abundant perspiration and also increase the strength of the stomach. The plant seeds have mucilaginous property.
- In many Ayurvedic cough syrups and expectorants, tulsi is an important constituent. In respiratory problems like bronchitis and asthma, it helps to mobilize mucus.
- Teeth Disorder:
- The herb is also useful in teeth disorders like pyorrhea and other. Its dried leaves can also be used as tooth powder for brushing teeth. It is very beneficial for maintaining dental health, counteracting bad breath and for massaging the gums.
- Kidney Stone:
- It has spiraling effect on the kidney. Renal stone will expel through the urinary tract if the juice of basil leaves and honey is taken regularly for 6 months.
- Heart Disorder:
- In cardiac diseases, basil has a beneficial effect. Also, it decreases the level of blood cholesterol.
- Children’s Ailments:
- The juice of basil leaves gives favor response to the common pediatric problems like cough cold, fever, diarrhea and vomiting. If basil leaves are taken with saffron, then it will hasten the chicken pox.
- Tulsi leaves have anti-stress activity. To prevent stress, healthy persons can chew 12 leaves of basil twice a day. It also has blood purifying activity.
- Mouth Infections:
- For the mouth infections like ulcer, leaves are quit effective.
- Insect Bites:
- Tulsi herb has both preventive and curative effect for insect stings or bites. For this condition, a teaspoonful of the juice of the leaves is taken and also it is repeated after a few hours. To the affected parts, fresh juice must also be applied for the relief. A paste which is prepared from fresh roots of basil is also effective in case of bites of insects and leeches.
- Skin Disorders:
- In the treatment of ringworm and other skin diseases, basil juice is beneficial when applied locally. In the treatment of leucoderma, it has also been attempted successfully by some naturopaths.
- For headache, basil makes a good medicine. On the forehead, powdered leaves mixed with sandalwood paste can be applied for getting relief from headache and heat, in general to provide coolness.
- Eye Disorders:
- Put two drops of black basil juice into the eyes daily at bedtime. Sore eyes and night-blindness are usually caused by deficiency of vitamin A and black basil juice is an effective remedy for this.