Holy Basil or Tulsi is an aromatic plant that is considered sacred according to Hindu mythology. It is one of the best medicinal herbs used in natural home remedies for various diseases. The leaves of this plant have an astringent taste.
Apart from leaves, its seeds, roots and extracts are also used for medicinal purposes. It is usually taken in the form of tincture, tea and capsules. Holy Basil has been cultivated for over 5000 years.
Scientific Name: Ocimum Sanctum
Common Names: Tulsai, Manjari, Krishna Tulsi, Vishnu Tulsi, Trittavu, Sacred Basil
The herb is native to India. Tropical environment of Asia favors the growth of this plant. Apart from India, Holy Basil is also cultivated in Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, southern China, Thailand and Malaysia.
The herb has anti oxidant and anti aging properties. It’s antiviral and antibacterial properties help fight infections. In addition, it works as a powerful adaptogen. Hence, it helps reduce stress, mental fatigue, and promotes clarity and calmness.
Those of you desiring to improve your memory and concentration can take help of the benefits of Holy Basil to assist you in sharpening these important functions. Plus, consider including this magical herb in your diet in case you are suffering from Insomnia.
Holy Basil or Tulsi benefits include its expectorant properties as well. So, if are suffering from cold and flu and wish to get rid of phlegm buildup then just sip a cup of hot basil tea and relax. Moreover, it serves as a great herbal solution for reducing respiratory tract infections, asthma, bronchitis and allergies.
Holy basil extract helps protect against free radicals that are considered as cancer causing chemicals. It can neutralize free radicals and inhibit the production of inflammatory prostaglandins.
Holy Basil seed oil has immunomodulatory properties and it helps boost sluggish immune system. Tulsi plant with purple leaves is considered beneficial in combating the negative effects of ionizing radiation.
• Wash and clean two sprigs of basil and add them in a cup of boiling water. Let it steep for about 5 minutes. Finally, strain the mixture and drink the tea to stay healthy and reduce mental tension. You can also add lemon juice in it to make it more refreshing.
• Prepare a mixture by crushing 5-10 basil leaves, ten black peppers and a teaspoon of honey. Take this natural remedy three times in a day to get rid of Headache.
• Chewing a few leaves of Holy Basil is highly beneficial for controlling issues like mouth sores, ulcers and other such infections.
• Take some basil juice and mix one teaspoon each of honey, ginger and juice extracted from betel leaves. Intake of this home remedy is useful in relieving cough and cold.
• Add some water in a tablespoon of basil leaves, enough to form a paste. Apply this paste around navel and abdominal area as an effective therapy to heal Colic.
• To prevent inflammation due to insect bites, apply crushed basil leaves on the affected area.
• Use basil juice as ear drops to eliminate infection in ears.
• Boil two cups of water mixed with a teaspoon of cardamom powder and a tablespoon of Holy Basil leaves. Add some milk and a little bit of sugar in a cup of this decoction. Drink this herbal medicine about two to three times in a day to cure fever.
• Soak about 10-15 basil leaves in a cup of water and have this solution daily in the morning to remove prevent and cure body odor.
• Consuming a combination of one teaspoon of honey and basil juice extracted from 10-15 basil leaves is useful in curing common skin diseases and avoiding intestinal worms. It also helps in strengthening kidneys.
• Crush a bunch of basil leaves and apply the paste on Ringworm to heal it.
Children can be given a quarter teaspoon of basil seed paste along with a cup of milk to cure stomach troubles. Basil decoction mixed with a pinch of rock salt provides relief from stomach ache and gastroenteritis.
• Regular intake of Holy Basil or Tulsi helps reduce cholesterol levels, blood glucose levels, protects against cataracts, promotes healthy metabolism and respiratory health. It is also helpful in coping with anxiety, depression and autoimmune diseases.
Benefits of basil also include its effectiveness as mosquito repellent home remedy because the strong smell of this herb helps drive away mosquitoes.
Moreover, the plant’s stem is used for preparing strings of beads used in meditation. Because of this unique flavor and aroma, Holy Basil is widely used for flavoring foods. Thai basil is a variety of Holy Basil with anise-like taste. It is popularly used in Thai cuisine.
Although Holy Basil or Tulsi has innumerable therapeutic properties, it is suggested that this herb should not be taken in excess or else it may affect sperm production negatively because of its anti fertility properties.
Furthermore, individuals who are about to undergo surgical procedures are often asked to discontinue the use of this herb almost two weeks prior to surgery because it tends to increase the risk of bleeding during and after surgery. However, there is need for more research to ascertain these effects of Holy Basil (Tulsi).