Commonly found in many Indian households, the tulsi plant is rich in medicinal and healing qualities.
Tulsi, a scented plant also known as holy basil is a staple in many Indian homes. It grows easily in the earth or in a pot and many Hindus consider it to be a holy plant. The leaves, the seeds and the stems of tulsi are all consumed in different forms like dried powder, juice and extracted oil.
The many health benefits of Tulsi
Tulsi is a good source of biologically active compounds like Ursolic acid, Oleanolic acid, Rosmarinic acid, Eugenol, Carvacrol, Linalool, luteolin, β-caryophyllene and apigenin that possess medicinal properties. What does that mean in layman’s terms? Well, read on!
- Tulsi leaves, poppy seeds and jethi madh (licorice) ground in equal quantity when taken with an equal quantity of sugar in warm water cures dry cough and sore throat.
- A hot mixture of tulsi, dry ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, bay leaf, fern and black pepper prepared in water can help cure a chronic cold.
- Oil prepared with tulsi and other herbs like black pepper, sindhav, dry ginger, peepar, drumstick seeds and bitter gourd can be put in the nostrils to ease breathing ailments.
Cures skin diseases: Tulsi extracts contains anti bacterial, anti biotic and anti fungal properties. Tulsi is widely used in curing skin ailments because the strong scented oil present in tulsi can restrict the growth of bacterium like E coli and B anthracis, which are responsible for skin infections.
- A juice prepared by grinding 200-250 grams of tulsi leaves and boiled with an equal quantity of sesame seed oil creates an oil that can be applied on the skin to cure many skin diseases, including itching.
- A mixture prepared by grinding Tulsi leaves and lemon tree leaves with curd, can help to cure ringworm.
Cures cuts and wounds: Tulsi is used in the treatment of ulcers, cuts and wounds because of its beneficial antiseptic healing power.
- A paste formed by the rubbing tulsi stem on stone when applied on cuts and wounds gives great relief.
- A mixture formed of equal quantities of tulsi juice and coconut oil when applied to burns, gives relief from pain.
- Tulsi is used to treat pain caused by measles, chicken pox and small pox. It is even used to treat leprosy.
Cures digestive system: Tulsi can help people suffering from vomiting, lack of appetite and those with a poor digestive system.
- A good way to stop vomiting is to chew tulsi leaves with cardamom. 20 grams of tulsi juice taken with crystal sugar, a pinch of powdered cardamom and pinch of powdered cloves is helpful in curbing vomiting.
- 1 teaspoon of tulsi juice mixed with 1 teaspoon of ginger juice, 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon of honey can be taken before meals to boost appetite.
- 25 grams of tulsi leaves juice mixed with drumstick leaves and sindhav salt can help cure constipation.
Cures fever: The phytonutrients (nutrients from plants that are essential for sustaining life) and healing oil present in the extract of tulsi are beneficial in curing ordinary to malarial fevers. Tulsi is a good germicidal and disinfectant, which protects the human body from all types of viral and bacterial infections.
- Tulsi leaves boiled with powdered cardamom in 1/2 litre of water mixed with sugar and milk, taken at an interval of 3 hours helps to reduce severe fever and bring down temperatures.
Good to reduce stress: The anti-oxidants present in tulsi help in balancing different processes in the body. Drinking tulsi extract or chewing 10-12 tulsi leaves daily smoothens the nervous system and helps to relieve stress caused by routine incidents of our life.
Good to reduce heart ailments: Tulsi helps to remove the toxins present in blood and purifies it. Tulsi leaf tea can help in controlling blood pressure. The eugenol – anti oxidant present in tulsi can help in reducing blood cholesterol levels and blood glucose levels, thereby reducing the risk of heart attacks.
Photograph by Forest & Kim Starr, via Creative Commons
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