The Holy Basil
Better known as the ‘queen of herbs’, Tulsi or Holy Basil, has been here in India for more than 5000 years. One of the most essential plant varieties, this herb has double attraction as it has medicinal as well as religious significance.
Ocimum tenuiflorum, as it is known in the world of science, Tulsi offers exceptional healing of the mind, body and spirit.
The main varieties of the herb are:
1) Krishna Tulsi or Shyama Tulsi (Purple Leaf Tulsi)
2) Rama Tulsi (Green Leaf Tulsi)
3) VanaTulsi (Wild Leaf Tulsi) Let alone its possession of reenergizing and rejuvenating effect, Basil also purifies atmospheric air as well. While the extract of the plant cures diseases like cold, inflammation, malaria etc., it also has the following functions:
• Adaptogenic (helping the body to adapt efficiently to stress)
• Immune- enhancing properties.
This is perhaps why Tulsi is tagged as an elixir of life, providing holistic cure. Acting as a germicidal agent, Tulsi has been widely used to protect the body from infections. A decoction of the leaves boiled with cardamom in half a litre of water, along with a pinch of sugar, helps bring down the temperature and this has always been part of first aid among the people who follow alternative ways of healing.
If taken with the honey and ginger, the decoction of leaves is the finest remedy for bronchitis, asthma and influenza. This has proved to be an effective expectorant. Chewing Tulsi leaves helps immobilize the mucous causing bronchitis and asthma attacks.
Sore throat is most often got rid of after taking in water that is boiled with basil leaves. This, again, has been widely advised by doctors. The herb also has preventive action against malaria and dengue fever as they repel mosquitoes. In women, the problems associated with menstrual flow and dizziness can be reduced by consuming Tulsi juice with honey.
The same mixture, if massaged on the gum, helps babies cut teeth easily, avoiding the usual dental troubles. Tooth paste made of tulsi and mustard oil works wonders in maintaining healthy gum, counteracting bad breath, periodontitis and other dental complications. Tulsi is as well a good oral disinfectant, destroying germs in the mouth and acting effectively against mouth ulcers.
A holistic remedy for various ailments, Tulsi juice not only cures cough, cold, diarrhoea, vomiting and troubles in the stomach caused by worms, but also helps treat ailments related to the eyes. Sore eyes, night blindness, conjunctivitis, boils and other problems can be treated with the help of the juice.
Washing eyes with water in which the leaves are soaked helps get rid of eye irritations greatly. Digestive issues like acidity, flatulence, constipation too can be tackled to a wide extent by taking in the leaf juice.
For ailments caused by old age, Tulsi often helps ease out the troubles by:
• Relieving inflammation from arthritis and other diseases.
• Promoting healthy metabolism
• Helping digestion and gastrointestinal mechanisms
• Supporting the immune system
• Protecting cells and tissues from damage
• Reducing the chance of cancer and degenerative disorders
An effective medical care against premature ageing, tulsi powder when rubbed on the face gives good glow and removes light/dark spots. The extracts are also the most organic solution for conditions like acne, pimples, scabies, eczema etc.
Not just skin conditions but hair too can be protected through Basil therapy. The extracts if mixed with coconut oil and applied on the scalp will improve blood circulation, also keeping the head cool. It reduces itching and dandruff and enhances hair growth.
Although it cures illnesses of all kinds, Basil has been taken across for its effectiveness in treating chronic conditions.
• It protects the body from toxins induced by mercury that damages the central nervous system and the endocrine system.
• Basil juice with honey is one of the best solutions for removing kidney stones. This also beefs up the working of the kidneys.
• It controls blood cholesterol, sugar and pressure levels and combats cardiac diseases. • Its anti-carcinogenic nature is a defense against cancer, especially breast and oral cancers.
• Restricting the blood vessels, Basil reduces the chances of tumor formation.
• The compounds present, like Vitamin C, Eugenol, Camphene etc. reduces chest and lung congestion.
• Basil has long proved to be effective against insect or reptile bite.
• It helps quit smoking.
• It protects the liver and has defence against certain chemical toxins and radiation.
• It stimulates the secretion of bile and formation of semen as well.
• It benefits the heart and protects the body from cardiac illnesses.
• It stimulates the activity of the brain
. • It cures muscular pain, obesity, headaches, leucoderma etc.
Considered ‘holy’ all over, Basil’s significance lies not just in its efficacy in combating the diseases, but its success in healing the mind and spirit as well. And for the same reason it is now universally used and revered