Referred as the “Queen of Herbs” and a symbol of purity, Tulsi or better known as Basil, is a popular household name in India. Worshipped in the morning and evening, many Hindu families grow Tulsi in their courtyard as it is believed to bring longevity, happiness, purify the environment and bring peace in the home.
From seasoning food to herbal remedies, each and every part of this plant can be used in one way or another. Of the two main species readily available in India, the darker form of Tulsi known as Shyama has more medicinal values than the lighter one called Rama.
Following are some benefits of Tulsi:
– Increases mental health
– High in anti-oxidants, preventing premature aging
– Flavonoids protect cells from radiation and its harmful side effects
– Effective on acne and psoriasis
– As an anti-inflammatory, it helps reduce arthritic symptoms, decreasing pain and swelling
– Reduces anxiety, depression and stress
– Relieves constipation, stomach cramps, indigestion and flatulence
– Enhances immunity in babies
– Helps reduce symptoms of cold, cough, influenza, bronchitis, asthma, sinus infections
– Prevents nausea
– Provides relief from menstrual cramps
– Reduces chances of food poisoning
– Enhances the flavour of food
– Chewing fresh Tulsi leaves or boiling them with tea reduces the effects of fever and common cold
– Heals infections of the mouth
– Used as a paste, it relieves the effects of insect bites
– Regulates blood sugar
There is interest in using Tulsi seed oil for curing cancer as research shows the oil can slow progression and improve survival rate in animals with certain types of cancer.
Considered to be a divine plant in Ayurveda, Tulsi not only has medicinal properties but also carries spiritual significance for practitioners of this ancient system of medicine. It is considered to be a reincarnation of the goddess Tulsi, who offers divine protection from all ills.