Tulsi or Holy Basil is a centerpiece in a traditional Hindu household. Usually the courtyard houses the tulsi plant which women light a lamp around and water everyday. A tulsi leaf is offered as a prayer to god. Upon a person’s death when he is being prepared for the last rites, the tulsi leaf is pressed against his mouth. Believed to possess self-purifying properties, legend has it that Tulsi was the devoted wife of a mythological being, Shankhachuda, who was blessed by Lord Krishna for her self-righteousness and said that she would be worshiped by everyone.
Aside from its religious significance, tulsi is of immense value to your health. From treating a bouquet of maladies including common cold, its worth nurturing that tulsi plant even if you don’t have a grand courtyard like good old days, and have to make do with a tiny apartment balcony. Grow a potted tulsi plant, give it some sun and shade, and reap its magical health benefits.
Things about the great tulsi/holy basil no one told you. After reading this you are definitely going to grow a tulsi plant in your home, if you haven’t got one already.
1. Respiratory disorders
Components like camphene, eugenol and cineole in its essential oils gives you relief from bacterial and fungal infection of your respiratory system.
The essential oils and the phytonutrients in Holy Basil act as an antibiotic, fungicidal and disinfectant agent. Tulsi leaves destroys all the pathogens causing such infections. A person suffering high fever whether it is bacterial, malarial or viral, tulsi’s disinfectant properties help fight these symptoms.
3. Lung disorder
Tulsi leaves are effective in healing damage done to the lungs due to smoking or tuberculosis, or even lung cancer. Compounds such as vitamin-C, camphene, eugenol and cineole that are present in the essential oils of tulsi cures lung infections and also congestion of the lungs.
Being rich in vitamin C and other antioxidants, holy basil helps soothe frazzled nerves aside from low blood pressure, reduce inflammation and cuts stress levels. An important component camphene in tusli helps cut blood pressure related stress.
5. Heart diseases
An antioxidant called eugenol in tulsi protects the heart and reduces the negative effects of pathogens. Vitamin C and eugenol together play an important role in cutting bad cholesterol from the blood.
Owing to the phytonutrients and essential oils in tulsi, it helps relieve congestion and eases your breathing. It even helps eradicate the underlying causes of asthma.
7. Dental care
You can get rid of bacteria causing plaque, bad breath, dental cavities, and tartar by chewing a few leaves of holy basil twice a day. The astringent properties in it protects the gums and teeth by keeping them strong and prevent tooth loss.
9. Oral care
Use tulsi like a mouth freshener and its effects will last a whole day. A wonderful oral disinfectant, holy basil destroys germs and bacteria in your mouth and prevents bad breath. It is even a remedy for mouth ulcers, outside of curbing the growth of oral cancer caused due to excessive chewing of tobacco.
10. Kidney stones
Tulsi helps to reduce the uric acid level in the body, which is the main cause of kidney stones. It also helps flush out toxins from the kidneys through increased frequency of urination. Acetic acid and certain components in tulsi is in fact really important in the dissolution of kidney stones.
Make a daily bath decoction with tulsi leaves and see all the skin irritation, allergies and rashes vanish. It’s a good idea to even wash your face with water soaked a couple of hours in tulsi leaves. It will keep skin diseases at bay and give you glowing skin. Or make a paste of the leaves and apply it to the affected area for better results. The essential oils in holy basil actually helps to keep mosquitoes and insects away from your home. You can use it both internally and externally, for instance the camphene in tulsi when applied on skin gives an instant cooling effect.
Holy Basil makes your immunity system robust by protecting it from infections caused by virus, bacteria, fungi and protozoa.
Holy basil has amazing anti-ageing properties. The phytonutrients, vitamin C and essential oils serve as antioxidants in protecting the body from the damage caused by free radicals in our system.
A hearty cup of tulsi tea can prevent migraine, sinus, high blood pressure, and cough and cold. Eugenol, camphene, cineol components in tulsi have excellent sedative, anti-congestive and disinfectant properties.
15. Eye care
To prevent the spread of conjunctivitis, or any other eye infection, wash your eyes everyday with a handful of basil leaves soaked in water. It checks the growth of viral, bacterial and fungal infections, soothes stress and eye inflammation. The vitamin C and A in tulsi cures you of vision defects and cataracts.