Tulsi, alternatively known as the holy basil or scientifically as ocimum sanctum, is a common name in most Indian households. Tulsi is commonly found in two varieties – the green coloured Lakshmi tulsi and the purple hued Krishna tulsi. This herb is worshiped, offered to the gods and is grown in many Hindu households and it is not without reason that this herb has a following of this quantum,– this humble, inexpensive herb comes loaded with a host of benefits and is used extensively in Ayurveda. From warding off some of the most common ailments, strengthening immunity, fighting bacterial & viral infections to combating and treating various hair and skin disorders – this herb is literally a life saver.
Its essential oils are used to treat number of ailments. It is rich in antioxidants which help in mitigating stress and conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, tulsi leaves are also rich in volatile and fixed oils which can help fight allergies, infections and pathogens. Tulsi paste and powder has long been used in herbal and cosmetic products for its purifying, detoxifying and cleansing properties. Tulsi paste when applied on acne and pimples can ensure relief with lesser chances of repeat breakouts.
Most ayurvedic doctors recommend consuming a drink made by boiling tulsi leaves and adding black pepper to it to increase immunity, act as an antibacterial element and also facilitate recovery from dengue. The quintessential kadha – a mix of ginger, tulsi leaves, peppercorn (crushed) in boiling hot water – is usually seen as a potion that can put most illnesses straight.
Apart from these there are also other beneficial properties that this humble plant boasts of, and include: Detoxification, treatment of skin disorders, antibiotic, anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-carcinogenic properties, relief from fever, headache, sore throat, cold, cough, flu and chest congestion, treatment of respiratory ailments like chronic bronchitis, asthma, facilitate proper digestion, beneficial for diabetics, helps in regulating uric acid levels in body, great for dental health and healthy gums, can be used as an effective insect repellant and can aid in treating insect bite, even beneficial in treating conditions like hepatitis, malaria, tuberculosis, dengue and swine flu. With such great properties, Tulsi continues to rule our gardens and take care of our health.
Leading Ayurvedic hospitals use this herb to make concoction to treat various ailments.