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Tulsi (Holy Basil)- Benefits and Uses
Tulsi- most worshipped plant in Hindu culture. It has a mythological background as tulsi is considered as lord Krishna’s wife. Literal meaning of tulsi is incomparable so as the name suggest, it really has properties that are incomparable with any other herb. Every thing mentioned in Indian mythology has a scientific background. So as the culture of planting tulsi in center of court yard in Hindu homes. It is a strong belief that those who plant tulsi in there houses never get ill, as it is very lovable to lord Krishna and lord Krishna has blessed this herb with this property. Scientific reason of this story is that tulsi contains such a chemical composition that no mosquitoes and flies can come near the plant because of it s peculiar odor. Thereby by planting tulsi in courtyard prevents entry of these creatures in house thus rendering home safe from any diseases caused by these organisms.
Biological name of tulsi is Ocimum sanctum and in common English language it is called holy basil. This herb is commonly found everywhere in India. Plant height varies from 2 - 4 ft. It flowers in winter season i.e. about December to February. It contains some biological active chemical compounds like ursolic acid, luteolin and apigenin extracted from leaves. Herb has katu and tickt rasa predominance. It is ushan (hot) virya in potency. It has laghu (light) and ruksh (dry) properties. Its major act is of as krimighan (anti bacterial and anti parasitic). Plant parts used are leaves, flower, seeds and root.
Tulsi is being used in variety of herbal ayurvedic formulations. Most dominantly it is used in bronchitis and asthmatic conditions. It gives great relief in cough especially one predominated by kapha.
Tulsi because of its great healing property has been indicated in variety of diseases. Being ushan (hot) in potency it is regarded as vata and kapha suppressant, hence all the diseases caused by vata and kapha can be treated with the help of tulsi.
As we begin with the skin problems, as mentioned earlier it acts as anti bacterial and anti parasitic, therefore is widely used in infectious diseases. It act on nervous system providing them strength, relieves stress and also helps in relieving pain, as it is vata suppressant. It work as appetizer and promotes digestion by helping in secretion of digestive enzymes. It helps in preventing flatulence and avoids constipated stool. It also keeps check on any infection that might invade our digestive system. Tulsi is also seen very useful in heart disease. It provides strength to heart and helps in proper working. It also helps to detoxify any toxin that might be circulating through our body via blood thereby have the property to purify blood.
Tulsi finds great importance in respiratory tract disease. It gives marvelous results in upper respiratory tract infection (URTI). As mentioned earlier that it acts rigorously on kapha hence it works as good expectorant relieving from wet cough. It also finds its good use in bronchitis and asthmatic conditions. It helps to fight the cause of allergy by which our respiratory tract gets inflamed and then resolves the causative agent. Good results have also been seen in anti-tubercular treatment as it works as antibiotic eliminating the bacteria. It also shows good results in chest pains. Tulsi finds great use in fever as it act as antipyretic, pain reliever, and provides strength to our body.
Some beneficial results were also seen in diabetes and micturation related problems. It also acts as an antidote for many poisons. Tulsi is known to possess anti-cancerous properties.
Some home remedies for tulsi:
· Power of seed of tulsi when taken with water gives great results in menstrual disorder
· Root of tulsi is powdered and kept overnight in water, if taken daily early morning proves to be very beneficial in diabetes.
· Tulsi juice drops are very effective in earache.
· Tulsi juice when mixed with ginger juice is very effective in abdominal disorder in children
· Powder of tulsi leaves added with saunth (dried ginger) and sugar when taken with hot water is a famous remedy for fever
· A Tulsi seed processed in castor oil is very effective remedy for hair lice problem.
· It is said that if one tulsi leaf if swallowed daily, that person never suffers from cancer.
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