TULSI: The Golden Remedy of Ayurveda

Family: Lamiaceae

Genus: Ocimum

Common Name: Ocimum Tenuiflorum, Holy Basil, Tulsi, Sacred Basil

 

Tulsi is an aromatic perennial plant in tropical and subtropical regions, as an annual in cold and temperate climates, but it can be grown indoors year round regardless of your climate. In the same family of Basil, it is native to the Indian subcontinent and widespread as a cultivated plant throughout all Asia, for its religious and medicinal purposes. Tulsi shrub can grow up to 50cm in height and boasts stems which are covered in fine hairs. Leaves are opposite and ovate, ranging from green to purple depending upon variety, and have slightly toothed edges. Its flowers are purple, grow in clusters and are highly aromatic. Tulsi offers a minty clove-like flavor similar to that of traditional basil only much stronger. Plants are very frost sensitive, and should not be moved outdoors until several weeks after the last frost date. They grows easily from both seeds and green cuttings. You can cut Tulsi stem from an established plant, remove all the flowers and most the leaves, place them in a glass of water on a sunny window. Cuttings would need a warm environment and fresh water time to time to root after just a couple of weeks. It’s best to continuously harvest small amounts of the herb to allow a continuos grown.  Traditional medicine relies on this plant for centuries because can cure and help with some of the most common ailments. Proven to strength immunity, fights bacterial and viral infections , treat various hair and skin disorders. Few leaves of Tulsi used regularly can help resolve lots of health and lifestyle related issues.

MEDICINAL USES: Tulsi has very potent germicidal, fungicidal, anti-bacterial and anti-biotic properties. A powerful disinfectant that can protect human body from all types of infections. Its anti-bacterial, anti-fungal properties help in purifying the blood and keep skin and hair healthy. Packed with antioxidants as well as immune-enhancing qualities, the phytochemicals present in it help protect the body from damages caused by free radicals, delaying aging process which doesn’t sound bad at all!

Tulsi is great for resolving fevers and malaria naturally. This precious plant can increase the metabolism which help in weigh loss when coupled with increased physical activity combined with a healthy diet. It also increases sensitivity to insulin, lowering one’s blood sugar and treating diabetes. Consume it raw, plucked fresh from the plant  or add it in your tea. Apart from the conventional ways of consuming the humble, holy basil, you can experiment with it in your cooking and render an exquisite, earthy, aromatic flavour to your preparations.

 

Tulsi is known to have very strong anti- stress compounds and is great to help one quit smoking. It helps by lowering the stress that may be involved in trying to quit smoking, rather then the stress that leads to the urge to smoke. It also has a cooling effect on the throat just like menthol drops and helps control the urge to smoke by allowing the person to chew on something. Ayurveda relies heavily on Tulsi leaves. Interesting its use as a smoking quit helps, by keeping some leaves with you and chew it whenever the urge to smoke arises.

 


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