Benefits of Holy Basil

Wonderful Health Benefits of Tulsi Or Holy Basil

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

In ancient Indian scriptures, Tulsi (Holy basil or Ocimum sanctum) is considered a sacred plant. Tulsi has been widely known for its health-promoting properties for over 5000 years. Tulsi water is sprinkled to ensure ritual purity; people wear tulsi beads (made from the woody stalks of the plant) as necklaces. The ancient sages ensured the integration of the tulsi into daily life by incorporating it into religious rituals. At homes and in the Hindu temples, water in which tulsi and camphor is steeped is used to consecrate the deity and this water is later distributed to devotees. This ensured that every one routinely consumed tulsi.

Tulsi is also known as the herb queen. Because of its holistic properties, basil is widely used in many Ayurvedic and naturopathic treatment.

There are three different varieties of tulsi: the green-leafed Rama tulsi, dark green or purple Krishna tulsi, and a forest variety called Vana tulsi.

Health Benefits of Holy Basil

  1. The tulsi plant is known to purify the atmosphere and repel mosquitoes, flies and other harmful insects. For centuries, the dried leaves of Tulsi have been mixed with stored grains to repel insects. In fact, in olden days its paste was used as a poultice to treat snake and scorpion bites. Tulsi is typically grown in earthen pots placed on raised pedestals in the garden in Indian households. Temples and even some households grow tulsi plants in large numbers forming a "tulsi vrindavan", a veritable aroma-therapeutic spa.
  2. Similar to ozonating air purifiers, Basil absorbs positive ions, energizes negative ions and liberates ozone from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. So it can reduce air pollution, protect from ultra-violet ray hazards and ozonate the microclimate environs. Viruses, bacteria, molds, fungus organisms live in low oxygen environments. Ozone (03) is the most active state of oxygen. The extra atom in O3 easily can break off and combine with other molecules oxidize them. It oxidizes toxins, facilitating their elimination.
  3. Tulsi can inactivate viruses, bacteria, and cancer cells, scavenge free radicals in the body, stimulate the immune system, and prevent degenerative diseases. Healthy cells have certain enzymes that protect them from being oxidized. Unhealthy cancer cells don't have these enzymes to protect them from being oxidized and can be killed by ozone. Recognizing the anti-pollutant, anti-oxidation and air-purifying properties of tulsi, the Indian government has recently launched a Tulsi plantation drive around Taj Mahal and other world heritage monuments as an eco-protection measure to contain the ravages of chemical pollution caused by nearby industrial units.
  4. Tulsi is an adaptogen that helps the body fight the effects of debilitating stress. Tulsi has remarkable preventative and curative power to treat stress-related degenerative disorders, such as cancer, heart disease, arthritis, diabetes and neurological dementia. In animal studies, use of tulsi kept the mice without stress even when they were exposed to noise stress.
  5. Many of the medicinal properties of tulsi are due to the abundant phytochemicals such as phenolics and flavanoids in it. The phytochemicals, by boosting the body's ability to fight off damaging free radicals, make tulsi an excellent antioxidant and an immunomodulator. Tulsi contains a volatile oil that consists of about 70% eugenol as well as and caryophyllene (essential oils found in cloves). The eugenol content is responsible for its anti-stress quality.
  6. Like aspirin, tusli has blood-thinning effect. It lowers LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) and increases HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol). It lowers blood pressure, and can be used effectively, in combination with turmeric and amla (Indian gooseberry), to treat hypertension.
  7. Tulsi can lower blood glucose levels as well, and is useful for diabetics as well as for people with kidney stones.
  8. The ursolic acid present in tulsi, has anti-allergic properties. When administered to laboratory animals, the compound was found to inhibit histamine release in the presence of allergen. If you are stung by insects, apply juice from crushed leaves for a quick relief.
  9. Ursolic acid has been reported to arrest possess spermatogenesis in males and has antiestrogenic effecting females. Exercise caution; do not consume it excessively every day if this 'family planning' effect is not desired.
  10. Tulsi is widely used in skin preparations, owing to its anti-bacterial activity. Applied locally, basil juice is beneficial in the treatment of ringworm and other skin diseases. Tulsi is an important ingredient in commercial herbal face packs. You can apply just a few drops of tulsi essential oil to an ounce of sesame oil and apply to your hair and on your body.
  11. Tulsi powder can be mixed with neem powder and a few drops of lime juice for an effective treatment of dandruff. Tulsi has also been tried successfully in the treatment of leucoderma.
  12. Tulsi leaves are a nerve tonic; they enhance stamina and endurance and also sharpen memory.
  13. Tulsi leaves can be used as mouth wash for relieving tooth ache and is useful in pyorrhea. This can counteract bad breath and its juice can be used for massaging the gums.
  14. Tulsi extract has also been shown in experiments on Swiss albino mice that it protects against mercury toxicity that’s caused by eating polluted fish or by using dental fillings containing mercury.
  15. Tulsi is a diaphoretic (induces perspiration) and a febrifuge. You can use it to treat your cold, cough, fever and sore throat. At the first sign of cold, boil a handful of leaves with cardamom for a few minutes till the quantity is reduced to half; filter and drink it with milk three times a day. You may add some grated ginger to the mix. It reduces catarrh and removes phlegm from the bronchial tube. It’s been used as a remedy for malarial fever.

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