Tulsi or Holy Basil, considered as the “Mother Medicine of Nature” is one of the principal herbs of Ayurveda and is widely used for its health promoting and medicinal values. It is also revered in many religions, especially among Hindus.
Tulsi is well known for its myriad medicinal properties — antibacterial, antifungal, antipyretic, antioxidant, antiseptic and anticancer. The nutritional and pharmacological properties of the whole herb in its natural form, as it has been traditionally used, result from synergistic interactions of many different active phytochemicals. Although Tulsi is known as a general vitalizer and increases physical endurance, it contains no caffeine or other stimulants.
Some benefits of Tulsi are as follows:
1. Treatment of Fever
Tulsi is known for its anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-biotic properties that aid in resolving fevers, whether caused due to infections or Dengue or Malaria. Tulsi is given in various forms in case of fever depending on the illness – boiled with tea, or mixed with cardamom, milk and sugar or purely boiled in water.
2. Cough, Cold, Sore Throat and Respiratory Disorders
Tulsi helps in mobilizing mucus in Bronchitis and Asthma, and hence is an important constituent of many Ayurvedic cough syrups and expectorants. Tulsi helps in relieving congestion.
3. Stress Reliever
Tulsi is a known adaptogenic or stress reliever. It is said to keep the stress hormones – cortisol – in check. Tulsi leaves soothe the nerves, regulate blood circulation and beat free radicals that are produced during an episode of stress.
4. Dissolves Kidney Stones
Among other benefits, Tulsi is also a great detoxifier – and hence it is great for kidneys. Tulsi helps reduce the uric acid levels in the blood (one of the main reasons for kidney stones is the presence of excess uric acid in the blood) and also cleanse the kidney. The presence of acetic acid and other components in its essential oils helps in breaking down kidney stones and its painkiller effect helps dull down the pain of kidney stones.
5. Skin Disorders
Tulsi has extremely powerful purifying properties – thus purifying blood and keeping the skin healthy and free from acne and blemishes. It is also beneficial in treating skin disorders like leucoderma and ringworm.
6. Protects from Heart Disorder
Tulsi has a powerful anti-oxidant component called Eugenol. This compound helps protect the heart by keeping one’s blood pressure under control and lowering his/her cholesterol levels. Chewing a few leaves of tulsi on an empty stomach everyday can both prevent and protect any heart ailments.
Tulsi leaves are packed with antioxidants and essential oils that produce compounds which help the pancreatic beta cells function properly. These cells are responsible for storing and releasing insulin. Thus it helps in improving insulin sensitivity and aid control of Diabetes.
The anti-carcinogenic properties of Holy Basil are known to restrict the flow of blood to tumors by attacking the blood vessels supplying it – thus preventing progression of breast and oral cancer.
No wonder, Tulsi is the ultimate herb. Apart from those mentioned, Tulsi also aids healing of insect bites, eye and teeth disorders and oral infections.
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