Thulsi (Ocimum tenuiflorum), Holy Basil, also known as basil leaves, is a fairly common plant in Indian households. Considered holy by many religions, the thulsi plant is revered for its divine properties. Tulasi leaves is an essential part in the worship of God Vishnu (Narayana) and his Avatars including God Krishna, God Rama and other Vaishnava deities like Hanuman, Balarama, Garuda. Tulasi is a sacred plant for Hindus and is worshipped as the avatar of goddess Lakshmi. Water mixed with the petals is given to the dying to raise their deserting souls to heaven. Tulasi, which is Sanskrit for “the incomparable one”, is most often regarded as a consort of Krishna in the form of Lakshmi.
Besides it being considered a holy plant, the leaves and roots of the plant are used in various medical decoctions. With immense benefits right from clear skin to dissolving kidney stones, thulsi is tonic for the entire body.
- Cures a fever: Thulsi has very potent germicidal, fungicidal, anti-bacterial and anti-biotic properties that are great for resolving fevers. Boil a few leaves of thulsi with powdered cardamom in half a liter of water (The proportion of thulsi to cardamom powder should be in the ratio 1:0.3). Let it reduce to half its total volume. Mix this decoction with sugar and milk. Sip every 2 -3 hours. This remedy is especially good for children.
- Beats diabetes: Increases sensitivity to insulin. Lowering one’s blood sugar and treating diabetes effectively.
- Protects the heart: Thulsi 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 thulsi on an empty stomach everyday can both prevent and protect any heart ailments.
- Beats stress: According to a study conducted by the Central Drug Research Institute, Lucknow, India, thulsi helps to maintain the normal levels of the stress hormone – cortisol in the body. People who have high stress jobs can chew about 12 leaves of thulsi twice a day to beat stress naturally.
- Dissolves kidney stones: The holy basil being a great diuretic and detoxifier is great for the kidneys. To relieve kidney stones one must have the juice of thulsi leaves with honey, every day for six months to help wash out the stone from the kidney.
- Beats cancer: With strong anti-oxidant and anti-carcinogenic properties thulsi has been found to help stop the progression of breast cancer and oral cancer (caused due to chewing tobacco). This is because its compounds restrict the flow of blood to the tumor by attacking the blood vessels supplying it. Have the extract of thulsi every day to keep these conditions at bay.
- Helps to quit smoking: Thulsi is known to have very strong anti- stress compounds and is great to help one quit smoking.
- Keeps your skin and hair healthy and glowing: The holy basil has powerful purifying properties. When eaten raw, it purifies the blood giving the skin a beautiful glow, and prevents the appearance of acne and blemishes.
- Heals respiratory conditions: Thulsi has immunomodulatory (helps to modulate the immune system), antitussive (suppresses the cough center, reducing the amount of cough) and expectorant properties (helps expel phlegm from the chest), that make it a great relief for coughs, cold, and other respiratory disorders including chronic and acute bronchitis.
- Cures a headache: Thulsi helps to relieve headaches caused due to sinusitis, allergies, cold or even migraines.