Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum Linn) is sacred medicinal herb which is worshipped in India. The literal Sanskrit meaning of Tulsi is one that is beyond comparison. In Hinduism, tulsi is considered sacred and worshipped as goddess. Since Vedic times, tulsi is present in every Hindu home. The other few common names of this plants are Vishnupriya, Vrinda and Haripriya (beloved of Lord Vishnu). In month of Kartik women celebrates Tulsi-vivah.
In Homeopathy, the mother tincture of Tulsi is available as Homeopathic remedy, Ocimum sanctum tincture in 2x, 3x, 6c potency. It clears the mind, stabilizes the blood sugar levels and sooths the chest conditions.
Tulsi is one of the commonest and greatest healing herb present in our house. It is regarded as queen of herbs. It has ability to cure diseases without any side effect. It is believed, regular chewing 5-10 leaves of tulsi plant with water helps to keep body diseases free. Mainly there are two common varieties of tulsi viz. Krishna or Shyama (Kali tulsi with purple leaves) and Rama or Sri (Hari tulsi with green leaves). Krishna tulsi has more medicinal value compare to rama tulsi. Due to its innumerable medicinal virtues it can be used in curing various diseases.
Tulsi leaves have hypocholesterolemic (lowering cholesterol), hypotriglyceridemic (lowering triglycerides), hepatoprotective (protecting liver), anti-inflammatory (preventing inflammation), and anti-oxidant effects.
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Order: Lamiales
- Family: Lamiaceae
- Genus: Ocimum
- Species: Oscimum tenuiflorum, Oscimum sanctum
- Binomial name: Ocimum tenuiflorum or Ocimum sanctum L.
- Distribution: Tulsi plant is found throughout India.
- Latin Name: Ocimum tenuiflorum Linn., Ocimum sanctum Linn. Lamiaceae (Labiatae)
- Common names: Tulasi, Ajaka, Brinda, Manjari, Parnasa, Patrapuspha, Suvasa Tulasi, Krishna Tulasi, Sri Tulasi, Tulsi, Baranda, Kala Tulsi, Vrinda
- English Name: Sacred Basil, Holy Basil.
Ayurvedic properties and action
- Rasa: Katu, Tikta, Kashaya
- Guna: Laghu, Ruksha, Tikshna
- Virya: Ushna (hot in potency)
- Vipaka: Katu
- Karma: Dipana, Hridya, Kaphahara, Ruchya, Vata-har, Pittavardhini, Durgandhi-hara
Constituents of Tulsi leaves
The leaves contains 0.7% volatile oil comprising about 71% eugenol and 20% methyl eugenol. The leaves also contain antioxidants and flavonoids.
- Antimicrobial, antibacterial and antiviral
- Analgesic and Antipyretic
- Liver protecting
- Memory improving
- Antidiabetic and antiulcer
- Immuno- modulator
- Antihypertensive and cardioprotective
Important Ayurvedic Formulation Tulsi containing
Tribhuvan kirti Rasa, Mukta Panchamrit Rasa, Manasamitra Vataka
Medicinal use of Tulasi
Improving strength, digestion
Chewing tulsi leaves(with water) empty stomach in morning improves body immunity and digestive power. It also improves memory, immunity and beneficial for whole body.
A person who is addicted to tobacco, alcohol, tea etc. should chew tulsi leaves with kali mirch, whenever he/she has urge for addicted substance.
Tulsi leaves effectively cures pimples and acne. You just need to make a paste of tulsi leaves with little amount of water. Apply this paste on pimple, acne affected area. Keep this for few minutes and then wash off with plain water. Do this once or twice a day regularly till pimples are cured.
Tulsi leaves have antibacterial and anti-viral properties. In months, when mosquito borne diseases (such as dengue and malaria) are prevalent, regular drinking of tulsi tea improves body immunity and may protect against diseases.
In dengue fever use of giloy and tulsi decoction effectively cures the fever. It also strengthens liver.
For general fever, tulsi leaves decoction with cardamom or dalchini can be prepared. This should be taken few times a day.
In chronic fever, 10 ml of tulsi leaves and mint leaves juice should be taken with misri.
Cold, cough, respiratory diseases
Tulsi leaves has expectorant properties. In cold cough, with 3 ml of ginger juice and 3 ml of tulsi leaves juice helps to give relief in cold and cough. Tulsi leaves juice with honey is also an effective remedy.
For sore throat, hot tulsi tea can be taken.
Tulsi for upper respiratory infections
Tulsi leaves helps in curing upper respiratory tract infections. Its leaves have anti-oxidant effects and improve body's immunity to fight against infections. This medicinal herb has immunomodulatory, antitussive, expectorant, antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal activities. This makes it excellent herb in treating bronchitis, asthma, productive and dry cough. It is also useful in allergic recurrent respiratory infections.
For fever due to cough and respiratory infection, tulsi leaves decoction with salt is very effective. To prepare this decoction, take 10-15 tulsi leaves, 5 cloves and boil in a glass of water till volume reduces to half. Filter this add some sendha namak and drink hot. Drink 2-3 times a day.
Tulsi leaves have adaptogen properties. Adaptogen are natural substance that help the body adapt to stress caused due to variety of reasons. For this purpose, person should chew 15 tulsi leaves twice a day.
Tulsi leaves have antibacterial properties. Chewing leaves of tulsi helps to cure oral infections.
Tulsi leaves are used to treat various skin disorders. In leucoderma, tulsi leaves are applied on affected skin patches. For this purpose, equal amount of tulsi leaves juice, lemon juice and kasundi leaves juice are taken. These are mixed and put in a brass vessel. This vessel is kept in sun for a day and then applied on affected skin area.
Wounds, insect bites, ring worm
Tulsi leaves juice is extracted and applied on wounds, insect bites for quicker healing.
Painful or difficult urination
In such case, person should drink 10 ml of tulsi juice mixed with 10 ml of lemon juice.
Improving fertility and semen in male, preventing premature ejaculation
Tulsi plant seeds are used for treating male reproductive system related problems. The seeds are taken fifty grams. These are mixed with 40 grams musali. Sixty grams of miri in powder form is also added. All three are mixed well. Regular intake of this powder (5 grams) improves semen quality and prevent premature ejaculation.
Tulsi lowers blood sugar level and improves glucose tolerance. In a clinical study Tulsi leaves powder has shown reduction in fasting blood sugar and postprandial glucose level in patients of non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus
Tulsi for free radical scavenging
Tulsi leaves are rich in essential oils. It contains eugenol which makes it good anti-oxidant.
The holy basil being a great diuretic and detoxifier is great for the 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), helps cleanse the kidneys, 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. To relieve kidney stones one must have the juice of tulsi leaves with honey, every day for six months to help wash out the stone from the kidney.
With strong anti-oxidant and anti-carcinogenic properties tulsi 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 tumour by attacking the blood vessels supplying it. Have the extract of tulsi every day to keep these conditions at bay.
Cures a headache
Tulsi helps to relieve headaches caused due to sinusitis, allergies, cold or even migraines. This is because it has pain relieving and decongestant properties, that help relieve the pain and resolve the root cause of the condition. If you are suffering from a headache, make a bowl of water that has been boiled with crushed tulsi leaves or tulsi extract. Cool the water till it is room temperature or bearably hot. Place a small towel in it, wring out the excess water and place this on your forehead to treat a headache. Alternatively you could dip a towel in plain warm water and add a few drops of tulsi extract to the towel for immediate relief.
Helps to quit smoking
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, or 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 as a smoking cessation device. Keep some leaves with you and chew it whenever the urge to smoke arises. Another plus is that the antioxidant property of the leaves will help fight all the damage that arises out of years of smoking.
Protects the heart
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.
How to take Tulsi
Tulsi fresh leaves, leaves powder, fresh leaves decoction, infusion can be used. Tulsi leaves powder is prepared by drying its leaves in shade and grinded to make powder. Various supplements that contain tulsi extracts are being manufactured and marketed by many pharmaceutical companies.