The Basil plant-also known as Tulsi [Botanical Name: Ocimum sanctum
] is a perennial herb belonging to the family Lamiacea. It is commonly found in many of the house holds for religious purposes, especially for Hindus. Apart from the religious significance, there are numerous health benefits of the plant. There are six varieties of Tulsi of which two varieties, Krishna Tulsi and Ram Tulsi/Lakshmi Tulsi are seen all over India.
The other varieties of the Tulsi plant indlude:
Tukashmiya tulsiReligious significance
The Tulsi plant is much revered by the Hindus. It is believed that tulsi is very dear to Lord Vishnu and is worshipped as a representation of Goddess Lakshmi. Tulsi garlands are offered to the Lord at many temples. Also, as per legend, it is said that Satyabhama, the consort of Lord Krishna, once weighed Him against all her wealth. The scales did not balance until a single tulsi leaf was placed on the scale by Rukmini with devotion.
Tulsi leaves produce ozone (as mentioned), and this when mixed with water, liberates more oxygen which is vital for life. It also purifies the air. Hence, it is rightly termed as 'Elixir of life'
Now let us see the major health benefits of the Tulsi plant1. Sore Throat:
The leaves can cure sore throat and chest congestion because of their expectorant properties. A herbal tea can be made by boiling the leaves, which can be used to treat colds, fever and any throat problems.2. Mouth Ulcers:
The leaves keep the mucous membrane moist, and thus, are used to get rid of mouth ulcers. Especially in children, any minor injury to the lips which cause small ulcers to develop can be instantly treated with Tulsi leaves, boiled in sesame oil.. 3. Minor cuts:
The plant has powerful antiseptic properties. Tulsi juice can be applied on any cuts and lacerations, to get relief. They can also be applied on areas of insect bites.4. Kidney stones:
Tulsi leaves mixed with honey is used in treatment of kidney stones. If taken regularly for 5 to 6 months, the stones would be expelled via the urinary tract.5. Skin diseases:
It is also used in treatment of itching, ringworm and other skin diseases, either alone or with lemon juice. Also, the leaves can be applied on the pimples on the face, which are caused due to any allergic reaction. Daily ingestion of powdered Tulsi roots and leaves with hot water cures many skin problems.6. Toothaches:
The herb is useful in treating various tooth disorders. The leaves, dried in the sun and powdered, can be used for brushing teeth. Massaging the gums with Tulsi leaves prevent gum diseases. 7. Eye-problems:
Basil is a good source of vitamin A, thus aids in tackling eye problems. A thick juice of the leaves can be taken as eye-drops to combat inflammation and night blindness.8. Blood clotting:
The leaves have a high Vitamin K content, and, therefore, help in the blood clotting. 9. Mosquito repellent:
The plant acts as a mosquito repellent, and helps to keep mosquitoes, flies and insects at bay.10. Respiratory ailments:
The leaves are also used to cures many respiratory disorders like asthma and bronchitis. Also, as it is proved that Tulsi plant releases O3(ozone) in the early mornings, inhaling the surrounding air would be beneficial for the respiratory system11. Immunity:
Tulsi leaves have antioxidant properties also; taking a leaf daily helps to boost your immunity.12. Indigestion and gastric problems:
The Basil juice also helps to strengthen the gastrointestinal system and is used in treatment of common stomach disorders like nausea, indigestion and acidity.
Apart from the above benefits, powdered Tulsi root, soaked overnight in water, is an effective remedy for malaria.