Tulsi or holy basil is a sacred plant in hindu belief. Its scientific name is Ocimum tenuiflorum , it is an aromatic perennial plant and belongs to the family Lamiaceae. She is regarded as the avatar of Lakshmi, and thus the consort of the god Vishnu. Tulsi has proved to be highly effective in protecting our body from various germs, infections and diseases of the heart, liver, skin, kidney, eyes, brain etc. So, Tulsi is also known as the ‘Queen of Herbs’.
Tulsi has a special place in Ayurveda as well as the home of Hindus in India. It is considered sacred by Hindus and worshipped by them.
The three main types of tulsi seen or grown in India are:-
- Bright green leaves called Ram Tulsi
- Purplish green leaves called Krishna Tulsi
- Common wild Vana Tulsi
Nutritition value of tulsi
Tulsi leaves can be consumed every day and have various health benefits including boosting our immunity and helps in staying active whole day. Tulsi leaves are rich in vitamins A, C, and K and minerals like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, and potassium. It also has a good amount of protein and fiber.
Tulsi contain many beneficial compounds such as
- Eugenol: A terpene helps in reducing pain
- Ursolic and rosmarinic acid: Compounds with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-aging properties
- Apigenin: A flavonoid that helps the body removes waste at the cellular level
Benefits of Tulsi leaves
Some common problem can get cured by tulsi leaves are–
- Swelling of the main airways in the lung.
- Heart disease.
- Digestion problems
- Swelling of the liver
- High cholesterol.
- Blood pressure.
- Flu (influenza).
- Mercury poisoning.
- A grouping of symptoms that increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease.
Reduces Fever and pain-
Tulsi has anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties which help to fight infections, bacteria and disease causing germs thus reducing fever. The fresh juice of Tulsi taken cures periodic fevers. Tulsi leaves boiled with powdered cardamom(elaichi) in half a liter of water and mixed with sugar and milk, are also effective in reducing temperature.
Reduces Cold, Cough & Other Respiratory Disorders:
Camphene, cineole, and eugenol present in Tulsi help to reduce cold and congestion in the chest.
Juice of Tulsi leaves mixed with honey and ginger is effective in bronchitis, asthma, influenza, cough, and cold.
Reduces Stress & Blood Pressure:
Tulsi contains compounds such as Ocimumosides A and B. These compounds reduce stress and helps to balance the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine in the brain. The anti-inflammatory properties of Tulsi reduce inflammation and blood pressure.
Natural Immunity Booster:
Tulsi is rich in Vitamin C and zinc. It thus acts as a natural immunity booster and keeps infections away. It has immense anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties which protect us from a variety of infections. Tulsi leaves extract increases the T helper cells and natural killer cells activity, boosting the immune system.
Good for Skin & Hair:
Tulsi helps clear out the skin of blemishes and acne. It is rich in antioxidants, and that helps it to prevent premature aging. Tulsi also strengthens our hair roots, thus preventing hair loss.
The antifungal properties of Tulsi prevent the development of fungus and dandruff.
How to Consume Tulsi?
- Consume Tulsi leaves raw, plucked fresh from the plant, add it in your tea or make kadha out of it.
- Tulsi tea: To make tulsi tea, boil 1 cup of water and pour it over 1 tsp of fresh tulsi leaves, 1/2 tsp of dried tulsi leaves, or 1/3 tsp of tulsi powder. Cover the water in a pot or mug and let it seep for 15-20 minutes. Then strain the leaves, add honey if desired, and enjoy.
- Tulsi powders and supplements are also available in the market for consumption.