Ayurvedic texts have also categorised the wonder herb as a stimulant, antipyretic and aromatic in nature. In the Hindu religion, holy basil is both a religious symbol as well as a good medical remedy. Religiously speaking, holy basil is worshipped in the mornings and evenings by Hindus throughout India and medically speaking it is used to treat common ailments in the ancient Ayurvedic healthcare system. In Ayurveda, it is known by different names such as “Mother Medicine of Nature” and “The Queen of Herbs”.
Tulsi also referred to as Ocimum sanctum or Holy Basil, is a medicinal herb that belongs to the mint family and is found in 150 different varieties worldwide. It emits a sort of spicy scent when applied to a wound and this is the reason why it is called the wonder herb. It is a perennial (grows in all seasons) herb native to India.
Tulsi is beneficial in relieving cough and cold symptoms due to its antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antitussive (cough-relieving) and anti-allergic properties. Taking a few leaves of Tulsi along with honey helps relieve cough and flu as it improves immune health. Taking Tulsi tea on a daily basis has a calming effect and helps reduce stress.
According to Ayurveda, Tulsi helps reduce asthmatic symptoms due to its Kapha-balancing property. The sacred plant is often planted around Hindu shrines. The name tulsi means “the incomparable one.”
In Western medicine, holy basil is valued as an adaptogen. That’s something that helps your body adapt to stress. The plant has been used to combat negative effects of stress, stabilize blood sugar levels and promote longevity
Tulsi is found in most homes in India but very few people know about the myriad health benefits of tulsi.
Some of the benefits are as follows-
- Immunity Booster- Tulsi is rich in Vitamin C and zinc. It thus acts as a natural immunity booster and keeps infections at bay. It has immense anti-bacterial, anti-viral 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.
- Cures Respiratory Disorders- Due to the presence of compounds like camphene, eugenol, and cineole, tulsi cures viral, bacterial, and fungal infections of the respiratory system. It can cure various respiratory disorders like bronchitis & tuberculosis.
- Relives stress- Tulsi is a well-known adaptogenic herb that might improve the individual’s ability to deal with stress. Stress increases the secretion of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) which in turn increases the cortisol levels (stress hormone) in the body. Eugenol and ursolic acid in Tulsi reduces the level of cortisol and help manage stress and stress-related problems. The immunostimulant capacity and antioxidant property of Tulsi might also contribute to its adaptogenic action.
- Improves Eye Health- Poor eye health is due to numerous problems like conjunctivitis, irritation in the eyes, infections and inflammatory responses. Basil scavenges and protects the eyes from damage caused by free radicals and oxidative stress. It prevents macular degeneration too and plays a role in the treatment of cataracts and various vision disorders.
- For Skin- Tulsi is proven to be the safest skin cream that can be used and the benefits are massive. Tulsi reflects on your skin when you consume it as well as applied. This wonder herb is used to treat acne, skin infections, lighten dark spots and improve skin texture. Tulsi also helps in skin brightening; it helps in curing acne face marks. It is also helpful in curing skin infections and any sort of skin allergies.
- Treats Kidney Stones- Tulsi acts a mild diuretic & detoxifying agent which helps in lowering the uric acid levels in the body. Acetic acid present in holy basil helps in the breakdown of the stones.
- Fights common cold- Tulsi is a well-known immunomodulatory herb that might improve the individual’s ability to fight against common cold. Tulsi has antimicrobial, anti-allergic and anti-inflammatory properties, therefore prevents the inflammation of the nasal mucous membrane. It also prevents the regular recurrence of the common cold symptoms. Another study states that Tulsi helps gives relief from cough.
Fights Asthma- Tulsi has immunomodulatory activity and prevents the regular recurrence of asthmatic symptoms. It also has anti-allergic and anti-inflammatory properties and reduces the inflammation of the mucous membrane of the bronchial tubes. Tulsi also acts as an expectorant that expels excess mucus from the lungs