The Top 6 Health Benefits of Tulsi !
On the Happy Tulsi website, it would be pure madness not to write about Tulsi (or Holy Basil) and its amazing properties !
This plant native to India belongs to the lamiaceae family and is a cousin of the culinary variety of basil that we know very well. Considered to be one of the most sacred plants of India, it is grown near private homes and temples. It is also used in Hindu ceremonies and rituals, as well as for the making of malas (Hindu and Buddhist prayer beads).
In Ayurveda, the Indian ancient holistic medecine, Tulsi is highly regarded for both its medicinal and spiritual properties. It is also called the “Queen of herbs”, its name meaning the “the Incomparable one” in Sanskrit.
Three main varieties are identified : Krishna Tulsi, Rama Tulsi (both in latin Ocimum sanctum), and Vana Tulsi (Ocimum gratissimum). The plant contains vitamin C, vitamin A, antioxidants, ursolic acid, eugenol, camphor, minerals such as calcium and phosphorus, and chlorophyl.
Numerous scientific studies have already been carried out on this fascinating herb, documenting many of the health benefits already discovered several thousands of years ago.
1 – A plant for stress relief
It is said about Tulsi that it opens the heart and mind. The calming properties of its leaves help against anxiety, depression, stress and resulting sleeping difficulties.
Tulsi is an adaptogen, which means that it helps our body adapt situations of stress. It also has beneficial effects on memory and cognitive functions; in other words, it brings “mental clarity”.
2 – An air purifier and a natural insect repellant
If you grow it at home, Tulsi will cleanse the air of your living space. The forest department of Agra, in India, planted hundreds of thousands of Tulsi young plants around the Taj Mahal to protect the monument from nearby pollution.
Tulsi also keeps mosquitoes and other insects away!
3 – Detoxifying and antioxidant properties
The protective effects of Tulsi for the organs and tissues against pesticides, heavy metals (such as mercury, lead and arsenic) and ionizing radiations have been revealed by several studies.
It has antioxidant properties which make it an “anti-aging” herb.
4 – Great for the skin and hair
Tulsi brings luster and glow to the skin. In Ayurveda, it is recommended to use the juice of the leaves to relieve itching and promote wound healing. It can be used in case of black heads and acne pimples but also to prevent hair fall.
5 – Strengthens the immune system, antimicrobial and anti-inflamatory
Tulsi is well known to help evacuate excess mucus, it is commonly used in India to treat colds, flu symptoms, bronchitis and asthma, to increase perspiration and to reduce fever.
It is said to have anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-parasitic actions, and works well as a mouthwash to prevent tooth decay and gum ailments.
More generally, it boosts our immune system and increases vitality. Despite its calming effects, it is an excellent tonic. Its anti-inflamatory action helps in the soothing of pain induced by arthritis.
6 – Aids in good digestion
Tulsi is beneficial to the digestive system, espacially in case of diarrhea and bloating.
As you can now imagine, this plant contributes to our day-to-day well-being ! If you chew a Tulsi leaf, its pungent and slightly bitter taste will surprise you (in a good way!). It can be used in the form of powder, fresh or dried leaves, essential oil… You can easily find them online, for example on this botanical store.
And since making tea with fresh leaves is the best, why not adding a tulsi plant on your balcony ? This producer sells organic Holy Basil seeds online.