Power of Holy Basil — Latin Name: Ocimum Sanctum
Indian Name: Tulsi, sursa, bhootaghni, sulabha
Tulsi or holy basil is an important symbol of Hindu religion & tradition. Holy basil is worshipped in the morning and evening by Hindus. The holy basil is an herbal remedy for a lot of diseases. This herb is known as early as the Vedic period. Hindus regard it as an earthly manifestation of goddess Vrindavani who is dear to lord Vishnu.
The holy basil is native to India. It reached Western Europe only in the 16th century. It has been now widely grown throughout the world. In Greece people have great faith in Tulsi. They celebrate `Tulsi day` every year. It is used as a household remedy in Australia. In Brazil it is use to treat disorders of rectum, urinary system and penis, In Mauritius the people who are suffering from paralysis or rheumatoid disorders are traditionally washed with a hot decoction of holy basil. Israelis use holy basil in their religious ritual worship on various occasions (marriage ceremonies, funeral ceremonies, and religious and social celebrations).It is grown in flower pots in most of the Hindus homes. Its leaves are used in the worship of god & goddesses & partaken as Prasad.
Tulsi grows wild and can also be cultivated. It grows up to height 75 cm. in Himalayans this herb grows even up to 6000 feet height. It grows in all types of soils, but black sticky and moist soil is most suitable. The plants do not need much attention. Holy basil is many branched, erect, stout & aromatic herb. The plant has tender, egg – shaped leaves, usually smooth up to 2.5cm in length, small, purplish or reddish flower in small compact clusters on slender spike, small fruits & yellowish or radish seeds. The herb is bitter & pungent.
Properties & Composition
The leaves of holy basil yield essential oil which contain eugenol, carvacrol, methyl eugenol, & caryophyllene. It has the property of destroying bacteria & insects. The leaves have also been separated to yield ursolic acid, apigenin, luteolin, apigenin-7, glucuronid, orientin & molludistin.
Healing & Curative Properties
Holy basil has many medicinal properties. The leaves are nervine tonic & help to sharpen memory. They promote the removal of catarrhal matter & phlegm from the bronchial tubes. The leaves strengthen the stomach and induce copious perspiration. They have also soothing effect on the skin and the mucous membrane. They also increase the volume of urine. Helps to reduces swellings, destroys gas & stimulates the appetite. There are many uses of this magical herb but here we explain top medicinal uses of holy basil:
The leaves of tulsi are useful in many fevers. During these days in rainy season, when malaria & dengue fever are widely spread, leaves boiled with tea, helps against theses diseases boost the immune system by internal healing. In case of acute fever, a decoction of the leaves boiled with powdered cardamom in half a liter of water, mixed with sugar & milk bring down the temperature effectively. This is the safe method which anyone can do at home.
Holy basil leaves are already famous for healing properties against sore throat, cough & cold. Water boiled with basil leaves can be taken as a drink in case of sore throat. This water can also be used as a gargle twice or thrice daily.
The herb is most effective useful in the treatment of respiratory disorders. A decoction of the leaves, with honey & ginger is an effective remedy for bronchitis, asthma, influenza, cough & cold. A decoction of the leaves, cloves & common salt also give immediate relief in case of influenza. They should be boiled in half a liter of water till only half the water is left and then taken.
Holy Basil has strengthening effect on the kidney. In case of renal stones, the juice of basil leaves & honey, regular use for six months, will expel stones via urinary tract.
Holy Basil has beneficial effect in cardiac diseases and the weakness resulting from them. It helps to reduce level of cholesterol in blood.
These day children are mostly affected with change in environment. Children’s common problems like cough, cold, fever, diarrhea & vomiting respond favorably to the juice of holy basil leaves. You may also mix ginger and honey for instant relief.
Basil leaves are regarded as an adaptogen or anti – stress agents. Some Studies revealed that leaves give protection against stress. Even healthy person can chew 10-12 leaves of basil twice a day for managing stress level.
The leaves are effective in mouth ulcer and infections.
The herb is a prophylactic or preventive and curative for insect bite. Tulsi plant at the doorstep is said to keep the atmosphere of the house pure and clean, kill bacteria and keep away mosquitoes, insects. A teaspoon juice of the leaves taken orally two three times helps in insect bite or you may apply paste of leaves on affected area.
Holy basil has many properties to cure skin infection, acne, leucoderma, eczema, ring worm & other skin disorder. Local application of holy basil leaves paste helps in skin disorders.
Basil juice is an effective remedy for sore eyes and night blindness, which generally caused by deficiency of vitamin-A. Two drops of black basil juice should be put in to eyes daily at bed time.
The dry powder form of holy basil leaves can be use for brushing teeth mixing with mustard oil. This is very useful for maintaining dental health and in many diseases like pyorrhea and other teeth disorder.
Paste prepared with sandal wood mix with holy basil leaves helps in headache if locally apply on forehead. It provides coolness and soothing effect. A decoction of basil leaves also effective in headache.