The Tulsi plant is the most sacred plant for Hindus. Also called as Holy Basil, Tulsi not only is it connected to the Hindu tradition in a big way; it also features in Ayurveda medicine because of the good it does for our overall health. We bring you the many Tulsi health benefits and Holy Basil Medicinal properties and values in this Ayurveda article.
Tulsi or holy basil is one of the most common plants worshiped by almost every Hindu household. It is considered to an earthly manifestation of a Hindu goddess Tulsi therefore it is mainly grown for religious purposes. However, Tulsi leaves have innumerable health benefits which have been proved by scientific procedures therefore it is an important ingredient of almost all types of ayurvedic medicines. The most important health benefit of Tulsi is that it has anti-bacterial and anti-septic properties. Let’s take a look at various medicinal uses of Tulsi.
What is Tulsi?
It is known as Ocimum sanctum Linn or Ocimum tenuiflorum by the botanical experts. A part of Lamiaceae family, Tulsi is grown in every part of India and it survives all types of climatic conditions. However, the color, size and texture of Tulsi leaves vary slightly depending upon the climate of the area where it is grown. It is an annual herbaceous, branched plant also popularly known as Holy Basil, Sacred Basil, Shri Tulsi, Rama-Tulsi and Krishna-Tulsi.
As mentioned above, it is found everywhere in India and is called Tulsi or its slight variation depending upon the regional language of the area.
Synonyms of Tulsi Plant:
- Bengal – Tulsi
- Gujarat – Tulsi
- Hindi Speaking Northern India – Tulsi
- Karnataka – Vishnu-tulsi
- Kerala – Trittaru
- Maharashra– Tulsi
- Sanskrit – Manjiri
- Exeteme South or Tamil Speaking Areas – Thulasi
- Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and other Telugu Speaking Regions – Thulasi
Cultivation of Tulsi in India
Mainly cultivated near temples and in the gardens with religious significance, Tulsi also grows naturally by propagation of seeds. Commercial cultivation of this sacred plant is primarily for its oil that is used in not just ayurvdic medicines but also in pharmaceutical products.
Structure or Morphology of Holy Basil
Also known as Manjari plant, Tulsi plant is a herb that develops branches and reaches the maximum height of 75 cm and all of its parts are used in various forms by the drugs and medicine manufacturers. Its fresh leaves as well as dried leaves are used in many types of foods and beverages including teas.
Odour And Colour of Tulsi Leaf
Tulsi leaves are usually of green or purplish black colors with great aroma. It’s leaves have slightly pungent taste. It’s acute and oblong leaves are pubescent on both sides with various glands.
Tulsi Seeds and Flowers
Seeds of this plant are reddish black and are propagated naturally through the wind. The plant also has purple colored flowers.
Holy Basil Tulsi Types
Green Leaves – Shri-Lakshmi Tulsi
Purple Leaves – Krishna Tulsi
Major Health Benefits of Tulsi
- It helps in fast healing due to its anti-bacterial and anti infection properties
- It is insecticidal therefore used to get rid of insects at home
- It prevents inflammation of mucus membrane
- Relives ear-ache
- It helps in fighting viral infections such as common cold and fever
- It detoxifies the body from harmful free radicals
- Due to its antiseptic properties, it is used in various cosmetic products as well.
- It is full of phytochemicals such as alkaloids, saponins, tannins, glycosides, Vitamin C, volatile oils and acids