Pure.P (2018). Potted Tulasi plant for Worship Photograph.
Tulasi is a holy plant that can be found on the front porch of almost every house in India. It is worshiped every day. Besides being a holy plant, it has a lot of medicinal and therapeutic value. As a child, I remember getting to drink the holy water with Tulasi after our morning prayers. I grew up consuming Tulasi every day without knowing its value. It was added to the holy water that is given to every member of the family after the morning prayers at home. Whenever I had a cough, I was given Tulasi leaves boiled in water added with other spices. It used to give me a quick relief. Back then, I never knew the value of Tulasi, but later, when I started studying the subject of nutrition I learned what we eat has a major effect on our mental, physical and emotional health. This got me interested in knowing how food can help us heal. I then started researching the food that we eat every day which can also help us heal, and Tulasi is one among the top few.
What is Tulasi
Tulasi, also known as holy basil is a medicinal herb with a little bitter taste. Its binomial name is Ocimum sanctum/ Ocimum tenuiflorum. There are morphotypes cultivated, Sri/ Lakshmi Tulasi (green type) and Krishna Tulasi (purple type). It is called as “queen of herbs” due to its properties. It has many psychological benefits due to its high phenolic compounds content and antioxidant properties (Cohen, 2014). It is considered a potent adaptogen. It has a unique combination of pharmacological actions that promote wellbeing and resilience (Cohen, 2014).
A little about Tulasi as a Goddess
Tulasi is considered to be a female god in Hinduism. A day is dedicated for the celebration of this plant and called as Tulasi festival/ Tulasi habba which falls after a few days after Diwali (a festival of lights in India).
Tulasi as Medicine
Tulasi has many medicinal properties. Tulasi is been used in Ayurveda for many of their medicine preparations. Ayurveda uses a holistic approach towards life and disease. Studies have shown that Tulasi is effective in the treatment of a cough. Malaria, skin diseases, inflammation, diabetes, eye diseases and many more (Pattanayak P1, 2010).
To consume it daily just soak 2-3 leaves in cold water overnight or for an hour and consume it. Enjoy your simple and easy Tulasi drink.
Directions: Add Tulasi, Black pepper, cumin seeds, mint, ginger to 1 cup water and boil. Boil until the quantity of water reduces to ½ cup. Now filter the water and add honey to it. You can add the Tulasi leaves from the filtrate back to this drink. Enjoy the Kashaya while it is hot.
Cohen, M. M. (2014). Tulsi - Ocimum sanctum: A herb for all reasons. Pub Med. Retrieved November 2018, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4296439/
Jamshidi N, C. M. (2017). The Clinical Efficacy and Safety of Tulsi in Humans: A Systematic Review of the Literature. Pub Med. Retrieved November 2018, 2018, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28400848
Pattanayak P1, B. P. (2010, January). Ocimum sanctum Linn. A reservoir plant for therapeutic applications: An overview. Pub Med. Retrieved november 2018, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22228948/
Sajjanshetty Mallikarjun, A. R. (2016, MArch). Antimicrobial efficacy of Tulsi leaf (Ocimum sanctum) extract on periodontal pathogens: An in vitro study. Pub Med. Retrieved november 2018, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4847459/
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