Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Tulsi

Tulsi

Botanical name : Ocimum sanctum Linn (White variety)
Family : Lamiaceae
 

SANSKRIT SYNONYMS :Tulasi, Surasa, Svetatulasi. 

PLANT NAME IN DIFFERENT LANGUAGES
English  : Holy basil, Sacred basil, White basil
Hindi  : Tulsi
Malayalam : Tulasi, Velutta tulasi, Veluttatrittav.

PLANT DESCRIPTION
An erect much branched undershrub, grows up to 1 m in height. Leaves are pale greenish in color, simple, opposite, elliptic, oblong, obtuse or acute, serrate, entire, pubescent on both sides. Petiole slender and hairy. Flwers purplish in elongate recemes. Fruits nutlets, smooth, not mucilaginous when wet.
MEDICINAL PROPERTIES
Plant pacifies vitiated tridoshas, cough, asthma, bronchitis, fever, toxins, vomiting, lumbago, gastric distension, genito-urinary diseases, ringworm and skin diseases.
Useful part :  Whole plant.

Tulsi is the Sanskrit name for an herb closely related to the common culinary herb basil. It's also called luole in Chinese and holy basil in English. People have used this herb all over the world for many centuries, in cooking and for medicinal purposes. It's easy to grow on a windowsill, so it can be used fresh or it can be bought dried in capsules or as tea. The leaves are the useful portion of the plant.The tulsi plant is easily identified by its purple crown and stem, with wide, green leaves. Referred to in India as the "Queen of Herbs"

Digestion Aid

The traditional use for tulsi is to help digestion and the organs associated with it. A tea made with tulsi is used to relieve stomachache, excessive acidity in the stomach and constipation. The herb is also a remedy for nausea, especially when combined with ginger in a tea. Even though tulsi has been used to help relieve morning sickness, its use is absolutely not recommended for pregnant women.

Antioxidant

  • The tulsi plant has been tested and found to be a remarkable antioxidant. What this means is it has the ability to slow oxidation in the body. The process of oxidation damages cells in the body and may contribute to the worsening of pre-existing conditions, as well as effects caused by aging. Other antioxidants include vitamins E and C.

Immune Booster

  • Another of the properties of the tulsi plant is that it also acts as a natural immune system booster. This has been one of the plant's more common uses throughout history, and it is still one of its more valued benefits. While generally effective on boosting a person's entire immune system, the tulsi plant appears to provide the largest benefit to the respiratory system, and in fighting infections in that area.

Tea

  • The most common way for people to get the benefits of the tulsi plant is to drink tea made from its leaves. Additionally, many companies are now harvesting several varieties of the tulsi plant and mixing them together to achieve the healthiest results for their customers. Depending on a person's wants, needs, and preferences, chances are good there is a tulsi tea that caters to the benefits that they desire.
      

    Used for hair fall

Tulsi is used as the effective measure for hair loss and it is considered as one of the essential ingredients of herbal hair loss treatment. It is extensively used for protecting hair from falling and early graying. Tulsi seed in combination with castor oil is a useful remedy for hair lice. It also helps making the hair root stronger, thus reducing hair fall.

  • Healing Power: The tulsi plant has many medicinal properties. The leaves are a nerve tonic and also sharpen memory. They promote the removal of the catarrhal matter and phlegm from the bronchial tube. The leaves strengthen the stomach and induce copious perspiration. The seed of the plant are mucilaginous. 
  • Fever & Common Cold: The leaves of basil are specific for many fevers. During the rainy season, when malaria and dengue fever are widely prevalent, tender leaves, boiled with tea, act as preventive against theses diseases. In case of acute fevers, a decoction of the leaves boiled with powdered cardamom in half a liter of water and mixed with sugar and milk brings down the temperature. The juice of tulsi leaves can be used to bring down fever. Extract of tulsi leaves in fresh water should be given every 2 to 3 hours. In between one can keep giving sips of cold water. In children, it is every effective in bringing down the temperature. 
  •  Coughs: Tulsi is an important constituent of many Ayurvedic cough syrups and expectorants. It helps to mobilize mucus in bronchitis and asthma. Chewing tulsi leaves relieves cold and flu.
  •   Sore Throat: Water boiled with basil leaves can be taken as drink in case of sore throat. This water can also be used as a gargle.
  •  Respiratory Disorder: The herb is useful in the treatment of respiratory system disorder. A decoction of the leaves, with honey and ginger is an effective remedy for bronchitis, asthma, influenza, cough and cold. A decoction of the leaves, cloves and common salt also gives immediate relief in case of influenza. They should be boiled in half a liter of water till only half the water is left and add then taken.
  •  Kidney Stone: Basil has strengthening effect on the kidney. In case of renal stone the juice of basil leaves and honey, if taken regularly for 6 months it will expel them via the urinary tract.
  •  Heart Disorder: Basil has a beneficial effect in cardiac disease and the weakness resulting from them. It reduces the level of blood cholesterol.
  •  Children's Ailments: Common pediatric problems like cough cold, fever, diarrhea and vomiting respond favorably to the juice of basil leaves. If pustules of chicken pox delay their appearance, basil leaves taken with saffron will hasten them.
  •  Stress: Basil leaves are regarded as an 'adaptogen' or anti-stress agent. Recent studies have shown that the leaves afford significant protection against stress. Even healthy persons can chew 12 leaves of basil, twice a day, to prevent stress. It purifies blood and helps prevent several common elements.
  •  Mouth Infections: The leaves are quit effective for the ulcer and infections in the mouth. A few leaves chewed will cure these conditions.
  •  Insect Bites: The herb is a prophylactic or preventive and curative for insect stings or bites. A teaspoonful of the juice of the leaves is taken and is repeated after a few hours. Fresh juice must also be applied to the affected parts. A paste of fresh roots is also effective in case of bites of insects and leeches.
  •  Skin Disorders: Applied locally, basil juice is beneficial in the treatment of ringworm and other skin diseases. It has also been tried successfully by some naturopaths in the treatment of leucoderma.
  •  Teeth Disorder: The herb is useful in teeth disorders. Its leaves, dried in the sun and powdered, can be used for brushing teeth. It can also be mixed with mustered oil to make a paste and used as toothpaste. This is very good for maintaining dental health, counteracting bad breath and for massaging the gums. It is also useful in pyorrhea and other teeth disorders.
  •  Headaches: Basil makes a good medicine for headache. A decoction of the leaves can be given for this disorder. Pounded leaves mixed with sandalwood paste can also be applied on the forehead for getting relief from heat, headache, and for providing coolness in general.
  •  Eye Disorders: Basil juice is an effective remedy for sore eyes and night-blindness, which is generally caused by deficiency of vitamin A. Two drops of black basil juice are put into the eyes daily at bedtime.   
DISCLAIMER: These are only general guidelines as a first aid. It is always better to see a doctor depending upon the intensity of the case. The views expressed above are entirely those of the author. 

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