Holy Basil (Tulsi): Physical, Mental, and Spiritual Benefits
Of all the plants no one can surpass the wonders of Holy Basil or Tulsi (Ocimum Sanctum), or it called kamangkaw or kulungkugon in the Philippines. Tulsi is the best medicinal herb ever known. Its benefit is endless in physical, mental and spiritual well being of a person. , Tusli is a kind of "the elixir of life" as it promotes longevity.
Heart Problem: The Holy Basil contains vitamin-C and other anti oxidants such as Eugenol which protect the heart from harmful effects of free radicals. In addition, Eugenol, a component in its essential oils, is very beneficial in reducing cholesterol from blood.
Skin diseases: Holy basil’s extract is favourable in the treatment of ringworm and other skin diseases when applied locally to the infected areas. Some naturopaths successfully treated leucoderma using basil juice.
Teeth problems: Holy Basil destroys more than 99 percent of the germs and bacteria in the mouth. Dried tulsi leaves when powdered, can be used for brushing teeth. You can use it as a toothpaste when mixed with mustered oil. It counteract bad breath, an excellent mouth freshener and oral disinfectant. It treats pyorrhoea, ulcer of the mouth and other teeth disorders. It also has astringent properties which make the gums hold the teeth tighter thereby protecting them from falling.
Kidney Stones: Tulsi, being detoxifier and mild diuretic in nature, help reduce uric acid level (main culprit as far as kidney stones are concerned) concentration in the blood as well as helps cleaning of the kidneys through urination. Acetic acid and certain components in its essential oils also facilitate dissolution of the stone. It also has pain-killer effects and help bear the pain from kidney stones. 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.
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.
Fever: in India it is an old practice to have a decoction of tulsi leaves as a remedy for fever. Fever is mainly caused due to infections from protozoa (in case of malaria), bacteria (typhoid), viruses (flu), dengue and even allergic substances and fungus. Actually, fever is not an ailment in itself. It is just a symptom which shows that our body is fighting against infections. The tremendous disinfectant, germicidal and fungicidal properties of Tulsi destroys all these pathogens discussed above and heals fever.
Respiratory Problems: Tulsi, apart from curing viral, bacterial and fungal infections of the respiratory system, gives miraculous relief in congestion due to presence of components like Camphene, Eugenol and Cineole in its essential oils. It is very effective in curing nearly all types of respiratory disorders including bronchitis (chronic and acute), asthma, tuberculosis, lung cancer and damaged lung due to smoking.
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.
Other Benefits: It can protect from radiation poisoning and also heal up damages from it. It can be given after surgery to help heal wounds quickly and also to protect them from infections. It acts as a vaccine against pox if consumed regularly. It is anti carcinogenic and found to be effective in healing nearly all types of cancer and tumors. Being expectorant is one of the most priced properties of Holy Basil and it is very efficient in curing cough and cold. It is beneficial in reducing labor pain, destroying rabies germs, treating gastroenteritis, cholera, whooping cough, measles, mumps, rheumatism, nausea, septic, urinary and genital infections, destroying worms in stomach and its dried leaves are mixed with food grains to use as an insect-repellant. Apart from these, Holy Basil has numerous other medicinal values on which an encyclopedia can be compiled.
The tulsi plant is even known to purify or de-pollute the atmosphere and also works as a repellent to mosquitoes, flies and other harmful insects. Tulsi is use to strengthen the uterus and it lessen the severity of labor pains.
Mental Benefits Mental Stress
Mental Stress - Smelling the aroma of a hot decoction of tulsi leaves relaxes one’s mind. 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
In India all Hindus, even those not belonging to the Vaiṣṇava group, take special care of the tulasī tree. Even in great cities where it is very difficult to keep a tulasī tree, people are to be found very carefully keeping this plant. They water it and offer obeisances to it, because worship of the tulasī tree is very important in devotional service.
In the Skanda Purāṇa there is a statement praising the tulasī tree as follows: "Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto the tulasī tree, which can immediately vanquish volumes of sinful activities. Simply by seeing or touching this tree one can become relieved from all distresses and diseases. Simply by offering obeisances to and pouring water on the tulasī tree, one can become freed from the fear of being sent to the court of Yamarāja [the King of death, who punishes the sinful]. If someone sows a tulasī tree somewhere, certainly he becomes devoted to Lord Kṛṣṇa. And when the tulasī leaves are offered in devotion at the feet of God, there is the full development of love of Godhead."
In the Skanda Purāṇa there is another statement about tulasī, as follows: "Tulasī is auspicious in all respects. Simply by seeing, simply by touching, simply by remembering, simply by praying to, simply by bowing before, simply by hearing about or simply by sowing this tree, there is always auspiciousness. Anyone who comes in touch with the tulasī tree in the above-mentioned ways lives eternally in the spiritual world."
All glories to Tulsi!
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