Interesting Facts About the Tulsi Plant-A Medicinal Herb
The tulsi plant is an aromatic herb valued for its medicinal properties. It belongs to the genus Ocimum and has about a hundred and fifty species. Tulsi is used in Ayurveda, Siddha, and Homeopathy medicines to treat ailments.
The tulsi plant is worshipped as a sacred plant by those who follow the Hinduism religion. It is cultivated across many tropical and subtropical regions of Asia. It can also be found growing wild in the foothills of the Himalayas. Tulsi is also known as Holy Basil.
Description of the Tulsi Plant
The tulsi plant belongs to the genus Ocimum and family Lamiaceae. Native to India it can be found growing throughout the tropical regions of Southeast Asia. It has a hairy stem and grows to a height ranging from 30 cm to 75 cm.
The leaves are aromatic with a strong scent and a pungent taste. They are ovate with a serrated margin and placed in opposite directions on the stem. The leaves are dotted with oil glands on both sides. The fruit of the tulsi plant are nutlets that are subglobose in shape with a pale brown or red color.
The purple flowers of the tulsi plant can be found growing on elongated racemes. (A raceme is an unbranched, indeterminate type of inflorescence bearing flowers with short stalks.)
Types of Tulsi
Krishna tulsi has purple leaves and blossoms. This plant has a spicy aroma of cloves and has a peppery taste.
Rama tulsi has green leaves and white or light purple flowers. It has the spicy aroma of cloves like the Krishna tulsi but has a mild flavor.
Vana tulsi grows in the wild and can be found growing in Asia and parts of Africa. This plant has light green leaves and a fresh citrus aroma and flavor.
Tulsi - Classification
Division - Magnoliophyta
Class - Magnoliopsida
Order - Lamiales
Family - Lamiaceae
Genus - Ocimum
Species - Sanctum
Medicinal Value of Tulsi
Many Indian scientists and researchers have proven the medicinal value of the tulsi plant through pharmacological studies.
It has been found that the medicinal value of tulsi is mostly due to Eugenol (1-hydroxy-2-methoxy-4-allybenzene) present in tulsi.
The leaves, stem, flower, root, and seeds are used for the treatment of flu, bronchial asthma, malaria, diarrhea, skin diseases, arthritis, chronic fever, and insect bites.
Tulsi increases the basic metabolism of the body and helps to lose weight.
Tulsi tea soothes a sore throat and helps to get rid of phlegm in the chest. To make tulsi tea, add a handful of fresh shredded tulsi leaves to four cups of water. Boil the water for about ten minutes. Strain the water, cool and drink. You can also add ginger, mint, and lemon to enhance the flavor.
When Victoria Gardens, in the city of Bombay in India was being established, the men who were employed were greatly troubled by mosquitoes. To get rid of the mosquitoes, Tulsi plants were planted along the entire boundary of Victoria Gardens,
Tulsi as a Sacred Plant
The tulsi plant embodies compassion, love, and longevity. Hindu families consider tulsi a sacred plant. It is considered to be a representation of a goddess Lakshmi wife of Lord Vishnu. Tulsi means the "incomparable one" in the Sanskrit language.
The tulsi plant is worshipped every day by lighting lamp in the morning and evening and by adorning it with flowers. Keeping a tulsi plant in the house is supposed to bring good luck and prosperity.
The dark or Krishna tulsi and the light or Rama tulsi are the two varieties that are used for worship. In some households, the tulsi is planted in the specially constructed stone block that has images of deities on all four sides with an alcove for lighting the oil lamp.
The tulsi plant is worshipped along with other Hindu gods and goddesses in the “Tulsi Manas Mandir” at Varanasi. Devotees wear beaded necklaces made from the tulsi stem.
Growing the Tulsi Plant
Sow tulsi seeds outdoors in late spring or early summer when the temperature is around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the seeds in the soil and cover the seeds with a thin layer of compost or fertile soil. Place the seeds where they receive morning sunlight and spray them with water.
The soil should be moist until the seeds germinate. When the seedlings have grown and sprouted a few leaves transplant them in containers or outdoors. Tulsi can also be grown from cuttings.
Tulsi grows well-drained loamy, fertile soil with a pH of 6 – 7.5. This plant grows in full sun or partial shade with minimum exposure of four to five hours of sunlight in per day. Do not overwater the plant. Apply liquid fertilizer once in a month.
Tulsi - A Medicinal Herb from Good Morning Science
Tulsi - A Medical Herb - A boon to Medical Science from researchgate,net
Tulsi - A Sacred Plant in Hinduism from The Speaking Tree
Basil - Nutrition, Health Benefits, Uses and More from Healthline
© 2019 Nithya Venkat