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Health Benefits of Holy Basil You Didn’t Know

Updated on November 22, 2012

Tulsi or holy basil is an important plant when it comes to Ayurveda or the Indian way of medicine. This is mainly due to its innumerable medicinal properties. Many people in India grow a holy basil plant in their backyard for religious purposes and this has been done for thousands of years. However, very few people know about its medicinal properties and benefits. This article tells you about some of the health benefits of holy basil or tulsi you never knew.

It is said that simply keeping a holy basil plant in your house can prevent and cure so many diseases. This is not at all an exaggeration. On the contrary, this theory has been proven accurate by medical science. Let us see why holy basil is such a divine plant.

1) Cough and sore throat

Tulsi is a powerful expectorant. This means that it helps in mobilizing mucus in bronchitis. Chewing the leaves helps in relieving cold and flu. This is one reason why it finds extensive use in cough syrups. You can also add a few leaves to boiling water and drink it or gargle. This helps in case of sore throat.

2) Respiratory disorders

Tulsi does a wonderful job in alleviating respiratory problems such as bronchitis, asthma, cough and cold, and influenza. You can prepare a decoction of the leaves with ginger and honey, and drink it. You can also prepare a decoction of the leaves, common salt and cloves. This decoction helps you particularly if you are suffering from influenza.

3) Lung disorders

Holy basil has excellent antibiotic properties. It is also rich in Camphene, vitamin C, Cineole and Eugenol. Due to this property, the essential oil can be used to cure lung infections and lung congestion. It can also be used to heal damage caused to lungs due to tuberculosis, cancer or even excessive smoking. Holy basil can be used to cure tuberculosis due to its antibiotic property.

4) Oral and dental care

There are many natural mouth fresheners in Indian medicine. Mint is one of them and so is tulsi. Tulsi is also a powerful oral disinfectant and is known to kill 99% of the bacteria and germs in your mouth which are responsible for dental plaque, tartar and cavities. Its mouth freshening and disinfecting effects last very long. Another health benefit of tulsi is that it can inhibit the growth of oral cancer due to excessive chewing of tobacco. It has astringent properties that help your gum hold the teeth tighter, thereby protecting them from falling.

Note: Tulsi can damage your teeth if kept in direct contact for a long time due to the certain mercury compounds it contains. Hence it is advised not to chew it for a long time.

5) Kidney stones

High uric acid levels in the blood cause kidney stones. Tulsi is a powerful detoxifying agent. It also has mild diuretic properties. It helps reduce the uric acid concentration in blood as well as helps keep the kidneys clean through urination. The basil essential oil contains acetic acid and certain components that help in dissolving kidney stones.

6) Skin Care:

Mixing tulsi decoction with bathing water and taking a bath in it keeps your skin healthy. You can also cure certain skin problems simply by applying the paste to the affected area, in case of skin diseases. Consuming tulsi leaves keeps you free from skin infections. An interesting fact is that rubbing the leaves or applying the extract from these leaves on your skin can keep mosquitoes and other insects away. The best part is that it has no side effects. This is due to the antibacterial, antibiotic, antifungal and disinfectant properties of tulsi. You can also remove extra oil from your skin surface simply by external application.

The health benefits of holy basil are endless. This is just a small percentage of the entire list of health benefits of this wonderful medicinal plant. Some other benefits include heart protection, removal of harmful free radicals, building body immunity, anti-aging and so on. Now you know why tulsi is called a divine plant, don’t you?


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