Holy Basil (Tulsi) Plant: The Queen of Herbs With Prophylactic Medicinal Properties
The Significance of Sacred Holy Basil (Tulsi) and its Various Forms
Holy basil (biological name: Ocimum Sanctum of family Lamiaceae) or tulsi plant is a sacred herb of religious significance in Hindu culture. This miraculous herb is given a prominent place by the ancient sages of India among various plants or herbs for treating various diseases. The divine plant is grown and worshipped at the courtyard of almost every home in India.
In India, the plant is found in three forms, Rama tulsi, Shyama tulsi, and Vana tulsi. Rama tulsi has broad green leaves with an aromatic smell, whereas Shyama tulsi has broad purple-green leaves and stems with a slightly pungent smell. Vana tulsi is a wild bushy plant with light green leaves and a highly aromatic smell and is mostly found in hilly regions.
The Hindu Legend Associated with the Divine Tulsi Plant
In Hindu culture, there are various legends associated with this sacred plant and it is considered as an incarnation of Goddess Laxmi. One such legend is about a demon called Jalandhara who was born out of the fire generated from Lord Shiva’s (the destroyer of the universe) third eye when he got angry over the king of demigods Indra. However, on seeing Indra frightened, he took pity on him and shifted the direction of fire to the ocean. On meeting the ocean, the fire took the form of an infant who later became the king of demons and was named Jalandhar by Lord Brahma (the creator of the universe). Jalandhar married a pious girl Vrinda who was the daughter of a demon named Kalanemi.
As he was a part of Lord Shiva and due to the piety of Vrinda, Jalandhar became extremely powerful and invincible. He defeated Indra and claimed the throne of the three worlds – Heaven, earth, and the abyss. He even challenged Lord Vishnu (the preserver of the universe) and Lord Shiva. Due to the chastity of pious Vrinda, even Lord Shiva was unable to kill Jalandhara. The demigods prayed Lord Vishnu for helping them to get rid of the demon.
Lord Vishnu consoled the demigods and assumed the form of Jalandhar and went to Vrinda. Seeing her husband after a long time, Vrinda embraced him with love and it ruined her chastity. As Vrinda lost her purity, her power of virtue protecting Jalandhar was also lost and Lord Shiva killed Jalandhar with his trident.
When Vrinda came to know that she had been cheated by Lord Vishnu, she cursed him that he will be born in the earth and will also bear the pain of separation from his wife. Her curse proved true when Lord Vishnu had to incarnate as Lord Rama in the earth and bore the separation of his wife Sita, who was abducted by the demon king Ravana.
She further cursed Lord Vishnu to turn into a stone. Then, Vrinda immolated herself in the pyre of Jalandhar. Lord Vishnu turned a part of his image into the Shaligram stone and released her from the guilt by giving her a boon that from her ashes a plant named Tulsi (holy basil) will be born and both Shaligram stone and tulsi would be prayed together as husband and wife.
Tulsi Plant – A Boon of Nature to Humankind
Tulsi holds the most prominent place in Hindu culture as a miraculous herb with great medicinal value for treating all kinds of diseases, including curing diabetes, fever, cough, and cold, kidney stones, sore throat, headache, sore eyes, insect bites or stings, weakness, migraine, bad breath, and skin disorders, killing head lice and fighting cancer.
1. For Diabetic Treatment
Eating 3-4 fresh leaves of tulsi daily with an empty stomach helps in alleviating the blood sugar level in our body. Also, boiling tulsi leaves in water for a few minutes and drinking the tulsi liquid extract is beneficial in diabetes.
2. Treating Cough and Cold
Boil a mixture of tulsi leaves with some ginger, few black peppers, and cardamom with half-liter water. Boil till the mixture reduces to around 200 ml and add rock sugar to it to make a syrup. Consume the syrup thrice a day in case of cough/cold or pneumonia. Consuming fresh tulsi leaves with honey is also beneficial for cough. Similarly, grind a few tulsi leaves with rock sugar and black pepper and consume the paste regularly for a few days. It will clear your throat and open your voice. This formula is very beneficial as I myself benefitted a lot after I caught a cold in winter.
3. Skin Disorder
Crush few leaves of tulsi with few neem leaves and consume the mixture with an empty stomach on a regular basis in the morning. It will alleviate the skin disorder in a few weeks. Another option is to mix lemon juice with ¼ tulsi juice in proportionate quantity and make a paste of it. Applying the paste in eczema or ringworm helps in curing the disease.
4. Killing Head Lice
Grind the tulsi leaves and apply its juice on the scalp. It will lead to killing the head lice.
5. Curing Weakness
Crushing tulsi seeds with rock sugar according to taste and consuming it with a glass of milk every morning and evening leads to strength and vitality.
6. Fighting Cancer
Tulsi has anticarcinogenic properties and a high amount of antioxidants. Eating 2 or 3 fresh tulsi leaves with an empty stomach on a regular basis also inhibits the growth of cancer cells.
7. Curing Headache
Grind the fresh tulsi leaves and insert a few drops in your nostrils. It will provide relief from a headache.
8. For Pregnancy
Grind 200 gm of tulsi seeds with double the amount of rock sugar and take the mixture with a glass of cow milk every morning and evening. It is very beneficial for women expecting pregnancy.
9. In Fever
We can make tulsi tea by boiling tulsi leaves with sugar and water. Consuming tulsi tea provides relief in fever.
10. Relieving from Ear Pain
Grind few tulsi leaves and insert 3-4 drops of the juice in your ears. It will help alleviate the pain or treat pus.
11. For Improving Immunity and Strength of Children
Boil cow ghee or almond powder with few tulsi leaves on low heat and make a paste. Apply the paste to massage the child’s body. It will strengthen their muscles and build immunity against disease or cold/pneumonia.
12. On Vomiting
Boil a few tulsi leaves with ginger and mix their juice with honey. Consume the mixture and it will provide relief from the symptoms of vomiting.
13. For Healthy Heart
Eating a few fresh tulsi leaves also leads to the maintenance of blood pressure and reduction of cholesterol level, which in turn leads to a healthy heart.
Tulsi – An Integral Part of Indian Culture
Hence, friends, you can see the immense benefits of tulsi (holy basil) plants in treating various diseases. Moreover, the tulsi plant produces oxygen throughout the day and also sends positive vibes in its surroundings leading to the spread of positive energy. The ancient sages knew the incredible medicinal properties of tulsi and advised us to grow this miraculous herb near our abode.
Do you have a tulsi plant at your home?
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2020 Mahesh Chandra Gaur