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Tulsi Plant - A significant herb
Doctors have become an important part of our life. Rather I should say that they are the actual saviors of life on earth. Still each one of us wishes to avoid going to a doctor and pray for a healthy life which is not possible until and unless we take some positive steps to make our life healthy and Prosperous. We may not be a doctor, but at least can take some precautions and add the use of some basic herbs available very near to us in our daily routine for a healthy living of our dear ones.
Indian herbs are quite popular all across the world for their medicinal values. Tulsi (Basil) is one of such herb which is easily available in plain areas and can be grown in backyard for daily use. It is a basic source of ingredient of our Ayurvedic medicines, which is one of the oldest form of treatment used in India since the ages of saints and priests. And till today it is used in Indian houses for treating many basic diseases and also to add flavor to our food ingredients.
Tulsi (Basil) (Scientific name – Ocimum Tenuiflorum)
DESCRIPTION OF TULSI PLANT
Tulsi is a heavy branched shrub that grows upto 17-19 inches. Its hair stem sprout round oval shaped leaves of around 4-5 cm long. Tulsi plant is mainly divided into two different categories as per their colour and appearance. Tulsi with green colour leaves is called shri tulsi and the one with reddish purple leaves is called Shyama Tulsi. Second Category is especially considered as very sacred in Hindu mythology due to its purple color which is similar to that of Krishna’s dark color complexion. Tulsi blooms with purple reddish colour flowers and tiny rust colour fruit. Tulsi is a plant of sharp aroma and flavour and india can be considered as the native place of this sacred plant. It is considered as a holy herb, grown in almost every Hindu house where it is worshipped as a goddess. Apart from its religious values, Tulsi leaves and roots have medicinal importance and widely used in cosmetics and medicines.
HOW TO GROW TULSI
Tulsi can be grown throughout the year if the flowers are cut before blooming. Its seeds are easy to germinate and can be sown in a well drained fertile soil. 4-5 hours of sunlight is necessary but should be protected from harsh sun rays. Regular watering is necessary for its proper growth. As per the Hindu tradition, proper hygiene is important to maintain within the premises of tulsi plant for the proper growth of the plant. It can be easily grown in pots and small muddy area available in backyard of the house.
RELIGIOUS IMPORTANCE OF TULSI PLANT
As per Hindu Mythology, Tulsi is also known as Vaishnavi which mean belonging to Vishnu and symbolises purity. The Plant got its name from Tulasi Devi, one of the Lord Krishna eternal consorts. The leaves of the plant are commonly used in regular worship at home and temples in the form of prasadam. Tulsi Plant is mandatory in many of the Hindu Houses and worshipped for lifelong happiness. It is considered as a bridge between heaven and earth. That’s why a person who waters the plant is considered to gain salvation after death. Head lady of the house is responsible for taking care of the plant and that is why plant is also considered as the symbol of ideal wifehood. Also a festival is also celebrated in the month of Kartik which is called as Tulsi Vivah (Marriage of Tulsi and Vishnu) and Tulsi is decorated just like bride on this auspicious day. It is considered as an important part of all puja ceremonies and marriages. Even at the time of cremation of a person a Tulsi twig is kept with the body so that the soul can gain Moksha. Area around the plant along with the soil is considered as very holy and is treated just like a temple. Throwing any kind of waste or excreta within the Tulsi premises or cutting its branches is strictly prohibited in hindu Tradition.
MEDICINAL VALUES OF TULSI PLANT
Apart from the religious values, Tulsi plant has many medicinal features also that make it a common herb for daily use. Its leaves are widely used in Ayurvedic medicines as it considered as a beneficial tonic for long healthy life.
Tulsi has very effective skin curing properties and can be used both internally and externally without the fear of any side effect. Taking bath with Tulsi water or simply washing the face keeps skin healthy and glowing. It can also be applied on any infected area of skin disease for better results. Apart from its external uses, it can also be consumed in the form of syrup or adding its leaves in regular tea to purify the skin and body. It removes excess oil from the face, hence aids in curing acne and pimples.
It protects from all kind of infections caused by various viruses and bacteria. That’s why taking tulsi syrup or tea made of tulsi leaves on regular bases strengthens the immune system.
Tulsi has excellent antibiotic properties that efficiently help in protecting us from various bacterial and fungal infections. Fever like malaria and typhoid or cold/cough are very common diseases that can be avoided or treated by this herbal plant. In case of any such infection, Tulsi syrup is given to the patient. It can also be added in boiling tea for the medicinal effect as well as for the flavor.
Vitamic C and antioxidants present in the plant helps in maintaining blood pressure which in turn reduces the stress. Potassium present in it replaces the sodium, thus helping in reducing blood pressure related stress. Patients are advised for the intake of Tulsi leaves in the form of tea or syrup.
Not only this, it also helps in reducing the uric acid levels in the blood, cleaning the kidneys. Therefore, helps in curing the kidney stone due to the presence of acetic acid and other components in its essential oils. Tulsi has pain killer properties also due to which it helps in bearing the pain caused by the kidney stone.
Being an anti bacterial, Tulsi leaves can kill almost 99% of the germs and bacteria in the mouth. It is considered as excellent mouth freshener and its effect last for very long time. Apart from this it also keeps the teeth healthy and prevents from decaying by curing the cavities and plaque. Cleansing the complete mouth with tulsi water helps in strengthening the gums and teeth and prevents them from falling.
It is very much effective in curing the respiratory diseases also due to its property of relieving congestion and facilitating smoother breathe. Asthma Patients are advised for the regular intake of tulsi syrup or tea.
Tulsi leaves can be harmful if kept in mouth for too long due to the presence of compounds like mercury. That’s why it is advised to avoid chewing Tulsi leaves directly. Rather it should be boiled in water to make syrup or either should be boiled with milk or tea. However, as per the Hindu Mythology Tulsi is considered as sacred and chewing of the leaves deprive them of their holiness.
Quantity of Tulsi leaves should be limited to 3-4 leaves only in 1 glass of water or 2 cup of tea. Excessive use of tulsi can cause dryness.
While planting, proper sunlight and watering should be maintained. Excess and harsh sunlight or excess water is harmful for the plant. During extreme summer season, it is advised to keep the plant in shade and water it regularly.