The health benefits of holy basil, also known as tulsi, include oral care, relief from respiratory disorders, as well as treatment of fever, asthma, lung disorders, heart diseases, and stress. Holy Basil, which has the scientific name Ocimum sanctum is undoubtedly one of the best medicinal herbs that have been discovered. It has endless miraculous and medicinal values and has been worshiped and highly valued in India for thousands of years.
Even going close to a tulsi plant can protect you from many infections. A few leaves dropped in drinking water or food can purify and kill germs within as well. Even smelling it or keeping it planted in a pot indoors can protect the whole family from infections, cough, cold, and other viral infections.
These applications are not at all exaggerated. It has been an age-old custom in India to worship it two times a day, water it, and light lamps near it in the morning and evening. It was and still is, believed to protect the whole family from evil and bring good luck. Basil leaves have also been an essential part of all worship ceremonies since ancient times. These practices are not superstitions but they actually have sufficient scientific reasoning behind them. Keeping in view the ultra-disinfectant and germicidal properties of this legendary herb, wise people then devised these customs to bring people into contact with this plant every day, so that they may keep safe from day-to-day infections.
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Health Benefits of Holy Basil
In the following paragraphs, we shall see why it definitely deserves to be worshiped. The health benefits of tulsi are:
The miraculous healing properties of Holy Basil come mainly from its essential oils and the phytonutrients in it. Holy Basil is an excellent antibiotic, germicidal, fungicidal, and disinfectant agent and very effectively protects our body from all sorts of bacterial, viral, and fungal infections. Fever is mainly caused due to infections from protozoa (malaria), bacteria (typhoid), viruses (flu), and even allergic substances and fungus. Fever is not actually an ailment in itself. It is just a symptom which shows that our body is fighting against less visible infections. The tremendous disinfectant, germicidal, and fungicidal properties of tulsi destroy all those pathogens discussed above and heal the resulting fever. It is an old practice in India to have a decoction of tulsi leaves and flowers in case anyone is suffering from a fever.
Cures Respiratory Disorders
Tulsi, along with curing viral, bacterial, and fungal infections of the respiratory system, gives miraculous relief in congestion due to the presence of components like camphene, eugenol, and cineole in its essential oils. It is very effective in curing almost all respiratory disorders including bronchitis, both chronic and acute.
Tulsi is very beneficial in the treatment of asthma since it relieves congestion and facilitates smoother breathing. The phytonutrients and essential oils, along with the other minerals in it, help cure some of the underlying causes of asthma as well.
Prevents Lung Disorders
The compounds like vitamin C, camphene, eugenol, and cineole present in the essential oils of tulsi not only cure the infections in the lungs but also cure congestion of the lungs. Furthermore, they are found to be effective in healing the damages caused to the lungs due to smoking, tuberculosis, and prevents lung cancer. It also helps to cure tuberculosis due to its antibiotic properties.
Prevents Heart Diseases
Holy Basil contains vitamin C and other antioxidants such as eugenol, which protect the heart from the harmful effects of free radicals. Additionally, eugenol is very beneficial in reducing the cholesterol levels in the blood.
Vitamin C and other antioxidants in Holy Basil, apart from repairing damages done by free radicals, also minimize the stress caused by these oxidants. They soothe the nerves, lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and thus reduce stress. Potassium, in Tulsi, also reduces blood pressure-related stress by replacing sodium and loosening the tensed blood vessels.
Tulsi is an excellent mouth freshener and an oral disinfectant and its freshness last for a very long time. Holy Basil destroys more than 99% of germs and bacteria in the mouth and this effect can last all day. It also cures ulcers in the mouth. Finally, it is known to inhibit the growth of oral cancer which can be caused by chewing tobacco.
Holy Basil destroys the bacteria that are responsible for dental cavities, plaque, tartar, and bad breath, while also protecting the teeth. It also has astringent properties which make the gums hold the teeth tighter, thereby keeping them from falling. However, tulsi also has certain compounds like mercury, which has rich germicidal properties that can be harmful to the teeth if kept in direct contact for too long. Therefore, it is advised to avoid chewing these leaves. It is actually discussed in holy books and Ayurvedic teachings that chewing these leaves robs them of their holiness. However, it has no harm if you do not chew it or consume its decoction.
Prevents Kidney Stones
Tulsi, being a detoxifier and a mild diuretic, helps to reduce the uric acid level in the body, which is the main culprit as far as kidney stones are concerned. It also helps to clean out the kidneys through increased frequency of urination. Acetic acid and certain components in Tulsi essential oil facilitate dissolution of the stones. Finally, it has pain-killer effects and helps to bear the pain from kidney stones as they pass.
Try taking a bath with a decoction of Holy Basil mixed with your bath water, wash your face with it or simply applying the paste of its leaves on an infected area of the skin in case of skin diseases. You can just consume tulsi leaves and still manage to keep your skin free from all infections. Rubbing holy basil leaves or its extracted oil on the body keeps mosquitoes and other insects away. It cures skin disorders both internally and externally, without any side effects. This property mainly comes from its essential oils, which are highly antibiotic, disinfectant, antibacterial, and antifungal in nature. External application on the skin also removes extra oil from the skin surface. Camphene in it gives a soothing and a cooling effect.
A headache caused due to a migraine, sinus pressure, cough, and cold or high blood pressure can be effectively controlled by the use of a single tulsi serving. Camphene, eugenol, cineol, carvacrol, and methyl-chavicol, in holy basil, have excellent analgesic, sedative, anti-congestive, and disinfectant properties.
Prevents Premature Aging
Vitamin C and A, phytonutrients, and the essential oils in Holy Basil are excellent antioxidants and protect the body from nearly all the damages caused by free radicals in the body, which are hazardous byproducts of cellular metabolism that are responsible for a wide swath of diseases, including cancer. In the traditional Indian medicine system called Ayurveda, it is considered as a tonic to retain youthful vigor and avoid premature aging.
Holy Basil is so good for boosting up the immune system that it is hard to describe it in words. It protects against nearly all infections from viruses, bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. Recent studies show that it is also helpful in inhibiting the growth of HIV and carcinogenic cells.
Wash your eyes daily with a few leaves of basil soaked in water and you will be free from conjunctivitis, boils, and many other problems of the eyes which are caused due to viral, bacterial or fungal infections. It also soothes eye inflammation and reduces stress. Regular consumption can protect your eyes from the damage done by the free radicals, such as cataracts, macular degeneration, glaucoma, vision defects, and ophthalmia, due to the high antioxidant content of its essential oils, vitamin A, and vitamin C.
It can protect your body from radiation poisoning and also heal the damages from that sort of condition. It can be given after a surgery to help heal wounds quickly and also to protect those areas from infections. It acts as a vaccine against pox if consumed regularly. It is an anticarcinogenic and is found to be effective in healing nearly all types of cancers and tumors. Being an expectorant is one of the most prized properties of Holy Basil, making it 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, and destroying worms in the stomach. Furthermore, its dried leaves can be mixed with food grains to be used as an insect repellent.
Perhaps, you should just find out how amazing it can be for yourself!
Holy Basil FAQs
What is basil or holy basil?
Basil is a very powerful herb used in Ayurvedic medicine and other traditional medical treatments for thousands of years. It is often called holy basil or tulsi, and all the parts of the plant are beneficial in their own way. Basil leaves are used in many preparations, as is the essential oil of the herb. The small bushy basil shrub is native to India and it is an annual plant with lavender-colored flowers.
Is holy basil good for you?
Holy basil is incredibly beneficial for human health, primarily due to the unique composition of its essential oil, containing eugenol, camphor, flavonoids, nerol, and various terpenes. This rich blend of organic compounds delivers a number of health benefits and can help to relieve acne, asthma, inflammation, respiratory issues, and lower your chances of heart diseases and atherosclerosis.
Where to buy holy basil?
You can buy holy basil in nearly every grocery store and health food store in the world. In fact, basil is grown on every continent and is one of the most common herbs in the world. You can buy holy basil at Walmart, GNC, and Walgreens, just to name a few, as well as any traditional or herbal medicine practitioner. As one of the most useful and versatile herbs, it is never too hard to find.
How to eat Holy basil or Tulsi leaves?
You can consume tulsi leaves in various ways, ranging from eating the leaves raw to brewing the dried leaves into a potent tea. Holy basil tea is perhaps the most common and popular use of this herb and can also be made with the dried leaf powder. You simply place 2-3 spoons of the powder in a boiling cup of water and allow it to steep for 5-6 minutes. The flavor is strong, but the health effects are undeniable.
What is holy basil used for?
You can use holy basil as a relaxant, typically in the form of a tea, but it is also famed as an anti-inflammatory substance. Holy basil tea can be used to clear up congestion and respiratory conditions, while also for boosting the strength of your immune system. It can also help stimulate kidney function and detoxify the body.
How to grow holy basil?
For those who know they’ll be using a lot of holy basil, you should grow your own. You need a spot that receives sunlight for at least six hours daily and has enough space away from other plants. Avoid overwatering the basil plants and as they develop, try to prune some back so there are roughly 18 inches between each plant. Removing the matured leaves several times every week is essential to encourage fresh leaf growth.