Tulsi - Health Benefits
Tulsi is popularly called as the holy basil. It is native to North Central India and grows in the tropics of South East Asia. Noted for its religious significance among followers of the Vaishnava tradition of Hinduism, Tulsi plant is revered and worshipped, and its leaves are used in the worship of deities. Even today, it is a common practice among many devoted people to grow Tulsi in a pot in the central courtyard or front of their houses.
Tulsi is also famous as a herb. It's distinct aroma and taste, and medicinal properties add flavor and substance to herbal teas. Tulsi is an adaptogen that promotes balancing of various physiological processes in the body while diminishing cellular sensitivity to stress. So Tulsi is used for treating depression and psychiatric conditions and also to improve memory and cognitive attention. Metabolites present in different types of Tulsi are being studied for their anti-cancerous properties.
According to Ayurveda, Tulsi has antimicrobial and antiviral properties and balances Kapha by expelling excess sputum in the body. It curbs nausea and improves taste, appetite and digestive strength. Tulsi is also useful in lowering cholesterol and helpful in treating the common cold, Asthma and other chronic respiratory disorders.
Traditional medicines use Tulsi along with other herbs to treat chronic skin diseases with symptoms of severe rashes, itching, and pain. Tulsi is also useful in relieving stones from kidney and bladder and eases the difficulty in urination. Although the herb has many therapeutic properties, married men with problems of infertility or planning to give conception may have to moderate the intake of Tulsi. On the other hand, for those who follow abstention and celibacy, Tulsi can be helpful in taming their sensual urges.