Key Benefits of Tulsi and How to Consume it
Tulsi, widely known as Holy Basil, is a widely known herb in the family Lamiaceae. Holy Basil goes by the scientific name “Ocimum sanctum.” It is native to India and cultivated widely throughout the Southeast Asia region.
Tulsi has proved to be an excellent immunity booster and is highly effective in protecting our body from various infections and conditions of the heart, liver, skin, lungs, kidney, etc. So, Tulsi is rightly called the “Exilir of Life” and “Queen of Herbs.” Holy Basil does not contain any caffeine, though often combined with black, green, or white tea leaves..”
Tulsi has one of the highest and a special place in Ayurveda and the home of Hindus in India. Hindus consider Tulsi as sacred, and many homes worship it daily.
The three main types of Holy Basil primarily grown in India are:
- Bright green leaves also called Ram Tulsi
- Purplish green leaves also called Krishna Tulsi
- Common wild Vana Tulsi
Nutritional Value of Holy Basil:
Tulsi leaves are highly rich in vitamins A, C, and K and minerals like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, and iron. In addition, it contains a good amount of protein and fibre.
Research-Backed Benefits of Tulsi are:
Natural Immunity Booster:
Being rich in Vitamin C and Zinc, Tulsi acts as an excellent natural immunity booster and keeps vulnerability to infections at a minimum. It has tremendous anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties which protect us from a variety of ailments. Extract/Juice of Tulsi leaves increases the T helper cells and natural killer cells activity, boosting the immune system.
Tulsi to Reduce Fever:
Holy Basil is an antipyretic and analgesic herb that helps in Fever and pain. Its anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties help to fight infections, thus helps in reducing Fever. The combination of fresh extract of Tulsi leaves and black pepper powder helps to cure periodic fevers. In addition, Eugenol, a terpene with pain-relieving(analgesic) properties found in Tulsi, reduces aches in the body.
How to consume Tulsi to reduce Fever:
To cure periodic fevers, Take fresh juice of Tulsi leaves and a pinch of black pepper powder and consume it once a day, preferably in the morning. Another popular remedy to cure Fever and reduce body temperature is adding Tulsi leaves boiled with Cardamom(Elaichi) powder in half a litre of water and add some honey. Then, consume it twice a day, preferably away from the meal, for better results.
Reduces Cold, Cough & Other Respiratory Disorders:
Tulsi contains camphene, cineole, and eugenol, which help relieve cold and congestion in the chest very effectively. Tulsi leaves mixed with small ginger pieces are beneficial in bronchitis, asthma, influenza, cough, and cold. It also helps minimize the symptoms of pneumonia.
How to take Holy Basil for Cold and Cough:
Add fresh Tulsi leaves and a small piece of ginger in one cup of water; boil this mixture over slow heat till the water comes to half. Drink this mixture twice a day away from meals. For chronic cases, one can take this mixture every four hours.
Reduce Stress & Control Blood Pressure with Tulsi:
Compounds Ocimumosides A and B present in Tulsi help reduce stress and balance serotonin and dopamine in the brain. In addition, it helps to reduce the inflammation in the body, which further helps control blood pressure.
How to consume:
Chewing 3-4 leaves daily on an empty stomach can work as a stress buster and reduce the inflammation in the body.
Tulsi has potent antioxidant properties because of the Phytochemicals present in it. Thus, it helps protect our body from skin, liver, oral, and lung cancer.
Daily consumption of Tulsi as raw or tea can help boost our immunity against such chronic ailments.
Good for Heart Health:
Tulsi profoundly affects the treatment and prevention of cardiovascular diseases by lowering blood lipid content, suppressing ischemia and stroke, reducing hypertension, and its higher antioxidant properties.
Effective for Diabetes Patients:
Daily consumption of fresh Tulsi leaves has proven effective in lowering blood glucose levels in patients with type-2 Diabetes.
Useful in Kidney stones & Gouty Arthritis:
Tulsi leaves detoxify the body and have diuretic properties, which help decrease the uric acid level in the body. Spiked uric acid is the main reason for the formation of kidney stones. Reduction in uric acid levels also provides relief to patients suffering from Gout.
Tulsi for Gastrointestinal Disorders:
Holy Basil also helps to cure indigestion and loss of appetite. And it is used for the treatment of gastric problems, acidity, and bloating.
Good for Skin & Hair:
Being rich in antioxidants, Tulsi helps clear out the skin of blemishes and acne. It also prevents premature ageing. In addition, Tulsi also strengthens our hair roots, thus help in preventing hair loss.
The anti-fungal properties of Tulsi also help to prevent the development of fungus and dandruff in hair.
Acts as an Insect Repellent:
For centuries, Tulsi leaves is being used to repel insects. Mix some dried Tulsi leaves in stored grains, and it works as an insect repellent in Indian homes.
How to Consume Tulsi?
- Tulsi as Raw: Tulsi leaves can be consumed raw, plucked fresh from its plant, add it to your tea or make kadha to get the most out of it.
- Tulsi Tea: Boil 1 cup of water, and add some freshly plucked Tulsi leaves, 1/2 tsp of dried Tulsi leaves, or 1/2 tsp of Tulsi powder. Cover the tea in a mug or pot and let it rest for 15-20 minutes. Then strain the leaves, add honey(optional), and drink it preferably in the morning.
- If fresh Tulsi or Holy Basil is not available, you can also opt for Tulsi Extracts, Powders, and Supplements, often promoted on social media by companies like The Marketing Heaven and are readily available in the market.
Side Effects of Consuming Tulsi That Everyone Must Know:
- Women trying to conceive should not consume Holy Basil or Tulsi as it may affect women’s reproductive capacity.
- Some people may experience nausea or diarrhoea when they add Tulsi to their diet for the first time, so it’s best to consume it in small quantities and increase your consumption over time.
- Tulsi may lower blood sugar in the body and be consumed with caution by people who have Diabetes and are on any blood-sugar-lowering medication.