Tulsi (Ocimum tenuiflorum) also known as tulasi or Holy Basil, is a principle herb of India’s ancient holistic health system; Ayuerveda. It has been known and worshipped for more than 5000 years for its remarkable healing properties. Even today Tulsi is worshipped by Indians as a sacred plant and it is typically grown in the family or home gardens.
Tulsi is a potent antioxidant, adaptogen and immune-modulator. It has very complex and unique chemistry and contains hundreds of beneficial compounds commonly known as phyto-chemicals. These compounds work together possessing strong antioxidant, antibacterial, antiviral, adaptogenic and immune-boosting properties. These properties support general health and enhance body’s natural defense against stress and diseases. The leaves of Tulsi contain essential oils which give Tulsi tea its refreshing flavor and fragrance. These oils are exceptionally rich source of phyto-chemicals.
More and more scientific studies are revealing Tulsi’s potential uses. Among other things these studies have shown that Tulsi maybe be a COX-2 inhibitor, thus working in similar way than modern painkillers and that Tulsi is effective treatment for diabetes, can protect from heart disease and even from radiation poisoning. Below table shows sums up the multiple benefits of Tulsi.
Because of its multiple healing properties, Tulsi is ideal herb for fighting against common cold and respiratory problems. Especially Tulsi leaves can can be the answer on how to get rid of a cold. Old remedy against common cold is to consume five Tulsi leaves together with crystal sugar once a day for three days. This treatment should be started as soon as the symptoms of cold start. Another treatment in case you are already down with the common cold and cough is to boil 10 Tulsi leaves, 2-3 black peppers, half teaspoons of cardamom powder and half cup of milk until the volume is reduced in half. After this drink hot sip by sip and get some sleep. Continue for three days and common cold and cough should be gone. Boiling Tulsi leaves also make excellent gargle to be used in the case of sore throat or cough.
Tulsi is commercially available as capsules, extracts and teas. Tulsi tea is one of the most convenient ways to use Tulsi. You can also grow your own plant by buying seeds or seedlings.
Tulsi is enormously helpful herb in getting quick relief from the regular health problems. Every part of Tulsi plant offers some or other health benefit. Tulsi is herb worth trying since even long term usage very seldom brings any side effects. And on the other hands Tulsi can bring multiple benefits and not just be a solution how to get rid of a cold.
Photo credit:Tony Rodd