The Tulsi or Holy Basil is an important symbol of worship in most Hindu homes and is also a popular medicinal remedy for many common ailments. Ayurveda often uses this plant in the preparation of various medicines. It is commonly found in two varieties – the green-colored Lakshmi tulsi and the purple-hued Krishna tulsi.

The healing power of the Tulsi leaf makes it an antidote for many issues. It acts as a nerve tonic to sharpen memory, provides relief from phlegm in the bronchial tubes, strengthens the stomach and also helps induce perspiration etc. Tulsi juice is a safe and effective remedial option for most pediatric health concerns like cough, cold, fever, diarrhea and vomiting.

How to consume it?

Tulsi can be consumed raw, plucked fresh from the plant, added in your tea or by making a kadha (a mixture of tulsi leaves, ginger, crushed peppercorn in hot water) out of it. It can also be added to you’re the dishes prepared at home for an earthy, aromatic flavor. Its essential oils are rich in antioxidants which help in controlling stress and conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure.
The Tulsi plant is also a good source of Vitamin K, an essential fat-soluble vitamin that is beneficial for bone and heart health. One cup of tulsi juice offers more than the daily recommended value of vitamin K for a person.

We take a look at some of the most common medicinal uses of Tulsi:

  • Fever & Common Cold: The leaves of basil are known to be effective in controlling fevers as it acts as an antibiotic, germicidal and disinfectant agent. Its tender leaves boiled with tea act as preventive decoction against ailments like Malaria and Dengue. In case of high fevers, an extraction of the leaves boiled with powdered cardamom in half a liter of water and mixed with sugar and milk is known to bring down the temperature. An extract of tulsi juice can be offered to children every 2 to 3 hours to help bring down high temperatures too.
  • Coughs: Tulsi is known to help mobilize mucus in bronchitis and asthma conditions. Chewing the leaves is known to provide relief from cold and flu.
  • Sore Throat: Water boiled with tulsi can be consumed in case of sore throat. This water can also be used to gargle the throat.
  • Respiratory Disorder: An extraction of tulsi leaves mixed with honey and ginger is an effective remedy for respiratory disorders like bronchitis and asthma. When mixed with cloves and common salt, it gives immediate relief for influenza. They should be boiled in half a liter of water till only half the water is left and add then consumed.
  • Kidney Stone: In case of kidney stones, the juice of tulsi leaves mixed with honey, taken regularly for 6 months, will help it expel naturally through the urinary tract.
  • Heart Disorder: Tulsi is known to reduce the level of blood cholesterol.
  • Stress: Basil leaves are considered to be an adaptogen or anti-stress agent and provides significant protection against stress. Chewing 12 leaves of tulsi, twice a day is a simple and natural way to combat stress.
  • Mouth Infections: In case of mouth ulcers or other dental infections in the mouth, simply chew a few tulsi leaves.
  • Insect Bites: Tulsi acts as a prophylactic /preventive and curative treatment for insect stings or bites. A teaspoonful of tulsi juice can be consumed every couple of hours. Fresh juice or a paste of the fresh root can be applied to affected parts.
  • Skin Disorders: Applied locally, tulsi juice helps in the treatment of ringworm and other skin diseases.
  • Teeth Disorder: Tulsi leaves, dried, powdered and mixed with mustard oil is a natural toothpaste and helps in maintaining dental health, counteracting bad breath and tackling any teeth disorders.
  • Headaches:  Pounded tulsi leaves mixed with sandalwood paste can be applied on the forehead for relief from heat, headache, and general coolness.
  • Eye health: Applying two drops of tulsi juice in the eyes daily can help overcome various disorders in the eyes including conjunctivitis, sore eyes and night-blindness.
  • Fights Cancer: While Tulsi does NOT help in cancer treatment, it is known to help prevent it. Research shows that the phytochemicals found in tulsi can prevent lung, liver, oral and skin cancers by increasing the antioxidant activity, alter healthy gene expressions, induce cancer cell death, prevent blood vessel growth contributing to cell growth and stop metastasis, which is the spread of cancer from one organ to another. Tulsi is also known to protect the body from radiation poisoning and heals damage from radiation treatment.

DISCLAIMER: These are general guidelines that can be used as a first aid. Please always consult a doctor depending upon the intensity of the ailments .