• Follow us

TULSI – Queen of herbs and holy elixir of life

768 487 Kristina Babic

Did you know that Tulsi or Holy Basil is one of the most prominent herbs in the world? This holy plant originates from India and is known and cultivated all over the world. Ancient texts of Ayurveda, Greek, Roman and Siddha medicine are describing tulsi as the elixir of life and longevity, and herb that has holistic healing powers.

According to Hinduism, this plant is considered as the manifestation of goddess Tulsi, a great worshipper of the god Vishnu. She comes in the form of a plant that contains great spiritual powers. It is believed that the presence of the plant itself protects against bad luck and brings harmony, peace and purity. In the West, is considered as one of the gifts of Christ. According to the legend, it is said that there is not enough gold or wealth in the world that can be measured with a single leaf of tulsi given with devotion.

Regardless of its spiritual powers and legends, this herb has undoubtedly a number of health benefits.

Origin of the name

The word tulsi derives from the Sanskrit word tulsai or incomparable one. While in Latin, Ocimum sanctum, means holy basil or holy king. Thus tulsi, because of its specific healing capacity, is considered as irreplaceable king/queen of herbs.

Types of tulsi

Tulsi or holy basil (Ocimum sanctum) is a member of the mint family, Lamiaceae. There are many (around 60) types of tulsi in the world, although there are three most commonly used for medical treatment:

1. Rama Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum), Light Holy Basil

This type of tulsi has green leaves and white flowers. It has a cooling, mellower taste and clove like scent, heals fever, coughs and is considered a tonic for liver.

2. Krishna Tulsi or Shyama (Ocimum tenuiflorum), Dark Holy Basil

This type of tulsi has dark purple leaves that are smaller than Rama tulsi, with a strong aroma and a pungent flavor. It is used for the treatment of bronchitis, malaria, asthma, genitourinary disorders, diabetes, heart problems and others.

3. Vana Tulsi (Ocimum gratissimum), Wild Leaf Holy Basil

This type of tulsi is very similar to Rama tulsi, but has stronger aroma (more eugenol) and is taller than other forms of tulsi. It is used in the treatment of malaria, tuberculosis, diabetes, asthma and so on.

How does it work

According to Ayurveda, tulsi is classified as a rasayana plant – the one that has the ability to fundamentally restore balance and harmony in the mind, body and spirit, and to provide long life. According to western herbalism, tulsi is a perfect adaptogen – it helps the body and mind to cope with stress (physical and emotional) by providing the balance.

With hundreds of beneficial compounds that contain, tulsi also has a large number of antioxidants, powerful nutrients that are reducing the number of free radicals in the body (reactive molecules that steal electrons from the body).

Here are just a couple of examples of how tulsi works:

The synergy of the components that we can find in tulsi is a powerful adaptogen, enhancer and builder of immune system that helps the body to fight stress, maintain good health, strengthen digestive system and metabolism, improve vitality and stimulate energy.

Research has shown that taking tulsi decreases level of stress hormone, especially corticosterone.

Tulsi contains a large number of antioxidants that helps the body to purify and protect itself from toxic chemicals.

It also prevents the formation of cancer and reduces development of cancer cells.

Leaf of the tulsi is most commonly used as antibiotic, germicidal and disinfectant agent, since one of the main compound of tulsi is eugenol and gamma-caryophyllene oil. Therefore, it protects us from bacteria and viruses.

Tulsi extract help wounds and scars to heal faster. It can be used also after surgery to speed up recovery.

Because of its powerful capacity to balance and enhance metabolic reactions, tulsi is extremely effective in fighting diabetes.

According to experiments on rats, who received a tulsi extract for 30 days, it is found that their blood sugar level has been reduced by 24%.

Tulsi reduces metabolic stress and in that way it helps in reducing body weight and lowering cholesterol level. According to research conducted on rabbits who ate fresh leaves of tulisi for 30 days, scientists found significant difference in the molecular structure of their fatty acids. It has showed that eugenol, one of the oils in tulsi, reduces LDL-cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol) and increases the level of HDL-cholesterol (good cholesterol) and thus also affect health of the heart and bloodstream.

Tulsi removes stress-induced ulcers and naturally increases circulation in stomach, reduces acidity, strengthens stomach mucus and increases life span of mucus cells.

Components found in tulsi, such as camphene, eugenol and cineole, helps to eliminate breathing difficulties and other respiratory problems.

Tulsi has ability to purify water from bacteria, fungus and fluoride

Researchers from Rajasthan University in India have discovered that tulsi can remove a certain amount of fluoride from the water. An experiment was carried out in the Yellareddyguda village in Narketpally Mandal where the researchers soaked 75 mg tulsi in 100 ml of water that was containing 7.4 ppm of fluoride. After only eight hours of soaking leaves in the water, fluoride level was reduced to just 1.1 ppm.

A high percentage of fluoride in the water causes many health problems. Some known side effects of drinking water with too much fluoride are: depleting brain capacity causing ADD and ADHD, calcifying the pineal gland, reducing IQ in children and nerve damage.

However, more research is still needed to identify and validate the effectiveness of using tulsi leaves as a means of removing fluoride from drinking water supplies. You can also use tulsi in drinking water for other purposes as well, like removing bacteria and fungus…

Possible side effects

Tulsi is a plant that is safe for consumption, although it is necessary not to consume it in big quantities to avoid unpleasant detox symptoms such as headaches, rapid heartbeat, weakness, or nausea.

  • Since one of the effects of the tulsi is its property to dilute the blood, those who use antiplatelet drugs such as aspirin, clopidogrel, dalteparin, enoxaparin and others need to be cautious by using tulsi. If you are consuming these medicines, we advise you to consult with your doctor before using tulsi (especially extract).
  • Since tulsi dilute the blood, do not use it at least 2 weeks before surgery.
  • Also, during pregnancy and breastfeeding, we are advising you not to use tulsi.

How to use tulsi

Tulsi can be used raw, as a spice, tea, essential oil or as an extract. Essential oil is usually used for external use only – for skin disorders, acne, hair loss and for inhalation during cough, cold or other respiratory problems. Other forms of plant you can use orally.

According to Ayurveda, due to its immense effect on the body, mind and spirit, tulsi is considered as a pillar of herbal medicine. Its main functions are: improvment of metabolism, digestion, nurturing of skin, reproductive and nervous system, lowering fever and killing bad bacteria and microbes in the body. The benefits of taking tulsi are multiple, that’s why worldwide it is called the “Queen of plants”.

To make your immune system strong and all systems in balance, we recomend to use tulsi every day. You can chew a few fresh leaves, prepare tea or take 1 drop of tulsi extract in water. Whatever you use, just be careful about the quality of the product you are using (especially with extracts) so you can take advantage of all the benefits of this plant.

If you have any additional questions feel free to write or leave a comment below.

By Kristina Babic

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    Subscribe me to Ekam Satyam newsletter list