Tulsi, which means “the incomparable one” in Hindi and is often referred to as holy basil, is a potent herb that has been used for over 5000 years in India to treat colds, coughs, and the flu. According to Ayurvedic medicine, regular consumption of the tulsi herb can also promote a sense of purity and lightness in the body, and is said to cleanse the respiratory tract of toxins and relieve bloating and digestive gas. This plant is so sacred that often Hindu prayer beads are even made from the wood of the tulsi plant!
Basil can be found on every continent, but holy basil is indigenous to the subcontinent of India. It grows as a bushy shrub that can reach 18 inches in height, its leaves are oval shaped and have serrated edges, and its colors are either light green or dark purple depending on where it is growing.
Powerful Purported Benefits Of Tulsi
There are many benefits to consumption and topical treatment with the tulsi plant. According to Ayurveda, these benefits can include relief from: fever and common cold, cough and respiratory problems, kidney stones, heart disorders, headaches, constipation, flatulence, cancer, pain, and insect bites. It can even assist with quitting smoking.
Benefits Backed By Scientific Research
Even if the benefits above sound too good to be true, there are still a number of benefits that have been studied and have some scientific backing.
- Tulsi lowers stress; it has long been regarded as an adaptogen, meaning that it actually helps your body deal more easily with stressful situations. Since high stress levels take a huge toll on your body, it is important to keep them in check. Check out these studies that show how tulsi can lower your levels of stress and increase those of anti-oxidants.
- Tulsi can also help normalize blood sugar levels, which is great news for diabetics with type II diabetes.
- It can help lower high cholesterol. Tulsi is extremely good for heart health and has been shown to reduce cholesterol levels.
- It can protect lungs from infection. Regular consumption of tulsi tea, and even simply chewing on tulsi leaves. can prevent lungs from infections and colds.
- Protection from inflammation and arthritis. An oil can be made with the seeds of tulsi which can provide protection and benefit those with arthritis and inflammation.
Tulsi Is Great For The Skin, Hair, and Nails Too!
Many Indian women use tulsi quite regularly in their beauty routine; this extremely versatile herb has been long regarded as an amazing beauty treatment. It can treat skin issues such as eczema, acne, and pimples. You can apply it topically by making a paste with the leaves and water, or drink it in a tea or juice. Apparently it can also lighten scars and other marks. Rubbing finely powdered dry tulsi leaves into your skin can also help you achieve a healthy glow. Use it for your hair by applying tulsi oil to the scalp, roots, and strands, and you can do the same with a paste made from the leaves. This can also reduce dandruff and cure an itchy scalp.
Where Can you Find Tulsi?
You can find bags of dried tulsi leaves online, just remember that it is also sometimes referred to as “holy basil.” Try to get organic if you can for the most benefits. There are also many brands of organic tea companies that sell tulsi tea and tulsi-infused concoctions. Tulsi can make a great coffee supplement and is an awesome way to start off your day. Tulsi is naturally caffeine free, but if you like a little kick to your morning you can certainly add some dried tulsi leaves to your black tea. It has a deliciously spicy and sweet taste.