The Tulsi plant or Holy Basil (as it is known in the west) is a fairly common plant in India. The plant is highly revered in Hinduism where it considered a manifestation of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and is consequently used in many rituals. So it is not unusual to find a Tulsi plant outside many Indian (Hindu) homes.
The herb is also highly valued in Ayurveda for its medicinal properties of which there are many. However, not many people are aware that Tulsi can be taken as an herbal infusion. Let us see the benefits of Tulsi in our daily lives.
Tulsi has many benefits but its highest potential is in decreasing stress. Stress is a normal part of life and usually goes away on its own. But in some people, stress becomes chronic. When it does, the body slowly loses its ability to cope with it. Tulsi is an adaptogen which means it helps your body adapt to stress, both of the physical and emotional kind. Studies have also found that Tulsi also decreases the levels of corticosterone, a stress hormone in your blood.
Soothes and relaxes
If you want to unwind and relax, have a cup of green tea with Tulsi. It is loaded with active pharmacological agents like Eugenol, Ocimarin, Rosmarinic acid, Ursolic acid, Lutein and Apigenin. These chemicals soothe your nerves, regulate blood circulation and depress the production of free radicals. Free radicals are one of the major factors that cause stress, tension and exhaustion.
Fights anxiety and depression
In one study, a group of people suffering from generalized anxiety were given 500 mg of Tulsi leaves twice daily. It was found that Tulsi reduced their anxiety and even cured their depression. So how does it work? When stress elevates, the body releases a hormone called Cortisol to fight it. But this hormone shouldn’t stay in the body for a long time because it will lead to anxiety and more stress. Tulsi controls the level of this hormone and brings balance to your body.
In one study, it was found that subjects who were given Tulsi extract showed an increase in the production of immunity building cells. So if you suffer from frequent colds, coughs or fever or if you are recovering from another serious disease, try tulsi because it might help. The herb bolsters the body’s immunity, giving you the ability to resist pathogens better. You might be surprised to learn that scientists have identified and isolated as many as 54 chemical compounds from this miracle herb.
A rich source of antioxidants
Tulsi is loaded with antioxidants like eugenol. Eugenol, which is also a mild anesthetic prevents the formation of free radicals in your body, reducing aging and protecting you from cardiovascular disease. Tulsi also reduces cholesterol in your body, preventing the deposition of plaque in your arteries. Plaque deposition in arteries is also a major factor for high blood pressure which if left untreated can cause heart disease and stroke.
Helps in weight loss
If you want to lose weight, you will have to reduce your calorie intake and at the same time, increase your fat burn rate. You can burn fat quicker only if you increase your metabolic rate. If you want to improve your metabolic rate, you should try tulsi. The herb increases metabolism, accelerating the fat burn process. Best of all, Tulsi is a totally natural and healthy way to shed flab.
Is a detoxifier and purifying agent
Tulsi is a mild diuretic. Diuretics increase urine production in the body, helping the kidneys flush out toxins. That is why Tulsi is also recommended for people suffering from kidney stones. Tulsi decreases the amount of uric acid in the blood which is one of the main causes for the formation of kidney stones. In a study at Rajasthan University it was also found that Tulsi removes excess flouride from water. The herb’s antimicrobial property also makes it an excellent purifier.
Treats respiratory problems
If you are suffering from cough, cold or other respiratory problems (chronic and acute bronchitis), take Tulsi. It will improve your condition. The herb has expectorant (expels phlegm from your chest), antitussive (reduces coughing by suppressing the cough center) and immunomodulatory (maintains the immune system) properties. Tulsi also contains chemicals like cineole, eugenol and camphor which aids in relieving congestion.
Tulsi aids digestion in many ways. A healthy liver is a must if you want to improve your digestive power. Tulsi removes toxins from the liver, helping it perform better. Tulsi also increases the production of digestive enzymes which helps you digest your food better. The herb also helps you metabolize, absorp and assimilate carbohydrates, proteins and lipids faster. Digestive problems like flatulence, constipation and acidity can also be treated with Tulsi. One study even found that Tulsi is effective against stomach ulcers.
According to the International Diabetes Federation Atlas 2015, more than 69 million people in India are suffering from diabetes. Tulsi contains essential oils like caryophyllene, methyl eugenol and eugenol which stimulate the beta cells of pancreas to produce more insulin. Lab tests on animals have shown that Tulsi also regulates lipids in the blood and protects the kidneys/liver from metabolic damage resulting from high glucose levels.
Tulsi is good for your skin
Tulsi is a blood purifier. Taking green tea with Tulsi regularly, purifies your blood, giving your skin a nice, healthy glow. The antibacterial properties of Tulsi can also prevent blemishes and acne. In fact, Tulsi is a natural treatment for acne. Moreover, Tulsi is often used in Ayurveda to treat skin diseases like ring worm. You can also benefit from Tulsi if you are suffering from an itchy scalp and/or excessive hair fall.
Tulsi is called the ‘queen of herbs’. If you look at the health benefits delivered by Tulsi, you would say that this title was justified. Tulsi is a potent stress buster. It also soothes and relaxes your mind. The herb also possesses antimicrobial, antipyretic, analgesic properties. Drinking green tea infused with tulsi is a good way to bring these benefits into your body.