Today the World is in the midst of a global epidemic of obesity, diabetes, cancer and other chronic health conditions caused by modern lifestyles and lack of physical activity, high intake of junk food, sugar, excess salt, etc. and exposure to toxic chemicals and environmental pollution. Tulsi-Holy Basil is a versatile herb that can provide some amazing benefits when it comes to protecting your health.
Tulsi (Holy Basil) is an adaptogenic herb, and regular consumption of adaptogenic herbs enhances the body’s capacity to maintain balance in the midst of an array of modern-day stressors and boosts overall immune system.
Of all the herbs used in Ayurveda, none has a status comparable to Tulsi or holy basil (Ocimum sanctum).
In Ayurveda, Tulsi is known as ‘Queen of Herbs’ and provides a vast array of health benefits that are backed by modern science.
Tulsi, which reinforces ancient Ayurvedic wisdom, suggests that it is a Rasayana (tonic) for the complete body that offers protection from many modern day health problems.
This herb tastes hot and bitter and is said to penetrate the deep tissues and balances Kapha and Vata. Daily consumption of Tulsi Tea is supposed to prevent disease, promote overall health, and assist in fighting stress and depression.
Uses of Tulsi (Basil)
In addition to the above mentioned health-promoting properties, this medicinal plant or herb is recommended as a treatment for a range of conditions including anxiety, cough, asthma, diarrhea, fever, dysentery, arthritis, indigestion, nausea, gastric, cardiac, diabetes, skin diseases etc.
Considered as a potent anti-inflammatory herb, it has a unique combination of pharmacological actions that promote wellbeing and resilience.
The medicinal properties of Tulsi have been studied in hundreds of scientific studies, and these studies reveal that it possesses antimicrobial, antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, antimalarial, anti-diarrheal, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, hepatic-protective, neuroprotective, cardioprotective, anti-diabetic, anti-hypercholesterolemia, anti-hypertensive, anti-carcinogenic, analgesic, antipyretic, anti-allergic and , immunomodulatory properties.
The pharmacological actions of this herb help the body and mind to cope with a wide range of infectious and emotional stresses and restore overall well-being.
Studies have shown that Holy Basil protects against toxic chemicals and environmental pollution by increasing the body’s antioxidant levels such as glutathione and enhancing the activity of antioxidant enzymes such as superoxide dismutase and catalase which further aid in fighting free-radicals and keeping us healthy and disease free.
A total of 24 studies were identified that reported therapeutic effects on metabolic disorders, cardiovascular disease, immunity, and neurocognition. All studies reported favorable clinical outcomes with no studies reporting any significant adverse events. The reviewed studies reinforce traditional uses and suggest tulsi is an effective treatment for lifestyle-related chronic diseases including diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and psychological stress.
Benefits of Holy Basil (Tulsi)
Holy Basil also helps to prevent cancers caused by environmental and other by reducing DNA damage and enables the body to more effectively eliminate them by enhancing the activity of liver.
This herb not only helps protect and detoxify the body’s cells and organs, but it can also help reduce toxic stress by relaxing and calming the mind and offering many psychological benefits including anti-depressant activity and positive effects on memory and cognitive function.
The incredible healing properties of this herb and its extracts come mainly from the phytonutrients it contains. It is an excellent antibiotic, germicidal, fungicidal and disinfectant agent and very effectively protects our body from all sorts of bacterial, viral and fungal infections.
Along with providing relief in viral, bacterial and fungal infections of the respiratory system, Holy Basil gives instant relief from congestion due to the presence of components like Camphene, Eugenol, and Cineole. It is beneficial in curing almost all varieties of respiratory disorders including bronchitis.
It is very efficient in the treatment of asthma, since it relieves congestion and facilitates smoother breathing and relaxes mucous membranes.
The compounds like vitamin-C, Camphene, Eugenol and Cineole that are present in Holy Basil do cure not only the infections in the lungs but also cure its congestion. Furthermore, it is found to be effective in healing the damages caused to the lungs due to smoking, tuberculosis, and lung cancer due to its antibiotic properties.
Additionally, this herb is very beneficial in reducing the LDL (Bad) cholesterol levels within the blood.
Antioxidants found in Holy Basil, apart from repairing the damages done by free radicals, also minimize the stress by calming the nerves and balancing the blood pressure.
It is also considered good for oral care and acts as an excellent mouth freshener and prevents bad breath, cavities, Tatar and plaque due to its strong antibacterial qualities. It is also known to help inhibit the growth of oral cancer which is majorly caused by chewing tobacco or smoking.
Being a detoxifier and a mild diuretic, it helps to reduce the uric acid level in the body, which is the leading cause of kidney stones.
Basil is one of the many herbs that help to control the blood sugar level in a person. Its anti-carcinogenic properties help to combat many forms of cancer by inhibiting the growth of cancer cells. It restricts the blood vessels that feed tumors. However, It should not be used as a sole treatment for fighting this disease.
Basil leaves prevent the outburst of acne and pimples as it has the ability to purify your blood by flushing body toxins. It contains antibacterial and antifungal agents and can be used both internally and topically for glowing skin.
A small quantity of basil oil added to a regular carrier oil like Coconut or Olive oil and massaged on head improves the blood circulation and keeps your scalp cool reducing itchiness and dandruff and thus promotes hair growth.
Scientific research and studies performed on Tulsi (Basil) demonstrates that this herb provides many psychological and physiological benefits. This medicinal plant can rightly be termed as one of the most commonly and widely used ingredients in many Indian homes as well Ayurvedic remedies.
From a regular fever to some of the deadliest and most fatal bacterial and viral infections this potent herb can fight it all and protect you from numerous chronic diseases. It acts as a detoxifying, cleansing and purifying agent–both internally as well as externally.