Tulsi – Ocimum sanctum, commonly known as the holy basil is an extremely useful and important Ayurvedic herb. Tulsi attracts more energy from the sun as compared to the other plants and thus blossoms very well in strong sunshine in Indian tropical weather. Under the sun, the leaves become bigger and thicker and also turn dark green, towards black, this variety is called Krishna Tulsi or black tulsi. Similarly, there is green tulsi and other types like sabza. Tulsi varieties are used all over the world.
Why it have so much popularity?
Always one problem that affects us all, if the weather is cold or rainy, it causes common cold and chest congestion. Tulsi is one of the best remedies against this. It has the ability to destroy excess Kapha and Vata. Tulsi juice when taken with honey is excellent to do away with a cold. Even in a child, one drop of the Tulsi juice with honey reduces cold and cough in the chest.
When we drink tea, adding two crushed leaves of Tulsi to it will act as a immune booster against common colds. Alternatively, take a few Tulsi leaves in water, add lemongrass and mint, a little ginger and bring to a boil, filter it, and add 2-3 lemon drops to make a lovely cup of herbal tea.
Tulsi is intense in taste and a little bitter and pungent; it has a lot of agni or fire. It balances the agni in the body. Another important area of action of the tulsi plant is heart and circulation. When the heart pumps, circulation happesn and cells of the body are replenished with oxygen. The strength of the heart is enhanced by tulsi.
Other than the leaves, Tulsi seeds are also very useful. When we soak them overnight in water, and make a kheer in the morning make a kheer (milk preparation) with these seeds to get rid of colic pains and sticky impurities in the tummy. For urinary problems, like less flow or burning, the seeds are soaked overnight, crushed in the water in the morning, and the water is drunk after straining. The cooling effect will reduce the burning in urination. Tulis is ‘praan-saurashak’ i.e. protector of our life.
Why do we keep a Tulsi plant outside every Indian home?
The Tulsi plant destroys the viruses and other vibrations which may be harmful for the body and mind. Tulsi arrests the Dushta shakti i.e. energies that are against our life, are blocked by Tulsi.
Tulsi leaves are definitely very useful when taken internally, but even when we move in the vicinity of the plant, the atmosphere, the aura around it helps us. Therefore, Tulsi is kept just outside the house, and we light a ghee lamp near it which helps to spread the vibrations of the plant.
The concept of Tulsi is truly one of a life-giver, a member part of the family system, and a very important and useful plant for human beings. Always keep a Tulsi plant in your balcony or veranda and enjoy the infinite benefits of this important Ayurvedic herb.