Holy Basil is a lovely branched herb which grows only annually. Fitting it's name perfectly Hindus believe Tulsi is a sacred plant. There are two types of Tulsi. The first is characterized by a stronger scent and can be found near Suriname and is red and the other is green. While Holy Basil has much spiritual significance, it does have many medicinal qualities.
Eye: When Holy Basil is crushed it produces a thick liquid which can be applied to the eyes for treatment of night blindness and inflammation.
Mouth : A powdered down version of Holy Basil can be used to treat sensitive teeth and gums. Adding water to the powder it can be used much like toothpaste. Also leaves can be chewed to promote the healing of mouth lesions and ulcers.
Bites: Any type of insect, spider, or outside critter bite can be treated using the liquid from crushed Holy Basil. Tulsi offers a prophylactic or anti-allergic properties which make sure that insects bites do not cause inflammation.
Distress: While in ancient times it was said that chewing Holy Basil leaves helped reduce stress related disorders it has been modernized. Today, Holy Basil tea and bath soaks are often the best remedy to relieve tension and stress daily.
High Cholesterol: Holy Basil much like the medication Lipitor which is used to lower cholesterol levels by several points. The great thing about Holy Basil is that it has none of the severe side effects of cholesterol medications like liver and kidney disease while still acting to lower cholesterol levels.
Upper Respiratory Infections: Holy Basil when combined with honey, salt, cloves, and lemon is a great resource for the relieving symptoms of cold. Flu, any upper respiratory infections, bronchitis, asthma, and cough. All ingredients are boiled down in one liter of water until half a liter remains and taken like tea.
Migraines: Holy Basil can be hammered into a paste which can then be applied to the head and neck to relieve the intense pain of migraines and severe headaches.
Skin Health: Holy Basil juice can always be applied to the skin to treat dry skin, rash, ring worm, and other infectious skin illnesses.
Digestive Tract: Holy Basil can stop all the nasty symptoms of food poisoning, stomach flu, and general children ailments including diarrhea, and vomiting.
Kidney Stones: If Holy Basil juice is taking for 6 months it will allow for the easy expulsion of kidney stones via the urinary tract.
Obviously, Holy Basil is medicinal herb with many healing qualities. Just like any medication it should be taken under the supervision of a medical professional.
Holy Basil (Tulsi)
Holy basil should not be confused with the more commonly known basil, though they are cousins. Whereas basil is a leaf used to enliven cooking, holy basil is a clove like plant with a hairy appearance that has special significance in Hinduism and can very often be found growing wild in thick clusters around temples in India, which is more of a healing product than a culinary ingredient. Traditionally anyway, as there is a growing fashion to use Holy basil in cooking, particularly in the USA where chefs pioneered this new found usage.
But keeping with its more traditional uses, Holy basil is an ancient remedy with particular reverence in the Ayurvedic philosophy.
Ayurvedic prescribes Holy Basil as an agent of perspiration and as such it is recommended that the herb is taken having being brewed up into Kapha tea. It can then work in the body and sweat out feverish ailments such as the common cold and sore throats. When taken in this fashion it also has the effect of clearing blocked passageways and so is able to clear up bronchial disorders efficiently and safely.
The juice of the Holy Basil should also be applied to an afflicted area to combat skin disorders, particularly those such as ringworm and other similar complaints.
It also has particular qualities which seem able to relax the body and give a feeling of the calm within a person when it is taken which enables Holy Basil to be used successfully as an anti-stress supplement and it is in this way it should be used for greater effect. Indeed it has been proven to be more successful in relieving stress then the more commonly known, better available and thus more frequently taken ginseng and it is said to be safer too with no known side effects.
Holy Basil is very much an emerging herb, certainly to the world outside of India and its' full benefits for a healthy lifestyle have yet to be fully explored, its' de-stressing attributes are beyond doubt, but increasingly there is some evidence that it can be equally effective when prescribed as a painkiller, an anti-inflammatory medicine, a treatment for all bacterial, fungal and viral infections and perhaps what will become eventually its' most important usage, there is evidence that it can help lower and control blood sugar levels, which would not only make it a refreshing revitalizing tonic for all, but more specifically and significantly means that it could well end up being a common prescription in the treatment and alleviation of diabetes.
It should be said that these treatments are only at the trialing stage at the moment but there does seem to be good evidence and proper hope that Holy Basil can become a first-class treatment and a naturally healthy one to boot for all of these afflictions and complaints.
Maybe India is about to lose its' best kept herbal remedy to the whole world, which can only be a good thing for everybody else.