Tulsi is one of the most appreciated herbs in the Ayurvedic pharmacopoeia , considered sacred in many cultures. For centuries it has been used for its relaxing and beneficial properties, due to its ability to give relaxation to the body, clarity to the mind and lightness to the spirit.
Holy Basil - Tulsi herb: properties and benefits
Tulsi has many benefits for the body, as it is part of the adaptogenic herbs. These are defined as officinal herbs that can help our body cope with the stress and changes necessary to environmental conditions.
adaptogenic herbs can support health when we are under stress by influencing the HPA (hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal) axis. They are used to positively address many problems related to the nervous system such as anxiety, insomnia, moodiness, stress from too much work.
Holy basil can be used to address many nervous system disorders as a calming agent for anxiety and fatigue.
It can also be useful as a brain stimulant to improve concentration, memory, and cognitive abilities in times of fatigue.
From the point of view of digestive well-being, the health benefits of Tulsi are known for better digestion and assimilation of food.
Holy basil is used to improve stagnant or blocked digestion, characterized by symptoms of bloating, intestinal gas, sometimes nausea and decreased appetite.
To enhance its effects, it is also combined with dried ginger, particularly to counteract stress-induced negative digestive symptoms.
Naturally increases the defenses of the stomach by decreasing stomach acids and increasing the secretion of mucus (lubricant for the correct passage of food).
Holy basil has also been extensively researched for its ability to support oral health. An in vitro study showed that a holy basil extract was effective for the well-being of the gums, avoiding irritation and accumulation of bacterial plaque.
For several years this plant has also been studied for its action on insulin resistance processes and type 2 diabetes. The beneficial effects of holy basil on the enzymes involved in the carbohydrate metabolism (glucokinase, hexokinase and phosphofructokinase) and the influence on the glycogen content in the tissues of some organs.
Furthermore, always for the well-being of our metabolism, favorable studies have been conducted on its possible action of limiting total cholesterol and triglycerides.
In the wake of ancient notions and new research on blood sugar and lipid levels, herbalists often recommend holy basil to support overall metabolic and cardiac well-being.
Traditionally Tulsi was also used to soothe musculoskeletal pain, and in fact we now know that it is rich in eugenol, a useful element to relieve pain.
Another beneficial tradition of Tulsi was to protect the immune system, to defend the body from colds and flu.
This plant is renowned in the Ayurvedic tradition for its support to the well-being of the respiratory system, to promote correct breathing, and healthy blood circulation.
As an expectorant herb, in fact, it is able to help expel phlegm from the lungs.
It can also be an excellent ally to soothe the symptoms of allergic rhinitis associated with pollen, other seasonal plants or molds.
Holy Basil also has several antioxidants capable of supporting an anti-aging action, which hinders free radicals and inflammation of the organism.
In Indian medicine, Tulsi has been delightfully called liquid yoga by some, which gives a peaceful sense of well-being.
Origins and History of cultivation
Also known as Holy Basil or Tulasi, Tulsi herb is a well-known plant in Indian culture, as it grows throughout Southeast Asia, especially India. < / p>
For over 3,000 years the health benefits of tulsi have been revered, and it is considered one of the most powerful plants in India, consecrated to the Hindu god Visnu - who fell in love with Tulsi, who took the shape of this grass when it came to earth.
Its wood is used in morning prayers, and to create meditation “beads” in daily rituals.
It has been used for centuries as a medicinal plant, as well as for culinary uses.
Ayurvedic medicine refers to holy basil as a rasayana, which is a Sanskrit term meaning "to lengthen the life span" - while Tulsi means "the incomparable". < / p>
Cultivation of tulsi has spiritual as well as practical significance, as it connects the cultivator to the creative powers of nature.
Plant and flowers
The Tulsi plant, Ocimum sanctum L., is a small, highly branched, vibrant green shrub that can be either perennial or annual, depending on where it is grown.
It belongs to the basil family (Lamiaceae), which is why it is called Holy Basil.
Its leaves can be green or purple, depending on the variety, and the flowers are purple and aromatic, very popular with bees and pollinators of various species.
It grows in abundance throughout Southeast Asia, especially in India - where it is native. It is widespread as a cultivated plant but also as a wild plant.
Nutritional values of the leaves of Holy Basil - Tulsi
The nutritional value of Tulsi is excellent, as it contains vitamin A and C, minerals such as calcium, zinc, iron, chlorophyll.
Contains various chemical compounds, including phenols, flavonoids, terpenoids, fatty acid derivatives, essential oil, steroids.
There is the precious eugenol, and other compounds such as apigenin, rosmarinic acid, ursolic acid.
How to consume Holy Basil - Tulsi herb as an herbal tea and in the kitchen
For a good infusion of the herbal tea cut Tulsi plant, it is advisable to use for a cup (250 ml), about 3-5 grams, with water at 100 ° C. Leave to infuse for 5 to 8 minutes, before drinking the herbal tea.
Holy Basil - Tulsi herb: side effects and contraindications
It is necessary not to exceed the doses of Tulsi herb, since basil leaves can generate body heat, and also have an anticoagulant effect - so it should not be taken in the two weeks before and after surgery.
Therefore, it is not a recommended plant for those who take anticoagulant drugs, nor for those who take drugs to induce sleepiness.
This plant is not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women , also due to the presence of ursolic acid .