Tulsi (holy basil leaf), is a fairly common plant in Indian households. Considered holy by many religions, the tulsi plant is revered for its divine qualities in ancient Indian customs and even today planted in many house holds..
Apart from the divine halo, traditional practitioners recommend including the leaves and roots of the plant in various medical decoctions.
Fever : Leaves of tulsi have been used since ages for curing fever. In monsoons, when malaria and dengue fever are widely prevalent, boiling tulsi leaves with drinking water acts as a deterrent.
In case of fevers, a decoction of the leaves boiled with powdered cardamom in half a liter of water and mixed with honey and milk regulates body temperature.
Sore Throat: Water boiled with basil leaves for drinking in case of sore throat is highly recommended.This water can also be used as a gargle.
Headaches: Basil makes a good remedy for headache. A decoction of the leaves can be given for this. Pounded leaves mixed with sandalwood paste can also be applied on the forehead for getting relief from heat, headache, and for cooling in general.
Beats diabetes: Leaves of holy basil are packed with antioxidants and essential oils that produce eugenol, methyl eugenol and caryophyllene. Collectively these substances help the pancreatic beta cells (cells that store and release insulin) function properly. This in turn helps increase sensitivity to insulin, lowering one’s blood sugar and treating diabetes more effectively. An added advantage is that the antioxidants present in the leaves help beat the ill effects of oxidative stress.
Protects the heart: Tulsi has a powerful anti-oxidant component called Eugenol. This compound helps protect the heart by keeping one’s blood pressure under control and lowering cholesterol levels. Grand mothers always recommend chewing a few leaves of tulsi on an empty stomach everyday to prevent and protect any heart ailments.
Dissolves kidney stones: The holy basil being a great diuretic and detoxifier is great for the kidneys. Tulsi helps reduce the uric acid levels in the blood (one of the main culprits for kidney stones is the presence of excess uric acid in the blood), helps cleanse the toxins by the kidneys.
The presence of acetic acid and other components in its essential oils helps in breaking down kidney stones and its painkiller effect helps dull down the pain due to kidney stones. An effective method to relieve kidney stones is to have the juice of tulsi leaves with honey, everyday for five to six months to help cleanse the stone from the kidney.
Stress: Basil leaves are regarded as an ‘adaptogen’ or anti-stress agent. Recent studies have shown that the leaves afford significant protection against stress. Even healthy people can chew 12 leaves of basil, twice a day, to prevent stress related ailments. It purifies blood and helps prevent several common ailments.
DISCLAIMER: All of the these are only general guidelines We always recommend consulting your medical practitioner depending upon the intensity of the case and taking a considered medical opinion .