Tulsi, also known as holy basil or Ocimum sanctum, is a widely used herb in Nepal. The sweet scented woody herb has both religious and medicinal significance. The foremost Veda “Rigveda” (5000 BC) first described Tulsi inkling its spiritual value. Later, Charak Samhita (1000 BC) , a classical ayurveda manuscript explored its various medicinal properties recommending it for hundreds of disorders. Nowadays, utilizing the time tested knowledge of civilization and recent research findings, many ayurvedic medicines use it for treating several diseases. Following are the some proven benefits.
• Respiratory diseases
Tulsi is most effective in upper respiratory tract infection. Recent studies revealed that leaves of basil act against many respiratory tract infection causing bacteria and viruses. it also brings down the associated increased temperature during infection. Moreover, its mucolytic and antihistaminic actions act as blessings for cough, bronchitis and asthma patients by dissolving and taking the mucous out of the chest as well as preventing the air tract from further constriction. During the rainy season, simple home remedy like decoction of Tulsi, long and black pepper mixed with ginger is very useful for avoiding the respiratory problems. Simply, chewing fresh Tulsi leaves can subside the flu.
• Liver disease
Liver is the main organ of detoxification. It helps to eliminate various toxic chemicals out of the body. During this process, some liver cells may get destroy. Tulsi has the property to arrest further damage of the functional unit of liver, Hepatocytes. Moreover, it bolsters the liver’s cleansing action by stimulating the hepatocytes to produce more bile juice which flushes the debris out. Tulsi also fights strong against the Hepatitis Viruses and avoids the bad consequences like cancer.
• Heart disease
Tulsi is useful for the people suffering from high blood pressure. These people can use the whole plant decoction for hypotensive purpose. It is easy to make decoction. Ten grams of Tulsi is boiled with 160 ml of water until this volume reduces to 20 ml. similarly, diabetic people can take benefit from fresh leaves which considerably reduce the blood suger and cholesterol levels. In order to prevent the escape of volatile oil, Tulsi leaves can be used without boiling it.
• Gastrointestinal disease
In ayurveda, Tulsi is hugely acclaimed for its digestive as well as antihelminthic properties. People having abdominal discomfort and loss of appetite get relief fast after taking Tulsi and ginger juice mixing with black pepper. It can also be blended with betel pepper juice and black salt for better result.
• Life longevity:
Tulsi has immunomudulator and antioxidant properties which help to prolong the life. Immunity has the pivotal role to prevent disease. It fights against and saves the body from external force. Regular intake of Tulsi keeps the immunity power in equilibrium and control the disease incidence. Similarly, oxidants are evolved during the engery burning process. They kill the human cells and shorten the life. Tulsi is proved to engulf these chemicals and ultimately leads to long life.
Dr Raja Ram Dhungana
Dr Suira Josey
Writers are working as Ayurveda Medical Officer at Ayur Polyclinic Pvt Ltd.