Alternatively known as the holy basil or ocimum sanctum, tulsi is a common name in most Indian households. Easy to grow and widely found in the Indian subcontinent, not only is tulsi a revered, holy plant in Hinduism; it also finds its place in the ancient science of Ayurveda. Tulsi is commonly found in two varieties – the green coloured Lakshmi tulsi and the purple hued Krishna tulsi.
Tulsi is worshipped, is offered to the gods and is grown in many Hindu households not in vain but for a well-established reason – this humble, inexpensive herb comes loaded with a host of benefits. Tulsi is extremely beneficial for humans. From warding off some of the most common ailments, strengthening immunity, fighting bacterial & viral infections to combating and treating various hair and skin disorders – just a few leaves of tulsi when used regularly can help resolve a host of health and lifestyle related issues.
Tulsi has been used for thousands of years in Ayurveda for its diverse healing properties. It is mentioned in the Charaka Samhita, an ancient Ayurvedic text. Tulsi is considered to be an adaptogen, balancing different processes in the body, and helpful for adapting to stress. Marked by its strong aroma and astringent taste, it is regarded in Ayurveda as a kind of “elixir of life” and believed to promote longevity.
Tulsi extracts are used in ayurvedic remedies for common colds, headaches, stomach disorders, inflammation, heart disease, various forms of poisoning, and malaria. Traditionally, tulsi is taken in many forms: as herbal tea, dried powder, fresh leaf, or mixed with ghee. Essential oil extracted from Karpoora tulsi is mostly used for medicinal purposes and in herbal cosmetics, and is widely used in skin preparations due to its antibacterial activity. For centuries, the dried leaves have been mixed with stored grains to repel insects.
Hindus regard Tulsi plant as an earthly manifestation of the goddess Tulsi; she is regarded as a great worshipper of the god Vishnu. The offering of its leaves is mandatory in ritualistic worship of Vishnu and his forms like Krishna and Vithoba.
Many Hindus have tulsi plants growing in front of or near their home, often in special pots or a special masonry structure known as Tulsi Vrindavan. Traditionally, Tulsi is planted in the center of the central courtyard of Hindu houses. The plant is cultivated for religious and medicinal purposes, and for its essential oil.
Every part of the Tulsi plant is revered and considered sacred. Even the soil around the plant is holy. The Padma Purana declares a person who is cremated with Tulsi twigs in his funeral pyre gains moksha and a place in Vishnu’s abode Vaikuntha. If a Tulsi stick is used to burn a lamp for Vishnu, it is like offering the gods lakhs of lamps. If one makes a paste of dried Tulsi wood (from a plant that died naturally) and smears it over his body and worships Vishnu, it is worth several ordinary pujas and lakhs of Godan (donation of cows). Water mixed with the Tulsi leaves is given to the dying to raise their departing souls to heaven.
Note: We advise that natural products be consumed in their pristine form, without any preservatives or processing chemicals, unless a preparation is advised by an Ayurvedic doctor.
It gives maximum health benefits and keeps costs low (compared to the huge medical costs due to modern diseases.)
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