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                                                                                                   जगद्धात्रि नमस्तुभ्यं विष्णोश्च प्रियवल्लभे ।
                                                                 Jagad-Dhaatri Namas-Tubhyam Vissnnosh-Ca Priya-Vallabhe

                                                Meaning: (Salutations to Devi Tulasi) I bow down to You,
                                   O Jagaddhatri (the bearer of the World);  You are the most beloved of Sri Vishnu.


Hindi Name:
Tulsi
Sanskrit Name: Tulasi
English Name: Holy Basil
Malayalam Name: Tulasi
Tamil Name: Thulasi / Tirunirrippachai
Latin Name: Ocimum sactum Linn Pennel


Tulsi or the Queen of Medicinal Plants or Holy Basil also referred to as Ocimum tenuiflorum (synonym Ocimum sanctum), is an aromatic perennial plant that belongs to the mint family Lamiaceae.

It is an important symbol of the Hindu religious tradition. The name Tulsi is derived from “Sanskrit”, which means “matchless one”. Its other name, Vishnupriya means the one that pleases Lord Vishnu. This plant belongs to the family Labiatae, characterized by square stem and specific aroma. The leaves of the plant are considered to be very holy and often form a consistent part of the Hindu spiritual rituals (Tirtha or Prasada).

Holy Basil has a rich history known since the Vedic age for its immense curative and multi-purpose utility. It has been the ‘Herb Royale’ to the French, a sign of love by Italians, and a sacred Herb in India. In the first century A.D. Roman naturalist Pliny reported that basil relieves flatulence, which had been subsequently proven true. In the Far East, the herb had been used as a cough medicine, and in Africa, it has been used to expel worms. American colonists considered holy basil is the essential ingredients in a snuff used to ease headaches.

It is a green or purple-tinted houseplant with a spicy and refreshing fragrance, which is believed to ward off misfortune. Not only do Tulsi leaves benefit people, but its flowers too. Tulsi can help you get rid of many health problems ranging from fever to kidney stones.

Three main types of Tulsi are seen growing in India:

Bright green leaves called Ram Tulsi
Purplish green leaves called Krishna Tulsi
Common wild Vana Tulsi.

Plant and leaf morphology of five Ocimum species prevalent in India viz., O. tenuiflorum subtype Krishna, O. tenuiflorum subtype Rama, O. gratissimum, O. sacharicum, O. kilmand. Leaf morphologies are quite different for the five species

Several varieties of holy basil grows wild throughout the Himalayan foothills and in the plains of India. It has a widespread cultivation throughout the Southeast Asian tropics. The plant also grows wild in different tropical and subtropical regions, but the cultivation persists due to its uses in oil extraction and preparation of remedies, the plant is also used in Thai cuisine and is referred to as Thai holy basil (kaphrao). A phylogeographical study of the species was conducted by a group of researchers from Central University of Punjab, Bathinda. They have found that this plant originates from North Central India and has adverse uses.

It is also abundantly found in Malaysia, Australia, West Africa and some of the Arab countries. Ocimum sanctum (Linn) is the most prominent species of the genera. 

The Benefits & Uses of Tulsi Plant

  1. Healing Power:The Tulsi plant has many medicinal properties. The leaves area unit a nerve tonic and additionally sharpen memory.  
  2. Fever & Common Cold: The leaves of basil square measure specific for several fevers. Throughout the season, once protozoal infection and dengue square measure wide prevailing, tender leaves, cooked with tea, act as preventive against these diseases
  3. Respiratory Disorder: The herb is beneficial within the treatment of system disorder. A decoction of the leaves, with honey and ginger is a good remedy for respiratory disease, asthma, influenza, cough and cold
  4. Excretory organ Stone: Basil has strengthening impact on the excretory organ. just in case of urinary organ stone the juice of basil leaves and honey, if taken often for six months it’ll expel them via the tract
  5. Heart Disorder: Basil incorporates a helpful result in viscus sickness and also the weakness ensuing from them. It reduces the amount of blood steroid alcohol
  6. Children’s Ailments: Common pediatric issues like cough cold, fever, diarrhea and vomiting respond favorably to the juice of basil leaves. If pustules of chicken pox delay their look, basil leaves smitten saffron can hasten them
  7. Stress: Basil leaves area unit thought to be associate degree ‘adaptogen’ or anti-stress agent. Recent studies have shown that the leaves afford vital protection against stress
  8. Mouth Infections: The leaves are quite effective for the ulcer and infections in the mouth. a couple of leaves chewed can cure these conditions
  9. Insect Bites: The herb is a prophylactic or preventive and curative for insect stings or bites. A teaspoonful of the juice of the leaves is taken and is repeated after a number of hours
  10. Skin Disorders: Applied domestically, basil juice is useful within the treatment of tinea and different skin diseases 
  11. Teeth Disorder: The herb is beneficial in teeth disorders. Its leaves, dried within the sun and small-grained, are used for brushing teeth. It may be mixed with mustered oil to form a paste and used as dentifrice 
  12. Headaches: Basil makes a decent drug for headache. A boiling of the leaves is often given for this disorder
  13. Eye Disorders: Basil juice is a good remedy for sore eyes and night-blindness, which is mostly caused by deficiency of fat-soluble vitamin. 2 drops of black basil juice area unit place into the eyes daily at time of day
  14. Treats Skin Issues: Tulsi works fine on disease of the skin, skin disorder associated pimples and lots of cosmetic firms use Tulsi as an ingredient in skin ointments attributable to its anti-bacterial properties. Individuals plagued by itch and disease of the skin ought to drink Tulsi juice to assist cure it
  15. Prevents Inflammation: Tulsi leaves contain anti-bacterial and anti-fungal compounds. A paste manufactured from Tulsi leaves alongside wood paste and essence will be applied on the face because it helps to forestall inflammation 

The plant is progressively finding its approach in the Ayurvedic treatment of diseases. Tulsi leaves are widely used because of their healing power. It is a tonic for the nervous system and so, helps an excellent deal in sharpening the memory. This aromatic plant supports the removal of phlegm and rubor matter from the cartilaginous tube. It also works wonders in preventing stomach disorders. The herb Tulsi is glorious to cure the metabolic process disorders. The simmering ready by mix honey, ginger and Tulsi leaves is sort of useful in combating respiratory disease, contagion and asthma attack.

How to Grow Tulsi Plant

Nutritive Information for Tulsi Leaves / Holy Basil:

1 cup of chopped Tulsi  is about 20 grams
RDA stands for Recommended Daily Allowance.

Energy – 5 calories
Protein – 0.6 g
Carbohydrate – 0.5 g
Fat – 0.1 g
Fiber – 0.3 g

Vitamins:
316.4 mcg of Vitamin A = 6.59% of RDA (about 4800 mcg)
3.6 mg of Vitamin C = 9% of RDA (about 40 mg)
13.6 mcg of Folate (Vitamin B9) = 13.6% of RDA (about 100 mcg)
83 mcg of Vitamin K = 69% of RDA (about 120 mcg)

Minerals:
35.4 mg of Calcium = 3.54% of RDA (about 1000 mg)
0.6 mg of Iron = 3% of RDA (about 20 mg)
3.65 mg of Magnesium = 8.5% of RDA (about 350 mg)
11.2 mg of Phosphorus = 1.8% of RDA (about 600 mg)
59 mg of Potassium = 1.25% of RDA (about 4700 mg)

Phytochemistry

Ocimum basilicum L. Contains (-)-linalool (30-40%), eugenol (8-30%), and methyl chavicol (15-27%). Minor basil oil constituents are (+)-delta-cadinene, 3-carene, alphahumulene, citral, and (-)-trans-caryophyllene.

Various bio-organic compounds isolated from various species of Tulsi
Various bio-organic compounds isolated from various species of Tulsi

Thai basil oil contains methyl chavicol (93.0%), eugenol (41.5%), gammacaryophyllene (23.7%), and methyl eugenol (11.8%) as major compounds [Figure]. Hoary basil oil contained high amounts of geraniol (32.0%) and neral (27.2%) and small amounts of methyl chavicol (0.8%). Linum usitatissimum, oil contains high alpha-linolenic acid contents mainly
eicosanoid precursor polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) which are highly anti-inflammatory [Figure]. Ocimum basilicum L. EO contains eugenol (67.4% and 72.8%), β-elemene (11.0% and 10.9%), β-caryophyllene (7.3% and 8.4%), and germacrene D (2.4% and 2.2%), while the major components in O. basilicum cvs. “Vikarsudha” and “CIMSoumya” were methyl chavicol (68.0% and 64.9%) and linalool (21.9% and 25.6%), along with bicyclogermacrene
(2.0% and 0.7%) and α-terpineol (1.2% and 0.1%). Eugenol (77.2%), 1,8-cineole (7.6%), germacrene D (2.7%), and β-caryophyllene (1.7%) were identified as the major constituents of Ocimum gratissimum (OG) [Figure].

EO from Ocimum kilimandscharicum mainly contains monoterpenoids (95.8%), represented by camphor (64.9%), limonene (8.7%), camphene (6. 4%) and (E)-β-ocimene (3.0%),[4] O. basilicum contains methyl chavicol (87.0%) and{(Z)-and (E)-methyl cinnamate (69.1%). EO yield and quality of methyl eugenol rich sacred/holy basil (OT L.f.; Lamiaceae) (E)-cinnamyl acetate, eugenol and beta-elemene constituents of the oil.[16] Gas chromatographic analysis indicated the presence of camphor, caryophyllene oxide, cineole, methyleugenol, limonene, myrcene, and thymol, all known insect repellents.

Try Recipes using Tulsi Leaves

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