Tulsi also known as holy basil is a type of herb with natural medicinal properties. Its scientific name is Ocimum tenuiflorum and it belongs to the family Lamiaceae. Tulsi is an integral part of many households, especially in India. Besides being stuffed with medicinal and therapeutic properties, tulsi is considered a very sacred plant. It is even worshipped in some parts of India.
We all have heard about tulsi leaves and their generic uses from our grandparents or parents at some point in our life. In Ayurveda, tulsi is regarded as a magical herb and considered a medicine for the treatment of various chronic diseases. The health benefits of tulsi are innumerable and when it comes to treating diseases, this magical herb stands out among all.
Tulsi leaves are generally oval-shaped and have a minty aroma associated with them. But don’t get fooled by its mild aroma, the leaves of the tulsi plant have some genuine health benefits that will make you consume it on a regular basis.
Various types of tulsi
There are various types of tulsi out of which these three types of tulsi are cultivated widely in India.
- Rama tulsi or Sri tulsi (leaves are green in color)
- Krishna tulsi or Shyama tulsi (leaves are violet in color)
- Vana tulsi (dark green leaves)
Nutritional information of tulsi
100grams of tulsi consists of the following nutritional value
- Calories 22Kcal
- Protein 3.17g
- Carbohydrates 2.80g
- Fiber 1.7g
- Water 90g
- Folate 68mcg
- Choline 11.5mg
- Vitamin C 18mg
- Vitamin K 420mcg
- Calcium 178mg
- Iron 3.23mg
- Magnesium 63mg
- Manganese 1mg
- Phosphorous 50mg
- Potassium 290mg
- Sodium 4mg
As we can see tulsi is extensively rich in phytochemicals, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Potassium, Phosphorous, Sodium and fiber. It is considered great for the prevention of diseases related to liver, lungs and kidneys. As a result, Ayurveda regards tulsi as “The Queen of Herbs”.
Health benefits of tulsi
Health benefits of tulsi for your brain
In this new generation, anxiety, stress and depression are quite common because of this fast-paced lifestyle. Too many aspirations and career options lead to these psychological conditions in human beings. But consuming tulsi leaves on a regular basis would always help you to get rid of these conditions. Tulsi is a type of adaptogen that when enters your body reduces corticosterone and ultimately boosts your mood.
Moreover, tulsi is a nootropic herb that helps in improving the cognitive functions of the body. Improved cognitive functions mean improved cognitive flexibility which in turn increases your short-term memory, your working memory and attention span. This finally leads to an increase in focus power, learning power and overall productivity.
According to Ayurveda, tulsi also helps in improving your sleep quality by removing your anxiety and depression issues. It is considered as a natural anti-anxiety and anti-depressant herb.
Tulsi is also rich in Ocimumosides A and B. These compounds help to alleviate stress and maintain the brain’s neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine balance. Tulsi’s anti-inflammatory qualities lower inflammation and blood pressure as well.
Health benefits of tulsi for your mouth
Tulsi is considered great for solving your mouth problems. Be it a plague, cavities, ulcers or bad breath problems, tulsi can solve it all. According to Ayurveda, Vana tulsi is considered the best if you are experiencing any sort of problems in your mouth. Dried Vana tulsi leaves are converted into powdered form. This powder is then mixed with mustard oil and is used as a toothpaste to get rid of the problems related to the mouth. Tulsi leaves are also related to the treatment of pyorrhoea, periodontitis and sensitive teeth.
Health benefits of tulsi for your digestive system
Tulsi is related to the treatment and prevention of several digestive problems. It is related to the treatment of gastritis, bloating, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, hiccups and dysentery. Ayurveda also considers tulsi leaves as a treatment for acidity, heartburn and GERD.
Tulsi also improves the efficiency of your liver. One of the main functions of your liver is to detoxify your body. It enzymatically disassembles and eliminates unwanted and hazardous chemicals from your body. Tulsi is a detoxifying agent and will synergize with your liver to keep you healthy.
Health benefits of tulsi for your kidney
Tulsi is considered a great natural diuretic as it works efficiently in balancing fluids, uric acid and minerals in your blood. If the amount of uric acid increases in your blood it leads to the formation of stones in your kidneys. Tulsi normalizes this uric acid levels and improves your kidney health.
Moreover, tulsi is considered great for people suffering from diabetes mellitus and metabolic syndrome. It is also considered great for people who are on a high-protein diet.
People who are into bodybuilding or on a high protein diet always lead to an acidic body condition due to the increased protein intake. This leads to increased levels of ammonia, urea and amino acids in the blood and leads to several chronic diseases. Consuming leaves of tulsi will help you to maintain the balance.
Health benefits of tulsi for your respiratory system
Ayurveda regards tulsi as the “Queen of herbs” when it comes to treating problems related to the respiratory system. In fact, most medicines used for the treatment of respiratory problems such as COPD, bronchitis, asthma, pneumonia, and tuberculosis include tulsi or extracts of tulsi as their main ingredient.
Moreover, tulsi works as an expectorant within our body. It is highly efficient in the treatment of colds, coughs and sore throat. Tulsi leaves also possess anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties that help in the treatment of tuberculosis.
Health benefits of tulsi for your cardiovascular system
Consuming tulsi leaves in the form of Kadha or directly helps to improve your lipid profile. Tulsi not only lowers your serum cholesterol, triglycerides, phospholipids, and LDL but also increases the HDL cholesterol in your body. Moreover, tulsi is also indirectly related to the prevention of the build-up of fat, and cholesterol on the artery walls. As a result, tulsi is considered a magical herb for the prevention of Atherosclerosis.
Tulsi also improves your overall stamina by improving the ability of your body to consume oxygen and process it. The more efficiently your body works in processing the oxygen, the more your stamina levels go up and less amount of lactic acid is produced. This is also known as the VO2 max, and consuming tulsi increases the VO2 max. So if you are into regular intense workouts or preparing for any sort of physical exams, consuming tulsi leaves every day will help you to improve your stamina levels.
Helps in treating skin diseases
Tulsi is widely used in the treatment of all types of skin diseases caused by ringworms. Tulsi leaves are also used in the treatment of Leucoderma, Eczema and Psoriasis. Tulsi leaves have anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, antibacterial and antiviral properties which help in treating such skin disorders. You can consume the juice of tulsi leaves in the form of Kadha or apply the paste directly to the affected area.
Considered great for the treatment of fever
Tulsi is antipyretic and analgesic in nature that is it is considered a terrific medication for the treatment of fever. The anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties of tulsi help in the treatment of periodic fever. It contributes to reducing your body temperature during fever and prevents body aches.
Eugenol, present in tulsi helps to serve this purpose.
Considered great for the male reproductive system
Tulsi is indeed considered great for improving a man’s reproductive system. Consuming tulsi leaves on a regular basis not only improves sperm quality and quantity but also improves sperm motility. Consuming a combination of tulsi seeds along with cold cows’ milk and mishri at night improves your time duration and overall stamina. In fact, a combination of these three also helps cure nightfall problems.
Boosts overall immunity
Tulsi is rich in Vitamin C as well as zinc. We all know how Vitamin C and zinc play a major role in improving the overall immunity of our body. Moreover, tulsi also possesses anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties that help in making our body immune from foreign viruses and bacteria.
Contains various phytochemicals
Tulsi contains numerous phytochemicals such as ursolic acid, rosmarinic acid, caryophyllene, luteolin and many more. Some of these phytochemicals have antioxidant properties which help in the prevention of cancer by tracking down free radicals. Moreover, this antioxidant property of the phytochemicals also helps in preventing premature aging.
How to consume tulsi?
The main part of the tulsi plant is its leaves. We generally consume the leaves of tulsi. They are either eaten raw or in the form of Kadha. Sometimes tulsi is also added to tea to make it a very nutritive and refreshing drink. In some cases, tulsi is also applied externally as a paste. There are also some tulsi powders and supplements available in the Indian markets.
So as you can not only in Ayurveda but scientifically tulsi has been proven to have several health benefits. It is a natural herb with excellent medicinal properties. So including tulsi leaves in your regular diet in the form of Kadha or consumed raw becomes mandatory when the taste is actually good.