The rainy season had left my voice a sorry mess, when I decided to indulge in a cup of tulsi tea. Miraculously, just three cups later, my sore throat was gone, and my voice restored. Which got me thinking about what an amazing gift from nature tulsi is. Whether it’s your skin, your hair, or your immunity, a regular dose of tulsi leaves could work wonders for your general health.
Tulsi, or the Ocimum tenuiflorum, or Holy Basil, is a plant found in almost every household in India, and as a common weed inmany south east Asian vegetable gardens. In western countries, the leaves are sold in packets, but it would be much better if you could plant a shrub in your kitchen garden.
Tulsi contains a number of compounds known as phyto-chemicals which possess strong antioxidant, antibacterial, antiviral, adaptogenic, and immune-enhancing properties. Phyto-chemicals in tulsi help improve your body’s natural defense against diseases and stress. Here are a few of the hundreds of ways tulsi or holy basil can make your life better. Sure, you knew that holy basil is good for your throat and can get rid of a cold, but how many of you knew that:
1. Tulsi is very good for your skin
Tulsi is awesome for your skin whether you eat the leaves raw, or apply the paste to your face. If eaten, holy basil leaves purify your blood from toxins, preventing acne and pimples.Tulsi leaves also contain anti bacterial and anti fungal agents, so if you make a paste of the leaves and apply to your face pack along with sandalwood paste, neem paste, or rose water, you’ll be able to prevent inflammations. The anti-oxidants in tulsi also make your skin look younger and fresher.
2. Tulsi prevents hair loss
One of the major causes of hair loss is itchiness, sweatiness, or bumpiness of scalp. Whether you are a man or a woman, hair loss is a very scary proposition. Help prevent it by adding a teaspoon of tulsi paste to your hair oil (preferably coconut oil) and rubbing it on to your scalp. The tulsi paste will help blood circulation in your scalp, and will keep your scalp cool, reducing itchiness and improving hair growth.
3. Tulsi can help you quit smoking
If you are trying to quit smoking, tulsi leaves can be much more helpful than nicotine patches, nicotine flavored gum, or even the plain candy they insist will keep you distracted from your need to smoke. Keep some fresh tulsi leaves in your pockets and munch on them whenever you get the urge to light up. The juice from the leaves will cool your throat pretty much as mint drops do, the chewing will distract you, and the anti-oxidants will actually help to undo the damage done by your years of smoking.
4. Tulsi can get rid of bad breath
Bad breath can kill your self confidence and ruin your social life. Instead of going frantic over special toothpastes and chewing gum all the while, take a handful of washed holy basil leaves and chew them very well, rolling the chewed paste around in your mouuth and against your gum with your tongue. Not only will the anti-bacterial agents in tulsi prevent a bacteria build up, anti oxidants will also ensure you have clean, plaque-free teeth.
5. Tulsi can keep your eyes safe
Soak a few basil leaves in water and wash your eyes with them every morning and before going to bed, to protect your eyes from conjunctivitis, swellings, inflammations, boils, and other infections. Basil leaves also relax your eyes, and sooth away stress-induced fine lines. Chew a couple of tulsi leaves, rich in anti oxidants, to keep away age related eye problems caused by free radicals, such as vision degeneration, cataracts, and glaucoma.
Do you have a tulsi plant at home? Do you use the leaves in your daily life? Do share!
And if you have a holy basil plant in your vegetable garden but it isn’t flourishing, check out what you can do in 6 tips for a healthy vegetable garden.