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Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum)-Treatment applications
Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum, Holy Basil) is a type of basil that has important medical properties that are useful in ayurvedic therapy. Tulsi is a many branched, erect stout and aromatic herb. It grows up to the height of about 75cms and is hairy all over. The plant has tender leaves, usually smooth, up to 2.5cm in length. The herb is bitter and pungent. This herb has been known from as early as Vedic period .Tulsi is also known as the holy basil and is native to India. It reached Western Europe in the 16th Century and has now widely grown throughout the world.
Tulsi has many medicinal properties. The leaves of tulsi are a nervine tonic and also sharpen memory. They promote the removal of the catarrhal matter and phlegm from the bronchial tube. Tulsi leaves strengthen the stomach and induce copious perspiration. The seed of the tulsi plant are mucilaginous. Below are some of the uses of tulsi.
1. Anxiety and Stress
Tulsi leaves are regarded as an adaptogen or anti-stress agent. Recent studies have shown that the tulsi leaves afford significant protection against stress. Even healthy persons can chew 12 leaves of the basil, twice a day, to prevent stress. It purifies blood and helps prevent several common elements.
2. Common Cold & Fever
The leaves of tulsi are specific for many fevers. During the rainy season, when malaria and dengue fever are widely prevalent, tender tulsileaves, boiled with tea, act as preventive against theses diseases. In case of acute fevers, a decoction of the tulsi leaves boiled with powdered cardamom in half a liter of water and mixed with sugar and milk brings down the temperature.
The juice of tulsi leaves can be used to bring down fever. Extract of tulsi leaves in fresh water should be given every 2 to 3 hours. In between one can keep giving sips of cold water. In children, it is every effective in bringing down the temperature.
Tulsi is also an important constituent of many Ayurvedic cough syrups and expectorants. It helps to mobilize mucus in bronchitis and asthma. Chewing tulsi leaves relieves cold and flu.
3. Sore Throat
Water boiled with tulsi leaves can be taken as drink in case of sore throat. This water can also be used as a gargle.
4. Respiratory disorder
The tulsi herb is useful in the treatment of respiratory system disorder. A decoction of the tulsi leaves, with honey and ginger is an effective remedy for bronchitis, asthma, influenza, cough and cold. A decoction of the tulsi leaves, cloves and common salt also gives immediate relief in case of influenza. They should be boiled in half a liter of water till only half the water is left and add then taken.
5. Kidney Stone
Tulsi can have a strengthening effect on the kidney. In case of renal stone, the juice of tulsi leaves and honey, if taken regularly for 6 months, can expel them via the urinary tract.
4. Heart disorder
Tulsi has a beneficial effect in cardiac disease and the weakness resulting from them. It reduces the level of blood cholesterol.
5. Children’s ailments
Common pediatric problems like cough cold, fever, diarrhea and vomiting respond favorably to the juice of tulsi basil leaves. If pustules of chicken pox delay their appearance, tulsi leaves taken with saffron will hasten them.
6. Mouth infections
The tulsi leaves are quit effective for the ulcer and infections in the mouth. A few leaves chewed will cure these conditions.
7. Insect Bites
The tulsi herb is a prophylactic; a preventive and curative for insect stings or bites. A teaspoonful of the juice of the tulsi leaves is taken and a repeated after a few hours. Fresh tulsi juice must also be applied to the affected parts. A paste of fresh roots is also effective in case of bites of insects and leeches.
8. Skin disorders
Applied locally, basil juice is beneficial in the treatment of ringworm and other skin diseases. It has also been tried successfully by some naturopaths I, the treatment of leucoderma.
9. Eye disorders
Tulsi basil juice is an effective remedy for sore eyes and night-blindness, which is generally caused by deficiency of vitamin A.
10. Teeth disorder
The tulsi herb is useful in teeth disorders. Its leaves, dried in the sun and powdered, can be used for brushing teeth. It can also be mixed with mustered oil to make a paste and used as toothpaste. This is very good for maintaining dental health, counter acting bad breath and for massaging the gums. It is also useful in pyorrhea and other teeth disorders.
Tulsi makes a good medicine for headache. A decoction of the leaves can be given for this disorder. Pounded leaves mixed with sandalwood paste can also be applied on the forehead for getting relief from heat, headache, and for providing coolness in general.