17 Reasons Why You Must Have A Tulsi Plant Even If You Live In An Apartment
Every evening across thousands of households in India a lamp is lit and placed beneath the tulsi plant. It is believed that doing this will protect the household from any kind of harm. The tulsi plant is kept in a traditional planter within the compound of the family home. As old homes made way for high rises, the tulsi plant lost its place. Yet, given the therapeutic properties of tulsi, you must make some space for it, even if you live in an apartment. The tulsi plant, called basil in English, is a plant of the mint family and it is revered and worshipped in our country. It is a very useful herb. The word Tulsi means incomparable and it is truly an incomparable herb that is used in many forms for many purposes. It grows in multiple varieties, each as useful as the other. Basil, of course, is a critical ingredient of Thai and Italian cuisine. In the Ayurveda system of medicine, the tulsi plant has been used in medicines and tonics and is said to cure various ailments and protect against others. Here are 17 benefits of tulsi: 1. Fever and cold: The leaves of tulsi are used to treat fevers and cold. Specifically, fevers caused due to dengue and malaria are said to respond well to a decoction of tender tulsi leaves boiled in water with the addition of cardamom (in the ratio of 1:0.3) taken with sugar and milk. A few leaves of tulsi added to tea can also be used as a preventive against these infections. The extract of tulsi leaves in fresh water given every two or three hours can effectively bring down fever in children. 2. Cough: Tulsi is one of the main ingredients in many cough syrups and expectorants. To make a cough remedy at home, boil about fifteen leaves of tulsi in two cups of water for about ten minutes. Then strain the extract and mix in a tablespoon of lemon juice in the liquid. This is an excellent cough prevention medicine and relieves the symptoms if you have already caught one. Another way of using tulsi is by adding the leaves to some water along with a spoonful of turmeric powder and boiling for ten minutes. Strain and cool the liquid, add a teaspoon of honey to this to make a wonderful natural remedy. 3. Sore Throat: Gargling with water that has been boiled with tulsi leaves can relieve a sore throat. This water can also be taken as a drink throughout the day to relieve the pain of a sore throat. 4. Respiratory infection or disorders: Tulsi is a very effective treatment for various respiratory system ailments as it contains substances that mobilise the mucous. A decoction of tulsi leaves taken with some honey and ginger juice can give effective relief from influenza, bronchitis and asthma. In case of influenza, the decoction of tulsi with some cloves and salt provides immediate relief. 5. Kidney Stones: Basil leaves are said to help keep the kidneys healthy and function better. In case of kidney stones the regular consumption of the juice of tulsi or basil leaves with honey results in the expulsion of the stones through the urinary tract. Acetic acid and other components in its essential oils helps in breaking down kidney stones and its analgesic effect helps dull down the pain of kidney stones. The detoxifying effect of tulsi helps to reduce uric acid which is the cause of formation of kidney stones. Therefore, regular intake of tulsi can prevent the formation of kidney stones. 6. Diabetes: Tulsi leaves are rich in antioxidants, and the essential oils of the plant has eugenol, methyl eugenol and caryophyllene. These chemicals keep the pancreatic beta cells healthy and help it function properly. Sensitivity to insulin is increased and blood sugar is also lowered, thus combating diabetes effectively. However, it should be noted that tulsi may cause low blood sugar in a person suffering from diabetes. Therefore, if using tulsi for treatment of diabetes this should be done only after consulting a physician and blood sugar should be monitored regularly. 7. Heart disorders: The antioxidant Eugenol present in the leaves of the tulsi plant has the effect of lowering cholesterol in the blood and keeping blood pressure under control. Chewing on the leaves of tulsi on an empty stomach every day helps to keep the cholesterol levels and blood pressure low and protects the heart. : Compounds present in tulsi are said to be of anti-carcinogenic nature. They have been known to be quite effective in the treatment of some types of cancers, specifically, breast cancer and cancer of the mouth caused by chewing tobacco. These compounds when ingested, restricts the flow of blood to the tumours and inhibit further growth of the tumours. It is very important, however, to treat cancers medically and not consider tulsi as a sole cure to them. 9. Relieves stress: As per research, tulsi is a very good stress relieving agent. It is an adaptogen, which means that it is a substance which helps the body adapt to stress. It improves the body’s natural response to stress and function optimally during such times. The antioxidants present helps balance different processes of the body. A cup of tulsi tea can have a calming effect on the mind. It is also said to sharpen memory and can be used as a nerve tonic. Since tulsi does not have caffeine, it can be a very good replacement for tea and coffee. 10. Insect bites: The tulsi herb has prophylactic properties for insect bites and stings. It prevents the wounds from getting inflamed or infected. The juice of the leaves can be taken internally, a spoonful at a time every two or three hours. The fresh juice can also be applied externally to the affected parts. A paste made from the roots of the plant is helpful in treating bites from insects as well as leeches. 11. Skin disorders: The tulsi herb has multiple uses in the treatment of skin disorders and infections. The juice of the leaves applied externally is very effective in the treatment of ringworm infection. Naturopaths have also used the herb successfully for the treatment of leukoderma. The tulsi herb has proven anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. It is also known to be a blood purifier. It prevents the appearance of acnes and blemishes when regularly taken in the raw form. It also gives a skin a beautiful glow by detoxifying the body from inside. 12. Tooth decay: Dry tulsi leaves can be powdered and used to clean teeth and rid the mouth of bacteria. Alternatively, you could make a paste of powdered tulsi leaves and mustard oil. Tulsi leaves boiled in water and used as a mouthwash can help relieve toothache. It helps maintain good oral health, counters bad breath and is good for the gums too. It is also used in the treatment of pyorrhoea. 13. Prevents hair loss: The antifungal properties of tulsi helps in preventing dandruff which is a major cause of hair fall. Tulsi effectively strengthens the shaft of the hair and prevents hair from becoming brittle. Adding a paste of tulsi leaves to hair oil before applying to the scalp can help. Tulsi helps improve circulation of blood in the scalp, keeping the hair healthy, stimulating hair follicles to promote new growth. To prevent grey hair, dried tulsi leaves and amla can be soaked in water overnight which can be used to wash hair. 14. Headaches: The pain relieving properties of tulsi help to relieve headaches due to sinusitis, colds, fever, allergies and even migraines. It is also a decongestant and treats the problem from the roots. To treat a headache, boil some water in a bowl to which a few leaves of tulsi or some tulsi extract has been added. Then cool the water until it is bearable on the skin. Soak a towel in this water and place on the forehead for pain relief. 15. Helps to quit smoking: The anti-stress compounds present in tulsi can be very helpful if someone wants to quit smoking. On one hand, it helps lessen the stress that a smoker feels during the detoxifying period, on the other hand it has a cooling effect on the throat like that of menthol, which reduces the urge to smoke. Chewing on the leaves can also provide a harmless but effective distraction. The anti-oxidant properties of tulsi also help to reduce the damage caused by smoking. The tulsi or holy basil plant is not only used in medicine it has various other uses. It is a herb that is known and used universally. 16. Insecticide: Tulsi, used with other dried herbs and flowers can be used to make a potpourri or dried bouquets. It is said to keep flies away and has larvicidal properties against houseflies and mosquitoes. 17. Cooking: Basil is used in cooking in many Mediterranean and South East Asian countries. Pesto, is probably, the most popular processed form of basil. It enhances the flavour of the dishes and goes well with many ingredients. The seeds of the plant when soaked become gelatinous and are used in desserts. So keep a tulsi plant on your balcony. Tending to it will help you develop a routine and create your own magic solutions.