Tulsi Or Holy Basil, the Queen of Herbs, is a shrub that is worshipped by Hindus. It has found a special place in every Hindu household.
Apart from its mythological importance, the plant offers numerous medicinal uses.
These have been documented in ancient Ayurveda scriptures. Now they are gradually gripping the Western world through scientific proofs.
Health benefits of Tulsi:
1. Alleviates Problems of the Respiratory Tract
Now for us, Indians, this is a no brainer. Remember, all those times when your grandma made Tulsi tea when you were down with a cold?
Tulsi is the go-to-herb for respiratory illnesses such as common cold, cough, asthma, and a sore throat.
It can relieve all such symptoms if taken in with a tea or inhaled through steam (1).
2. Relieves Stress and Anxiety
All parts of the Tulsi plant are adaptogens. Adaptogens are natural ingredients that help reduce stress in the human body and improve mental balance.
Irrespective of the source of stress, Tulsi has been proven to have a positive impact on reducing stress (2).
It thus presents a natural alternative to traditionally used anti-depressants and stress relievers while also being free from side-effects.
3. Anti-inflammatory Properties
Studies have shown the alleviating properties of Tulsi in inflammatory conditions like arthritis (3).
As an anti-inflammatory agent, it relieves the joint pain associated with arthritis. This property could also be responsible for its action on some of the respiratory ailments.
4. Wound-Healing Properties
This review would be incomplete without a description of the wound healing properties of Tulsi.
Tulsi is an excellent herb if you want to get rid of pesky acne or recover from scars.
The herb is known to be effective against fungal, bacterial, viral, and inflammatory conditions. Moreover, its juice helps heal wounds quickly (4).
5. Diabetes Management
For type-2 diabetes, all components of the basil plant help lower blood sugar levels.
Also, tulsi’s sugar and cholesterol-lowering properties help prevent other symptoms of diabetes.
Research has proved that Tulsi supplements effectively lower blood sugar levels (5).
However, if you are already on medication for diabetes, consult your doctor before consuming it.
6. Regulates Blood Pressure
Tulsi leaves regulate a stress hormone called cortisol.
Hence, regular consumption of tulsi leaves may help lower blood pressure levels (6).
Moreover, research says eating tulsi leaves may reduce the risk of stroke, heart attack, and other related diseases (7).
Tulsi can also help weight loss by reducing bad cholesterol levels.
7. Effective against Peptic Ulcers
A study confirmed the efficacy of Tulsi extract against stomach ulcers.
Oral administration of Tulsi extract at a concentration of 100mg/kg was found to produce statistically significant results in favor of the plant’s action against ulcers.
Not only did it offer protection against ulcers but also a reduction in the number of ulcers (8).
8. Anti-Malarial Properties
A study proved that tulsi leaves possess anti-malarial properties.
They contain flavonoids, phenols, and proteins besides several other compounds.
These compounds make the extract of tulsi leaves an ideal precursor for anti-plasmodial drugs (9).
Well, the list is long and endless. But we believe that this article at least gives you an overview of what the plant has to offer.
There is no aspect of human health that the Tulsi plant does not benefit.
Whether it is used as an antiseptic, a stress-reliever, for blood sugar management, or as an anti-malarial, the plant is peerless in the benefits it has to offer.
It is not without a reason that ancient Indians worshipped it, and the tradition continues to this day.