Know Your Ingredients - TULSI/ HOLY BASIL
A couple of weeks back we talked about the aromatic herb, Sweet Basil. Today, we are going to be talking about another variety of basil called Holy Basil (Ocimum sanctum). Holy Basil is also popularly known as Tulsi, which means ‘the incomparable one’
Tulsi is an herb that is native to India and few other South Asian countries and is revered for its medicinal properties. It’s pretty common to see at least one Tulsi plant at every household in India. I love Tulsi, the aroma and the taste of it, it is minty and peppery with a sweet aftertaste.
Back when I was growing up in India, my grandmother would have my sis and I chew on some tulsi leaves everyday after school. She would say, it would prevent cold and coughs. Now, my grandmother didn’t have a PhD in Immunology but she sure had her age old wisdom that she passed on to us. And now there is research that shows that she was right.
So, let’s jump into the some of the medicinal uses of Tulsi, shall we?
1. Tulsi is an herb that has anti-oxidant and anti- inflammatory effects on the body. It has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for over 3000 years now and is classified as a rasayana, an herb that nourishes a person and promotes longevity.
2. It helps Boost immunity - Clinical research showed that the leaf extract of tulsi was found to have immunotherapeutic potentials. Regular consumption of Tulsi may help strengthen the respiratory system and may help prevent colds and flu, something we can all do this time of the year especially since the kids go back to school.
3. Tulsi is an adaptogenic herb. An adaptogen is natural substance that helps your body adapt to stress, calm the nervous system and helps promote mental well-being. So if you are suffering from anxiety or adrenal fatigue, then including tulsi in your diet may help relieve some of the symptoms.
4. One of the active compounds present in Tulsi is triterpenoid Ursolic Acid. Ursolic acid promotes skin healing and enhances elasticity. Research also indicates that Ursolic acid may help in the prevention of skin cancer.
My favorite way to incorporate Tulsi is by consuming it in the form of tea. Watch the video to see how I make my Tulsi Herbal Tea.
TIPS FOR GROWING TULSI PLANT
Tulsi is a tropical plant that can be grown outdoors during warm, summer months, It needs ample sunshine, lots of water and good, fertile soil to grow. If you live in areas with harsh winter, then consider bringing in the tulsi plant and placing it in a location where it can get ample sunshine.
Tulsi plant responds well to touch. So be sure to show some love to the plant by talking to it everyday. Yes! I'm that crazy plant lady who talks to her plants but hey, it works!