Tulsi, the holy basil, is a succulent perennial herb that is grown in many parts of Asia and is used both for its culinary and medicinal properties.
Tulsi is derived from the Greek word tulsi meaning “wind-blowing flower”. This plant has been widely used in Ayurveda, an ancient Hindu medical system that highlights the virtues of living a healthy life. Tulsi is also called holy basil or Aronia due to its religious significance.
Tulsi (Basil leaves in Hindi) is derived from the herbaceous plant tulsi which is a member of the mint family, Lamiaceae, of the oriental region and is widely cultivated in India, Pakistan, and the Indian subcontinent.
It is a ubiquitous weed found growing in damp and shady corners of fields and gardens as well as in forests.
The plant is said to be most beneficial for children and pregnant women who are suffering from hemorrhoids, a painful condition in which the blood vessels inside the anus and rectum become swollen due to excessive pressure and swell, almost similar to varicose veins found on the legs.
Tulsi is very useful in alleviating constipation and also relieves colic in infants.
Benefit of Tulsi
A major benefit of Tulsi is its use in treating a wide range of ailments including diabetes, asthma, migraine, depression, chronic fatigue, digestive disorders, muscular pain, migraine, rheumatism, stress, and anxiety.
Tulsi is also believed to have excellent nutritive value and great medicinal qualities. It is very useful for treating constipation, indigestion, colic, diarrhea, and menstrual pains.
The Tulsi herb is used in Indian traditional medicines for treating kidney and urinary tract diseases, stress and anxiety as well as blood sugar problems.
Fight Stress and Anxiety
One of the most important benefits of Tulsi is its ability to fight stress and anxiety. Since Tulsi contains fatty acids and calcium, it makes an excellent adaptogen.
An adaptogen is a substance that helps the body to adjust to different environmental stresses by enhancing immunity, speed up cellular regeneration, and enhances endurance and stamina.
This property makes Tulsi an excellent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. Moreover, it also plays a role in cell metabolism.
Family of Cucurbitaceae
Tulsi and eugenol belong to the same herb family of Cucurbitaceae or cactus plants.
Tulsi and eugenol share the same nutritional and health benefits. Both the tulsi and eugenol contain saponins that inhibit histamine release and thus reduce the swelling and pain caused by inflammation.
These properties make tulsi and eugenol excellent immune modulators and pain killers.
Health Benefits of Tulsi
In addition to the above mentioned health benefits, tulsi may also help lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels.
Tulsi has also been found to be effective in reducing stress and tension. It is due to this property of tulsi that it can reduce pain and promote relaxation.
In fact, some studies report that tulsi increases the strength of the immune system. Tulsi may also help fight stress and anxiety, two common symptoms of depression.
Preventing and Treating Diabetes
Some researchers are of the opinion that tulsi is effective in preventing and treating diabetes.
This is because tulsi contains substances that improve the functioning of the pancreas, and the level of glucose in the bloodstream is usually higher in diabetics than in non-diabetic people.
It is believed that the combination of ingredients present in tulsi may be able to regulate blood sugar level and insulin response better than other traditional diabetes drugs like Risks of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and Ladderine.
Also, tulsi is believed to be safer than other natural sugar-lowering drugs like Splenda, which may cause drug interactions with traditional diabetes drugs.
Studies have also shown that tulsi extracts may be useful in the treatment and prevention of some lifestyle-related chronic diseases like
- heart disease
However, research is still continuing to evaluate the health benefits of tulsi.
For example, despite the fact that tulsi has diuretic effects, there is still no direct evidence that it can prevent or reduce the blood sugar level.
Also, some experts argue that research studies have not proven tulsi’s efficacy in treating diabetes and improving the control of blood sugar.
Others believe that long-term consumption of tulsi may cause toxin-induced damage to the liver. There is also a chance that long-term consumption of tulsi may trigger the adverse effects of nicotine or caffeine.