Ocimum Sanctum is a Latin term meaning ‘sacred fragrant lipped basil’; native to tropical Asia, this plant is more commonly referred to as Tulsi or ‘the incomparable one’ in Hindi. Tulsi belongs to the Labiatae or mint family and is now cultivated widely across the world for both religious and medicinal purposes as well as for its essential oil.
CHARACTERISTICS OF OCIMUM SANCTUM
An aromatic plant, the tulsi grows like a branched shrub with tender and oval leaves. Ocimum Sanctum can grow upto 75 cms in height. The plant in India is available in two varieties; one having green leaves called the Lakshmi tulsi and the other with purple leaves, known as Krishna Tulsi. The plant’s flowers bare a purple shade and its fruit resemble yellowish/ reddish seeds. The leaves of this plant have an astringent/ peppery taste and are hence also used for culinary purposes.
THERAPEUTIC POWERS OF OCIMUM SANCTUM
Tulsi has known to be used for its medicinal qualities for over 1000 years and ancient Ayurvedic texts refer to tulsi as the ‘elixir of life’. The plants leaves, stems and seeds are used for relieving purposes. Tulsi is known to relieve almost all ailments including common colds, digestive problems, breathing problems, stress, blood sugar, heart problems, fever and even ulcers. The oil from the seeds of this herb is now also being used to relieve cancer.
Holy Basil can be used as an:
Ocimum Sanctum is also an adaptogenic herb; that is, a herb that can help the body combat stress and enable it to function normally during traumatic periods.
The chemical constituents of this herb include ursolic acid, eugenol, oleanolic acid, rosmarinic acid, linalool and carvacrol. The plant also contains ?-caryophyllene, ?-elemene and germacrene D. The high eugenol content of this plant helps it act like a pain-killer.
CARE FOR AILMENTS
Ocimum Sanctum can be used to relieve several ailments, these include:
- Fever: Holy basil helps relieves various kinds of fevers including malaria and dengue. The herbs components induce excessive sweating, thereby, bringing down the body temperature.
- Common Cold and Cough: Raw tulsi leaves are very helpful in providing relief from cold and cough. Being a very effective expectorant, the holy basil is very useful in relieving cough and sore throat.
- Kidney Stones: Apart from strengthening the functioning of the kidney, regular use of this herb can help one get rid of stones in the kidney.
- Heart Problems: This herb is very effective in reducing cholesterol levels and it thus helps maintain a healthy heart function.
- Insect Bites: Extracts from this herb can be used as a preventive as well as reliever for insect bites; they can be used as a mosquito repellent as well as to relieve bites from insects like leeches and scorpions and also snake bites.
- Mouth Ulcers: Chewing of raw basil leaves helps relieve mouth infections including ulcers. In addition this herb is extremely useful in maintaining dental hygiene; its antibacterial properties help one relieve dental problems like bad breath and pyorrhea.
- Stress: Consumption of the holy basil helps combat both physical as well as emotional stress as well as boost energy. The herb helps maintain the balance of the nerves.
- Skin Problems: Holy basil is used to relieve skin infections like ring worm.
- Eye Problems: Eye problems like sore eyes and night blindness can effectively be relieved with the regular use of tulsi extracts.
- Headaches: External as well as internal consumption of this herb provides relief from headaches.
- Breathing Problems: Extracts from this plant are often used to relieve respiratory problems like asthma and bronchitis.
- Sharpen Memory: Extracts from the leaves of this herb act as a tonic for the nerves and help sharpen the memory too.
- Blood Purifier: This herb is an efficient blood purifier and thus helps attain a clear and glowing skin as well as prevent several other ailments.
SAFETY AND PRECAUTIONARY TIPS WHILE USING OCIMUM SANCTUM
Since tulsi lowers blood sugar levels, people on diabetes medication should consume this herb with precaution. Consumption of this herb should also be avoided by pregnant and lactating women or by those trying to conceive, as this herb is known to decrease fertility. In addition patients on anti-clotting medications too should avoid this herb as it thins the blood. Before using any herb it is advisable to consult a medical practitioner.
PLANET AYURVEDA PRODUCTS THAT USE THIS HERB
Some of the Planet Ayurveda products that use Ocimum Sanctum as an ingredient include:
Planet Ayurveda is a globally renowned name when it comes to manufacturing and supplying Ayurvedic medicines. All our medicines are manufactured as per the traditional Ayurvedic formulas and procedures. Apart from using quality herbs in our supplements, we also ensure that our products are 100 percent vegetarian and natural. Hence, no animal products, artificial flavors or colors are used in making any of our products.