Origin: Browse through history and you will notice that the humble Tulsi has always been considered mystical. It is believed that Holy Basil originated in India and widespread as a cultivated plant throughout the Southeast Asian tropics.
In India, Basil is considered religious as people plant it around the temple in their house. When the English colonized India, the non-Christian Indians swore on holy basil in court rather than on the Bible.
Traditionally, Tulsi was put in the mouth of the dead to ensure protection in the afterlife. In the 16th century, Basil was introduced in Britain and they later brought this herb to North America. Today, it is grown all over the Mediterranean region and in California.
Ayurveda says Basil is good for balancing Kapha, Pitta, and Vata. Basil is believed to be very effective against respiratory problems. In India and Ayurveda, Basil is considered divine and holy.
The plant plays a major role in Hindu mythology as it is supposed to be the incarnation of a goddess named Tulsi. The Devi Bhagavata Purana mentions Tulsi as a manifestation of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. It is used as an offering to Lord Krishna and Lord Vishnu. It is also consumed during fasting as it provides strength. Holy basil plant grown in your home is said to keep it free of garavisha — environmental toxins.
Scientifically: A large number of studies indicate that the holy basil, 'queen of herbs' has pharmacological properties to help your mind cope with different types of stress and anxiety.
An excellent source of vitamin K, manganese, iron, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acids… it is highly beneficial. The essential basil oil is used to treat cuts, wounds, and skin infections. This medicinal herb is used for a plethora of issues ranging from cough to heart diseases.
This detoxifying agent purifies and cleanses the skin. The uric acid levels in the body are regulated by Tulsi.
According to the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine, basil carries antidepressant and anti-anxiety properties comparable to diazepam and antidepressant drugs.
The antioxidants present in basil helps the human body detoxify. Not only this, Basil has antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. These boost up the healing of any wound and infections.
Basil is believed to lower the blood sugar level by balancing hyperinsulinemia, or excess insulin in the blood. Basil targets metabolic stress adding in weight loss and maintaining cholesterol level in the body. The essential anti-oxidant Eugenol in Tulsi controls blood pressure and cholesterol level in the body reducing the risk of cardiac arrest.
Also, Basil can treat many diseases such as bronchitis, malaria, diarrhea, eczema, stomach ulcers, eye diseases, and insect bites.
The herbal beauty industry highly recommends using Tulsi to treat acne, scars, skin infections, lighten dark spots, and enhance texture. When Tulsi powder is mixed with milk it has amazing skin whitening properties. Tulsi can tighten pores. For the same, it is used in combination with egg white.
Usage: Fresh Basil leaves are commonly used in various dishes across the world. The seeds of basil are used in various Asian drinks for flavor. Basil plays a significant role in Indian tea. Women use basil leaves in a hot bath as an infusion. Also, basil leaves are used during steam for speeding up the effect.
Below are some DIYs:
- Mix basil leaves juice with coconut oil or almond oil. Apply this mixture 2-3 times a day on wounds and witness astounding results.
- Prepare the paste by mixing equal amount of tulsi leaves powder and amla powder in water. Leave it on your scalp for 2-3 hours. Wash it off with mild shampoo.
- take 10- 15 tulsi leaves and 1 tablespoon of yogurt, grind them together to make a paste Apply this on the face for 15 minutes and rinse later. This pack helps in achieving clear, radiant skin.
- take 1 tablespoon ground tulsi paste, 2 teaspoons of gram flour and half a teaspoon of honey, mix them all together and apply on the face. Leave it on for 15 minutes and then rinse. This pack helps in lightening the skin and evens the skin tone.
- take a tablespoon of tulsi paste with a tablespoon of neem paste, mix them together and apply on the acne or blemishes. This remedy reduces excessive sebum production and clears the skin. It also soothes any skin irritation.