Holy Basil also popularly known as Tulsi, is one of the most revered herbs in traditional Indian culture. The name has been derived from the Greek word “basileus”, which means “king” and there are over 60 different varieties that differ in appearance but have a similar taste. This herb is believed to be endowed with healing powers and has been widely used in traditional medicine for over 3000 years.
Different Varieties of Tulsi and its Nutritional Profile
Tulsi is an aromatic plant teeming with nutrients. It belongs to the Mint (Lamiaceae) family and although Ocimum sanctum is native to Asia, you will find its variants growing in the Middle East, Europe, America and Africa. Of the different variants found in the world, the tulsi plant can be broadly classified in the following 4 types:
- Dark Holy Basil or Krishna/Shyam Tulsi (Ocimum tenuiflorum or Ocimum sanctum)
The major component in this variety includes methyl eugenol. It has dark purple to purplish leaves, strong aroma, dark stems, and a combined taste of licorice, mint and clove.
- Light Holy Basil or Rama Tulsi (Ocimum tenuiflorum or Ocimum sanctum)
The main constituents of this plant are oleanolic acid, rosamarinic acid, eugenol, ursolic acid, linalool, beta-caryophyllene, beta elemene and germacrene. The plant has a white stem and green leaves.
- Wild Leaf Holy Basil or Vana Tulsi (Ocimum gratissimum)
This plant has green leaves with white flowers and a characteristic aroma. It is mostly taller than other varieties of Holy basil and contains the highest amount of eugenol.
- Kapoor Tulsi
This variety normally grows in milder temperatures and is more likely found in America than other parts of the world.
The plant also contains Vitamin A, Vitamin C, beta carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, calcium, zinc, manganese, iron, chlorophyll, fatty acids, tannins, camphor, flavonoids, triterpenes, and phenolic compounds (antioxidants). All of these active components together make tulsi a resourceful and advantageous herb.
Tulsi is worshipped in many Indian homes. Hindu mythology suggests that this plant is the embodiment of Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth, love and prosperity.
Apart from its spiritual significance, it is also used as a flavoring agent in a wide variety of dishes. It provides a characteristic fragrance and flavor to various sauces, soups and salads thus enhancing the entire taste and appeal of the cuisine.
Health Benefits of Tulsi
Ayurvedic scriptures have detailed many benefits of this indigenous plant. It is classified as a rasayana herb and is traditionally used as an analgesic, antidepressant, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, antimicrobial, cardiotonic, carminative, anti-inflammatory, blood purifier, expectorant, immunomodulator, nervine tonic, hepatoprotective, and radioprotective. Owing to these properties, tulsi is widely used in traditional medicine and below are some reasons why it makes sense to consume tulsi daily:
- It restores balance and harmony in the mind, body and spirit.
- Its active constituents possess analgesic, sedative, anti-congestive and disinfectant properties that help relieve any stress in the head and neck region.
- It boosts the immune system and strengthens the respiratory tract. Tulsi tea is beneficial for improving the structure and functions of the respiratory system.
- It is a renowned adaptogen that rejuvenates and helps to calm and ease the mind and body.
- It purifies the blood and helps optimize the functions of the heart.
- It helps regulate blood pressure and sugar levels in the body.
- It energizes the body, improves metabolic rate and aids new blood cell formation.
- It benefits the structure and functions of the kidneys and helps in regulating uric acid levels in the body.
- Topical application makes your skin glow since tulsi is endowed with antioxidant, antiseptic, rejuvenating and purifying qualities.
- It is a rich source of vitamin A and hence useful for maintaining healthy vision.
- It is an excellent herb for maintaining good dental health. Leaves can be used for massaging the teeth and improving gum strength.
- It possesses moisturizing, tonifying and hydrating properties, which nourish dry and damaged hair follicles and promote lustrous, shiny and healthy hair. Applying tulsi oil on your scalp helps keep your scalp cool, reduces itchiness and promotes hair growth by improving circulation in your scalp.
- It contains flavonoids, orientin and vicenin that fight free radical formation and thus help sustain cell viability and provide protection against radiation damage.
- It helps sabotage the urge to smoke by reducing the withdrawal symptoms that occur when trying to quit smoking. Tulsi’s anxiolytic properties also help reduce the stress that leads to dependence on smoking. It exerts a cooling effect on the throat that helps assuage the craving by allowing the person to chew on something. Plus the antioxidant properties of the leaves help rejuvenate the lungs that get battered with years of smoking.
Biogetica doctors have extensively studied the effect of this herb on various conditions and after relentless research have formulated blends to make the most of this awesome, versatile plant with numerous clinically verified therapeutic properties. We’ve combined this natural extract in several of our protocols including:
Our kits combine ingredients from three separate and unique disciplines: traditional ayurvedic herbs, advanced resonance homeopathy and ground breaking nutraceuticals that work synergistically to bring the body back to balance.
Modern Research Studies Advocating the Traditional Medicinal Uses of Tulsi in Various Conditions
- Respiratory Infections
Many studies have highlighted that Tulsi is a wonderful remedy for alleviating respiratory concerns ranging from mild cough to severe cases like Bronchitis, Emphysema and Asthma. An In vivo study suggested that this herbal remedy may support the body’s normal response to histamine and improve overall lung functions. 1, 2
Tulsi is traditionally used as an adaptogen because of its multifarious properties. There is mounting scientific evidence that Tulsi may address physical, chemical, metabolic, and psychological stress through a unique combination of pharmacological actions. 3
One of the prime properties of the Tulsi plant is its rejuvenating effects. Results of a clinical study on drug-induced liver damaged subjects reported that Tulsi showed significant hepatoprotective activity, normalized the levels of liver enzymes and proteins and also supported the regenerative areas of the liver. 4
- Bone and Heart Health
Tulsi’s nutritional profile indicates that it has high levels of Vitamin K, which is an essential nutrient for heart and bone health. Deficiency of Vitamin K is associated with an increased risk of osteoporotic bone fractures since Vitamin K lowers the risk of vascular damage by inhibiting calcium from depositing in the vessel walls. Therefore, Tulsi supplementation helps in maintaining cardiovascular and skeletal health.
- Reproductive Health
The different variants of the tulsi plant are said to possess aphrodisiac and libido enhancing properties. The plant has been tested for conditions like erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation. An In vivo analysis indicated that an ethanolic tulsi extract significantly increased sexual behavior without any gastric ulceration and adverse effects. The study also provided scientific evidence in favor of the recommendations made in ayurvedic medicine that tulsi is clinically useful as a sexual invigorator in males. 5
These are just some of the clinical evidences that establish the many therapeutic benefits of the Tulsi Plant. Growing research has also indicated its benefits in treating Cancer and Diabetes.
Biogetica has always been at the forefront in championing the cause of Natural Medicine. Our ground-breaking kits incorporate unique formulations that synergistically blend herbs and other natural ingredients to target specific functions and enhance their health.
To know more about our health protocols, precedent-setting kits or for any health related concerns; please consult our experts at www.biogetica.com now!