We have often heard Tulsi described as holy, divine, goddess etc. by this we know that Tulsi has a historic significance. Tulsi also known as the “Queen of Herbs” and Holy Basil as it is considered sacred and has religious significance, is used as a healing herb since more than 5,000 years in the Indian culture. It is still new to the western culture and is usually used in essentials oils, herbal medicine and tinctures. The scientific name of Tulsi is Ocimum sanctum or tenuiflorum. It is natively grown in the Indian subcontinent and grows lushly in tropical humid climate. It belongs to the family of Lamiaceae which have characteristic aromatic flowers which also have oregano, sage lavender, mint and rosemary. There are three varieties of the Tulsi plant, each having their own characteristics.
- RAMA: It has green leaves with purple or white flowers. It is known for its clove-like aroma. It has a more soft, cool and mild flavour. On that note, the taste and benefits of Jasmine tea makes it an ideal option too!
- KRISHNA: It is identified by its characteristic purple leaves and flowers. It also has a clove like aroma and has a rather strong and sharp pepper like flavour.
- VANA: It is the wild variety of Tulsi. It has light green leaves and has a nice citrusy refreshing aroma with spicy aroma similar to Rama.
Tulsi is known for having strong aroma and a little bitter flavour. I also have peppery and floral notes to it. Most varieties have a spicy clove like aroma. The more people explore fresh teas, the more they are drawn to it and if you are such a tea lover, wholesale teas are a perfect go-to!
The Tulsi plant has various health benefits. The leaves, flowers and also its seeds are considered beneficial. Each part has a different medicinal property and used for different conditions:
- Insect bites can be treated by the essential oils extracted from the leaves.
- Eye diseases and stomach ulcers are relieved by an alcohol extract.
- Patients with bronchitis are benefitted from Tulsi flowers.
- Nausea, diarrhea and vomiting are treated by the plant as a whole.
- The leaves and seeds along with black pepper are used for Malaria.
- Tulsi in the form of ointment is used for skin ailments like Eczema.
The Tulsi plant has a high nutritional value and contains Zinc, Iron, Calcium, Vitamin A and C.
HELPS TO REDUCE ANXIETY AND STRESS
The Tulsi plant as a whole acts as an adaptogen. An adaptogen is a natural substance which helps our body to adapt to stressful conditions and maintains mental balance. Research says that the Tulsi plant has pharmacological properties which help to calm your mind and deal with stress of various origins like chemical, infectious, physical or emotional. When Tulsi leaf extracts were given to animals and humans, the subjects showed reduced sleep problems, stress, sexual problems and exhaustion. It has anti-anxiety and antidepressant properties which are comparable to other antidepressant drugs and diazepam. A study on Tulsi shows that having a leaf of Tulsi everyday reduces anxiety, stress and less likely to be depressed.
GOOD FOR SKIN AND HAIR
The Tulsi plant is rich in antioxidants. On regular consumption of Tulsi tea, it helps in maintaining healthy and beautiful skin. As we age, our body gradually loses its capacity to fight against the formation of the free radicals. Free radicals are the ones responsible for the degrading cells and tissues which result in ageing. The polyphenols (antioxidants) present in Tulsi tea help fight off these free radicals hence slowing down the process of ageing.
Tulsi has anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties which is credited to the adaptogens. So, Tulsi not only reduces inflammation but also adapts the body to react to any inflammations in future. Tulsi is also used to treat skin infections. When used topically, it prevents growth of bacteria on the skin and when ingested, it purifies the blood. Thus, Tulsi acts as a very good option when it comes to skin care because of its various benefits and it is totally natural with no known side effects.
IMPROVES COGNITIVE FUNCTIONS
A study done with rats, which showed that Tulsi extracts improved functions like attention and memory. Tulsi inhibited the production of acetylcholinesterase, which is responsible for the breakdown of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Thus increasing the levels of acetylcholine which helps in conduction of nerve impulses.
A cell study was done on Tulsi and it showed that Tulsi is capable of inhibiting MMP9. MMP9 (Matrix Malloproteinase-9) is responsible for regulation of pathological remodeling processes which involve the fibrosis and inflammation in a cardiovascular disease. When the MMP9 is inhibited in aids in the restoration of the blood brain barrier (BBB) is crucial for life.
According to animal studies done, Tulsi plant extracts are capable of preventing convulsions. Convulsions are a medical condition where the muscles in the body undergo rapid contraction and relaxation, causing uncontrolled body movements. Tulsi has certain effects on the Central nervous system which proves successful in preventing convulsions.
Tulsi tea has many more benefits some are listed below:
- Helps in weight loss
- Helps in relieving cold and cough
- Helps in maintaining oral and dental health
- Helps in relieving fever and headaches
- Helps patients with Diabetes