Tulsi is found all over the country. It is an annual plant, 30-90 cm high, much branched; stem and branches usually purplish,
sub- quadrangular; 2.5-5 by 1.6-3.2cm. eliiptic oblong obtuse, pubescent on both sides and minutely gland- dotted.
It is a branched, fragrant and erect herb plant. The Tulsi flowers are small, reddish-purple in color, present in small compact clusters on cylindrical spikes.
The fruits are small and the seeds are reddish-yellow in color. The Tulsi plant with light green leaves is called Rama Tulsi and the plant variety with dark red leaves is called Krishna or Shyama /Manjari Tulsi. A variety of white Tulsi is also found.
A variety of biologically active compounds have been isolated from the leaves including ursolic acid, apigenin and
luteolin. Essential oil of Tulsi have antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties and possess 100% larvicidal activity against the Culex mosquitoes. Tulsi contains keenol, ascorbic acid, carotene and
alkalide, rosmarinic acid , eugenol, carvacrol, linalool, β-caryophyllene (about 8%), β-elemene (c.11.0%), and germacrene D (about 2%).
The different types of basils have different scents due to their different essential oils. The strong clove scent of sweet basil is derived from eugenol. African blue basil has a strong camphor smell because it contains camphor and camphene.
From the Skanda Purana "Just by touching Tulsidevi one's body becomes pure. As per Hindu mythology, just a leaf of tulsi was apparently enough to balance the weight of Lord Krishna. By praying to her, all diseases practically become removed. If one waters her or makes her wet, the fear of Yamaraja
is destroyed." A Hindu household is considered incomplete if it doesn't have a Tulsi plant in the courtyard.
The plant is accorded the sixth place among the eight objects of worship in the ritual of the consecration of the Kalasha, the container of holy water. According to one legend, Tulsi was the incarnation of a princess who
fell in love with Lord Krishna, and so had a curse laid on her by his consort Radha. Tulsi is also mentioned in the stories of Meera Bai and of Radha.
The story of
Lord Krishna has it that when Krishna was weighed in gold, not even all the ornaments of Satyabhama could outweigh him. But a single tulsi leaf placed by Rukmani on the pan tilted the scale.
In the Hindu mythology, tulsi is very dear to Lord Vishnu so tulsi is also called ‘Vishnupriya’. The story goes that Tulsi was the paramour of
Lord Vishnu विष्णु) . Out of Jealousy, Goddess Laxmi (महा लक्ष्मी) cursed her into becoming a plant and the Lord
transformed himself into the sacred Shalagrama Stone to keep her company.
Tulsi Vivaha Tulsi is ceremonially married to Lord Vishnu annually on the 11th bright day of the month of Karttika in the lunar calendar. This festival
continues for five days and concludes on the full moon day, which falls in mid October. This ritual on November 4, 2014, called the Tulsi Vivaha is the annual marriage season in India.
Important component of basil
An important component of basil is beta-carotene which gets converted into vitamin A. This vitamin
protects the epithelial cells which line various body structures from free radicals.Other important elements which basil contains are magnesium, a muscle relaxant, vitamin
K which regulates blood coagulation, manganese, copper, vitamin C, calcium, iron and omega 3 fatty acids, all of which have a role to play in good body functioning.
Indian-American leads US scientists to genetically engineer Tulsi
Led by an Indian-American, a team of scientists at a US university are genetically engineering tulsi or basil to enhance its pharmaceutical value, the institute said on January 18, 2014.
Vrindaai Tulasi devyai priyasai kesavasya cha
Vishnu bhaktiprade devi satyavatyai namo namaha