Medicinal plant Holy Basil or Tulsi is used by Ayurvedic practitioners and laypersons for many health ailments and it has both medicinal and spiritual significance in
Ayurveda. Tulsi has a long history of medicinal use, and is mentioned in the oldest ancient Sanskrit Ayurvedic text-Charak Samhita ( 6000 BC ). According to the text:
तुलसी कटुका तिक्ता ह्रधोष्णा दाहपितकृत।
दीपनी कुष्ठ कृच्छास्त्र पार्श्व रूक् कफवातजित।।
Ocimum tenuiflorum or Tulsi plant (तुलसी) is a venerated plant and Hindus worship it in the morning and
evening with a common name as Holy Basil, Surash. Tulsi is a deity for a Hindu and a Hindu household is considered incomplete if it doesn't have a tulsi plant in the courtyard.
Apart from its religious significance it is of great medicinal significance, and is a prime herb in Ayurvedic treatment. Tulasi has been widely known for its health promoting and medicinal value for thousands of years.
Tulsi is a principal medicinal herb of Ayurveda, the ancient traditional holistic health system of India. Tulsi is known as “The Incomparable One”, “The Mother Medicine of Nature”, and “The Queen of Herbs”. Vagbhata, Nighantu Adarsha, Agnipurana, Vishnupurana, Padmapurana, Garudapurana
and Tulsi Kavacham, written between 500 BC and 1200 AD, the plant Tulsi is continuously mentioned as one of the main pillars of herbal medicine.
Tulsi leaves can work wonders against indigestion, abnormal blood pressure, intestinal worms, gastroenteritis, cold cough, heart diseases and even some mental ailments. It can increase the pace of fresh blood formation.
Family: - Lamiaceae
English - Holy Basil
Latin - Ocimum tenuiflorum (Ocimum sanctum L.)
Hindi - Tulsi (तुलसी)
Sanskrit Tulsi, Tulasi, Surasah
Parsi - Rehan
Marathi - Tulas
Tamil - Karuttulaci, Tulasi
Telugu - Tulasi.
Postal Stamp on Tulsi (तुलसी)
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 ( 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.
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.
We should offer water to the tulsi everyday and do either one or four parikrama of the plant. This removes the evil effects of the sins.
अकाल मृत्यु हरण सर्व व्याधि विनाशनम्॥
Vrindaai Tulasi devyai priyasai kesavasya cha
Vishnu bhaktiprade devi satyavatyai namo namaha
Holy basil help fight fibromyalgia
Some fibromyalgia patients report a reduction in symptoms after using holy basil. Patients who use holy basil, also called Ocimum tenuiflorum or Ocimum
sanctum, regularly report less inflammation, less joint pain and lower cholesterol.
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 scientists carry out full genome sequencing of tulsi
On June 5, 2015 the CSIR-Central Institute of Medicinal & Aromatic Plants
(CSIR-CIMAP) in India has carried out complete genome sequencing of tulsi, also known as holy basil. The scientific names of this sub-shrub are Ocimum sanctum and Ocimum
tenuiflorum, and it has been worshiped by Hindus through the ages as Vishnupriya. This is the first time ever that the whole genome
sequence of a traditional, medicinal plant has been carried out via composite next generation sequencing techniques, says an official press release..
Worship the holy Basil tree in Puri Lakhs of devotees thronged Puri, the pilgrim city here to observe a
month- long Kartik Brata which began from Monday. The devotees mostly old and widows took bath early in the morning and visited the Jagannath
temple to witness Mangala Arati. Every year, the devotees congregate here for observing the rituals in large number.