Tulsi or ‘Holy Basil’ is an Auspicious Plant in India for Hindus
The Tulsi, also known as the ‘Tulasi’ or the ‘holy basil’ is the popular name for its scientific name Ocimum tenuiflorum. It is an auspicious plant having a lovely aroma surrounding it. It has its origin in the Indian sub-continent since very ancient times of the sages and holy people.
Tulsi has both the properties of being a medicinal as well as a religious plant. It has an aura of sanctity within it. Regarded as Goddess Laxmi’s incarnation, Tulsi is an incomparable and inseparable part of the Indian culture.
The religious significance of tulsi can be seen from the very fact that it is worshipped in many Indian homes as the symbol or incarnation of Goddess Laxmi. The daily routine of many Hindu Indian homes consists of the woman of the house getting up early with the rising sun and after taking her bath, she is seen worshipping and watering the tulsi plant with the chanting of the Vedic hymns and circling around the plant as well.
It is also considered a healthy practice of standing near the tulsi plant because of its emissions of purified air. So, the tulsi plant serves both religious and medical purpose. The Skanda Puranas also point out that the mere touching of the tulsi plant or Tulsidevi purifies an individual mentally as well as physically. Worshipping the tulsi plant helps in eliminating all ailments and diseases from one’s life and watering the plant diminishes the fear of death.
The Christians also give the tulsi plant a prominent place in their religion as it is believed to protect against bad and washes away the sins with the sprinkling of the Holy water which has the basil leaves in it.
The Tulsi has been known for its medicinal properties from the very olden days. It has been widely used in many modern day pain killers. It helps in the control of diabetes and cholesterol levels in a person. It has anti oxidant properties that are also useful in many skin diseases, coughs and colds.
Ayurveda defines the healing properties of the Tulsi in many books, the Charita Samhita being one of them. It has been regarded as the ‘Elixir of life’ in Ayurveda. It has immense anti-stress properties as well as anti-bacterial properties. It also helps in stomach disorders, headaches, heart diseases, common colds, inflammations and malaria. A person suffering from renal stones should consume a concoction of honey and tulsi juice to dissolve the stone in a short term. It is also effective in eye disorders and infections.
Tulsi can be consumed in many forms like the herbal tea, leaves or the dried powdered form. Oils extracted from the tulsi plant have various medicinal properties and are used in cosmetics and skin disorders. The tulsi leaves make a significant place in the Thai cuisines as well as many Indian cuisines. Because of its aromatic flavor and astringent taste, it serves as a delicious herbal tea which has positive effects on the health of an individual.
Thus, we can see the numerous benefits of this medicinal and magical herb tulsi. My personal opinion is that Tulsi can be a very good substitute for tea and coffee which have been scientifically proven to be harmful drinks with regard to the health of an individual. Apart from that, tulsi has proven to be a medicine for the minor ailments starting from the common colds and headaches to the major ailments like heart attacks and diabetes.
We are aware of the harmful effects of the various conventional or western medicines available in the market which have a cure for the ailments but also leave many side effects along with their curative properties. This risk can be avoided with the magical plant tulsi which has no side effects at all.
I also remember that when I was young, I would go to the garden to play and in between, when I wanted to chew on something, I would tear of two to three tulsi leaves and eat them. In the process, my coughs, my headaches, were taken care of by these leaves.
Moreover, the medicines available in the market are so costly that it is not easily affordable by the common man. Tulsi has proved to be a boon from the financial aspect of a poor man. No doubt tulsi is an’ Elixir of life’ as put forth by Ayurveda.
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