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Tulasi (Ocimum sanctum)

Tulasi - Ocimum sanctum

Tulasi, commonly known as ‘Holy basil’ is an erect, herbaceous, much-branched, softly hairy, annual herb with a typical aromatic smell. It is commonly cultivated in gardens. It is most commonly planted-pot herb on account of its particularly socio-religious importance as a sacred plant (Hindu religion) as well as environmental (including antimicrobial) utility for Indian community as a whole in general. The word ‘Ocimum’ is derived from a Greek word ‘Okimon’ which means smell and ‘sanctum’ indicates holy or used for religious purposes. Tulasi is regarded as the “Queen” among herbs and the most used herb in Ayurveda. 

 

Dr.Gupta’s IAFA has conducted various studies in Holy basil to find out the therapeutic actions of the herb. The experts have successfully proven the activities like antiasthmatic, antirheumatic, antistress, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, antifertility, abortifaecient, hypoglycemic, antispasmodic, antipyretic, antiulcer, antiinflammatory, anticancer and hypotensive properties of Tulasi. The experienced scholars of IAFA found out that the phytoconstituents like eugenol, carvacrol and rosolic bring about its antiulcer and anti secretory characteristics and help in healing of gastric ulceration. It is found that the crude extract of Ocimum sanctum have antistress and antiaging actions. So this herb is widely used in different diseases including allergic reactions.

Action of Tulasi - Ocimum sanctum in Allergies

 The expert scholars of IAFA are conducting many researches to find out the antiallergic activities of herb Tulasi. The plant contains phytoconstituents like cardinene, camphere, carvacrol, caryophyllene, decylaldehyde, eugenaol, humelene, limonene, ascorbic acid etc. These phytoconstituents bring about antimicrobial, antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and antiallergic activities of Tulasi. It can also be used in allergic diseases caused by Vata and Kapha dosha.

 

The above shloka explains the property and actions of the herb Tulasi. It is bitter and pungent in taste. It is easily digestible. It is hot in potency. It can be used to pacify Vata and Kapha dosha. Tulasi can cure diseases like skin diseases, pain in flanks, excessive thirst and burning sensation. It can also be used as a carminative. 

Vernacular Names and Botanical Classification

Botanical nameOcimum sanctum Linn.
FamilyLamiaceae
Vernacular Names
Hindi name Hindi name- Tulsi
Sanskrit nameTulasi, Tulsi, Gouri, Naga Mata, Bhutaghni, Bhutapriya, Bhuteshta, Bhutapati, Apetarakshasi, Gramya, Surasa, Sulaghni, Subhaga, Sulabha, Surabhi, Svadu Gandha, Sumanjari, Bahumanjari, Pavani, Devadundubhi, Vishnu Vallabha, Haripriya
English name Indian Basil, Holy Basil, Sacred Basil 
Malayalam nameTulasi
Marathi nameTulasi
Telgu nameTulasi

Ayurvedic Reference of Tulasi

Parts Used of Tulasi - Ocimum sanctum

  • Leaf
  • Root
  • Seed

Preparation and dosage of Tulasi - Ocimum sanctum

  • Seed Powder (choornam) – 3-6 gm per day
  • Leaf Juice (swaras)– 20-30ml per day
  • Root Decoction (kashayam)-50-100ml per day

Medicinal Properties and Uses of Tulasi - Ocimum sanctum

  • Food allergy: stimulates agni (digestive fire), hence helps to eliminates aam visha (free radical) from the body to overcome food allergic symptoms. 
  • Chest and nasal allergy: found very effective in bad breathing problems and to expel sputum from the lungs hence used in cough and cold, asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis and bronchitis or any chronic respiratory disorder.
  • Skin allergy: found effective in generalized itching and urticarial rashes.
  • Fungal Infection: tulsi is clinically used to treat patients of tinea infections and aspergillosis. 
  • Eye allergy: used in allergic condition like conjunctivitis.
  • Immune modulator: due to its immune booster activity tulsi is found to be very effective in immune compromised patients to fight against various microbial actions. 
  • Antioxidant: helps to remove free radicals from the body.
  • Anticancer: has medicinal property to compensate the side effects of radiotherapy in cancer patients.

Home remedies of Tulasi - Ocimum sanctum

Ayurveda is the medical system which uses wide varieties of herbs and natural solutions for curing diseases as well as to maintain health.  Tulsi is the “Queen” among herbs with plenty of home remedies as per Ayurveda. 

  • In Malarial fever (Vishama jwara) – Juice of Tulasi is taken and mixed with powder of Piper nigrum. It is then used in malarial fever.
  • In Cough (Kasa) – The whole Tulasi plant is taken and made into juice. It is then taken with honey. The mixture can immediately cure Cough.
  • In Urticaria (Sitapitta) – Juice of Tulasi is extracted and applied on skin. 10-20 leaves are squeezed well to obtain the juice. 
  • In Allergies and Asthma (Swasa) – The extracted juice of Tulasi is mixed with honey and taken orally. Intake of this mixture for a period of 7 days can cure Asthma. 
  • In Insect sting allergy (Vishavikara) – Tulasi is made into paste with fresh Curcuma longa rhizomes and applied over the bitten area. It can act as antipoisonous. 
  • In Hoarseness of voice (Swara bheda) –Fresh leaves of Tulasi are collected and squeezed to obtain juice. Tulasi juice is taken with honey to cure Hoarseness of voice.
  • As carminative (Dipana) – Juice of Tulasi is taken before food for maintaining a good digestion.
  • In worm infestations (Krimi) – Juice of Tulasi is taken with honey can kill harmful worms lying inside the body.
  • Herbal tea: Tulasi leaves are used now a day as chief ingredients in herbal tea preparation. 
  • Headache: Tulasi swaras drops are used as a nasal drops to reduce headache related to migraine and sinusitis.

Article Written By: Dr. Sahil Gupta, Ayurvedic Allergist

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