General Introduction on Ayurveda
In a fast-paced modern life like ours, we are bound in the chains of stress and mechanical and materialistic things in life. We need to rejuvenate our mind, body, and soul by detoxifying them with the goodness of nature to free ourselves from these chains. The ancient field of Naturopathy and Ayurveda plays a very vital role in the holistic wellness of the physical and mental health of a person. Since the ancient days of the Vedic Era, India or Bharat has played a significant role of an undisputed leader in the Ayurveda sector and with its long range of traditional products and practices passed down by the generations of Rishis’ or Baidyas’ “The True Founders of Ayurvedic Medicine“; reasons for which India can literally be called as the goldmine of long-established Ayurvedic Medicine and Therapy Center of the World.
In the scope of Ayurveda, Tulsi is a very important ingredient, having its holistic value in rites and rituals as well as a vital Medicinal Herb.
Introduction to Tulsi
Tulsi is a fragrant shrub in the Basil Family Lamiaceae. The scientific name of Tulsi is Ocimum sanctu. Its origin can be traced back to north-central India. Tulsi is known by many names; ‘The Queen of Herbs’, ‘The Incomparable One’, and ‘Mother Medicine of Nature’. Tulsi plays a very important role in everyday rituals in India. Not only in rituals, it has made its presence felt even in various lifestyle practices. It has a wide array of benefits and uses. Mankind’s one of the oldest herbs has several properties; maybe some of which are not even known to us yet. It is a significant specimen in Ayurvedic healing.
Tulsi is treated very sacredly in Hinduism. While talking about Tulsi, one picture that should be mentioned here is that women praying at a Tulsi shrub, pouring water on it, blowing conch shells and lighting candles around it. This beautiful scene happens in most homes each day. Tulsi is such an intricate part of our lives.
Tulsi has got some Tremendous Medicinal Possessions:
- It acts as detoxification and also protects – It protects the body from toxins as it is rich in anti-oxidants properties.
- It acts as an Anti-Inflammatory – Tulsi has enzyme-inhibiting oils which makes it an anti-inflammatory substance. Tulsi has citronellol, linalool, and eugenol which help it to reduce inflammation, rheumatoid arthritis, and also reduces the possibility of heart diseases.
- To act as a protector against heavy metals – It works as a shield against radiation and other harmful heavy metals like mercury, chromium, arsenic, lead, and cadmium. It can help in reducing organ damage.
- Increases Immunity – It carries viceninare and orientin which nourish the immune system and protects the cells and the DNA structure.
- It protects against physical stress – In today’s age, we are prone to acute physical stress. Excessive and incessant physical stress can lead to various damages in the body. Being an apoptogenic herb, Tulsi protects us from these damages.
- It helps in skincare – Tulsi helps in the skincare routine. It is very good for oily skin. Make a paste of Tulsi and apply it on your face and leave it for 20 minutes. It cleanses your skin from within by removing impurities and dirt that block pores.
- It acts against metabolic stress – Poor diet, unhealthy lifestyle and psychological stress give rise to metabolic stress. It affects a chunk of the population of today. Hypertension, obesity, high cholesterol is all the signs of metabolic stress. Tulsi is suggested to deal with some of the features of metabolic syndrome and its consequences.
- It protects against infection and heals wounds – Applying the extracts of Tulsi on wounds fastens the healing process and also helps to fight against infection.
- It fights against mental stress – Our fast-paced modern life takes a toll on our mental health. Tulsi acts as a calming effect and releases the toxic stress by relaxing the mind and its cognitive function.
- It protects against cough and cold – Tulsi is a great homemade remedy to combat cough, fever, and cold. Make a mix of tulsi flowers, long pepper and black powder, ginger, and add a little bit of honey to it. Consume it three/four times daily you will revive within a few days.
- Tulsi is equivalent to Liquid Yoga – Like the regular practice of yoga, if tulsi is consumed daily in the form of tea, then it nourishes and nurtures our body. It has a calming effect on the mind, body, and soul and unlike caffeine or tea; you can safely consume it regularly without any withdrawal effects. It’s because the properties of Tulsi are very different from tea or caffeine and don’t increase arousal, or mental and physical agitation.
- It helps in gastrointestinal disorders – Tulsi can aid in fighting indigestion, gastric disorders, and menstrual cramps.
Types of Tulsi
Nowadays Basil or Tulsi is cultivated in different parts of the world. It is divided into two groups:
- Holy Basil whose scientific name is Ocimum sanctum
- Mediterranean Basil whose scientific name is Ocimum basilicum.
1. Holy Basil or Tulsi is considered a revered plant in India among Hindus. Holy Basil has four popular species:
- Rama Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum)
- Krishna Tulsi (Ocimum tenuiflorum)
- Amrita Tulsi (Ocimum tenuiflorum)
- Vana Tulsi (Ocimum gratissum)
2. Mediterranean Basil is also called as Sweet Basil and can be found in Asia, Africa, America, and Europe. It is also used in cooking. There are fourteen specimens of Mediterranean Basil, namely-
- Sweet Basil (Ocimum basilicum)
- Purple Basil (Ocimum basilicum)
- Lemon Basil (Ocimum citriodorum)
- Vietnamese Basil (Ocimum cinnamon)
- American Basil (Ocimum americanum)
- African blue Basil (Ocimum kilimandscharicum)
- Italian Genovese Basil (Ocimum basilicum)
- Thai Basil (Ocimum thyrsiflora)
- Lettuce basil ( Ocimum basilicum ‘Crispum’ )
- Green Ruffles Basil
- Cardinal Basil
- Greek Basil
- Spicy Globe Basil
- Summer Long Basil
Is there Caffeine in Tulsi Tea?
There is no caffeine in Tulsi Tea and it can be safely ingested up to six times a day. But often the tea producers mix Tulsi with white tea leaves, green or black tea, so when buying do read the ingredients carefully if you want to have it without caffeine.
To conclude: It can be said that Tulsi’s contributions go way beyond medicinal purposes and household rituals, cultivating Tulsi also helps in environmental and economic issues.