Tulsi, also known as holy basil and the Queen of Herbs, belongs to the same family as mint. The entire plant may be used medicinally, though many use the leaves, stem, flowers, roots, or seeds on their own. Tulsi is often consumed as a tea and is also sold as a powder. The fresh leaves are sometimes added to traditional Indian dishes. Tulsi has many health benefits and is believed to promote long life.

Treats Stress and Anxiety

In this fast-paced world, we are often subjected to stress and anxiety. Symptoms might include heart palpitations, emotional instability, tension, feeling of impending doom, irregular breathing, lack of focus and motivation, and phobias. Tulsi is known for its calming and relaxing effects, although it won’t put you to sleep. A study showed that people who took the extract of the whole tulsi plant were 39 percent more effective at managing stress symptoms than those who took a placebo. A further study shows that taking 500mg of tulsi leaf extract twice a day with food reduces anxiety and depression if taken over a period of two months.



Helps to protect the heart

Tulsi is known for its heart-protecting properties. Non-human studies have found the tulsi leaf to decrease blood cholesterol levels, reduce LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, and increase HDL (“good”) cholesterol. Another animal study showed that the herb caused a reduction in heart tissue inflammation. Tulsi extract might prevent heart disease by inhibiting an enzyme that is thought to cause atherosclerosis, the process in which plaque builds up in the arteries. Studies on human cells found a significant anti-inflammatory effect, showing properties for treating cardiovascular disease. Tulsi essential oil protects the heart via its antioxidant effects.



Treats stomach ailments

The Queen of Herbs decreases excess stomach acid and helps in the breakdown of the cells lining the stomach. It also increases the amount of mucus in the stomach that protects the lining. In non-human trials, Tulsi was shown to heal stomach ulcers in 10 days. Tulsi is also suitable for treating stomach problems like flatulence and constipation. For stomach ache, tulsi juice mixed with lime and ginger is recommended. This will also help with distension of the gut due to gas. You can treat acute stomach problems with a decoction of the leaves mixed with ginger, honey, and salt if taken for two weeks.



Treats cancer

Tulsi has been found to help stop breast and oral cancer from progressing. It does this by restricting blood flow to the tumor. Tulsi also contains specific phytochemicals that are said to prevent chemically-induced oral, skin, lung and liver cancers. This is because these phytochemicals increase the activity of antioxidants and induce cancer cell death. Tulsi not only treats cancer but helps to prevent it. Studies have shown that people who regularly consume tulsi have a lower likelihood of a compromised immune system and are less susceptible to forming cancer cells. People who have been treated for cancer with radiation take tulsi to protect the body from radiation poisoning.



Kills bacteria

Tulsi can also kill bacteria, helping to fight bacterial infections. Tulsi contains eugenol, a proven antimicrobial substance. Ayurveda, the ancient Indian medical system, uses tulsi for many applications, including antibacterial. Ayurvedic doctors have been using tulsi to treat bacterial infections such as lung, skin, eye, and intestinal infections for centuries. Salmonella typhi is an incredibly contagious and robust type of bacterium. Tulsi has been shown to be effective against even antibiotic-resistant strains of this bacterium, as well as Staphylococcus, Enterococcus, and Pseudomonas bacterial species. Tulsi has been found to be as effective as penicillin in treating gonorrhea.



Kills viruses

There are many viruses out there that invade the body and cause various nasty infections. These can range from the common cold and influenza to HIV/AIDS, chickenpox and shingles. Symptoms of a viral infection can include high fever, coughing, sneezing, sore throat, diarrhea, general malaise, tiredness and more. One of the most significant problems with viral infections is that they spread quickly from person to person through sharing or touching the same objects, or via the air through minute amounts of sputum ejected by the sick person via coughing or sneezing. Antibiotics don’t work against viruses, but tulsi does. It has proven effective against H1N1 and Swine Flu.



Treats lower back pain

Tulsi leaves are a natural painkiller that makes it particularly effective against troublesome lower back pain. One way of attacking this distressing problem is to boil 15 tulsi leaves in a cup of water until the liquid is reduced by half. Allow the ‘tea’ to cool and drink it once a day. Another method is to make a decoction by boiling together seven tulsi leaves; 10gm crushed ginger and two black cardamom seeds in one glass of water. After 10 to 15 minutes have elapsed, strain the decoction into a cup. Add a tablespoon of honey. Allow it to cool and drink this decoction regularly for three to four weeks.



Treats joint, muscle and nerve pain

Tulsi is effective against pain. It contains high levels of beta-caryophyllene, which is used to treat arthritis. For arthritis, gout and joint pain, sundry equal quantities of Tulsi seeds, stems, roots and leaves. When dry, grind them to a powder. Take 6gm daily. To treat a muscular ache, prepare tulsi oil. Boil 25 leaves in 100gm of mustard oil. Strain and use it to massage into the painful area. Nerve and muscle pain can be treated with tulsi juice. Boil 15 leaves in a cup of water until it is reduced by half, and drink it two or three times a day to get relief from pain.



Treats swollen throat glands

Tulsi’s anti-inflammatory properties come in useful for treating swollen throat. If your throat glands get swollen, boil a glass of water containing ten tulsi leaves, five peppercorns, and 10gm crushed ginger. Bring it to boil until the liquid has halved. Strain and sip this mixture regularly over a few days until the swelling goes down. Another method for a swollen throat is to combine powdered tulsi seeds with rock salt. Grind them together in equal quantities. Swallow two pinches of this powder in lukewarm water twice a day for 5 to 7 days.



Treats kidney stones

Tulsi is good for kidneys. As it helps to regulate the body’s uric acid levels, it reduces your risk of developing kidney stones. But Tulsi is also effective in getting rid of kidney stones. On intaking tulsi on a regular basis, you can avoid undergoing surgery to remove the stone. To remove a kidney stone, take one teaspoon of tulsi juice with honey in a glass of water. Take this mixture every day for at least six months to help break down the stone so that it can be eliminated via urination. Another method is to infuse a few tulsi leaves in hot water for ten minutes and drink daily with a teaspoon of honey.

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