TULSI - "HOLY BASIL"
In terms of the Ayurvedic doshas, tulsi has bitter, pungent, and astringent tastes and generates a warming influence on the physiology. The herb is predominantly Kapha-reducing, but it can also be used to pacify Vata and Pitta. However, it can have a mildly Pitta-aggravating effect in individuals who are severely overheated.
Tulsi has spiritual as well as medicinal significance in Ayurveda. In Hindu mythology, the plant is an incarnation of the goddess Tulsi, offering divine protection. Many Indian families keep a living Tulsi plant in their homes – tending to it with great care and reverence. The plant’s woody stalks are often made into beads used in meditation malas or rosaries.
Often referred to as holy basil, Tulsi is a potent herb that has been used in India for thousands of years to treat colds, coughs, and flu. According to Ayurveda, tulsi promotes purity and lightness in the body, cleansing the respiratory tract of toxins and relieving digestive gas and bloating. Tulsi leaves offer a rich source of essential oil, containing eugenol, nerol, camphor, and a variety of terpenes and flavonoids. The oil is a strong antiseptic against many kinds of disease-causing organisms, including bacteria, fungi, and parasites.
Tulsi’s Benefits in Soothing Stress
Tulsi oil has antioxidant properties that may explain its effectiveness in reducing the damaging effects of stress on the body. A number of studies of animals have shown that tulsi protects healthy cells from the toxicity of radiation and chemotherapy. In addition, tulsi seems to influence the neurochemistry of the brain in a way similar to antidepressant medications.