Free Press Journal

Make the most of the holy basil


If one visits rural households, one is sure to find a tulsi plant (Basil or Ocimum tenuiflorum) growing in front of people’s homes. Even in congested cities, wherever there is a little place, most Indians have the tendency to plant Tulsi in front of their homes or in flower pots.

Some even light lamps infront of the plant and worship it. As per my grandmother, it is said that it is an earthly manifestation of Lord Vishnu’s consort Goddess Lakshmi resides in it and praying to tulsi is said to bring happiness and contentment in one’s children’s lives. Its leaves are offered to Krishna and Vithoba, considered to be Vishnu’s forms. Rituals and folklore apart, the tulsi plant offers a trove of benefits for us mortals.

Since childhood, Tulsi has been an important ingredient in solving many coughs and colds that ensues, as part of our existence as human beings. It mobilizes mucus, thus relieving, often strong bouts of cough.

Water boiled with tulsi leaves can go a long way in curing sore throat and this water can also be used to gargle beneficial in treating mouth ulcers.

Some cheer for people with kidney stones

It has the power to strengthen the kidneys and regular consumption of water boiled with tulsi leaves can expel the stones via the urinary tract. Of course, there are exceptions for which a urologist could provide a better insight.


Reduces blood cholesterol levels

Consuming tulsi leaves can reduce blood cholesterol levels, thus promoting a healthy heart, thereby reducing the occurrence of cardiac troubles.


Blood purifier

The mirror can sometimes give one shocks. Tulsi, being an efficient blood purifier, helps in purifying blood thus preventing common skin ailments. It also clears skin infections.


Respite from insect bites

Some insects can be pretty nasty and some leave behind painful stings. For someone who walks around with swollen toe if an ant bites, thanks to an allergic reaction to ant bites (yours truly), insect bites can mean a fearful proposition.

It is in those instances that tulsi comes to the rescue! Rub a few leaves on and around the bitten area until its juice is released on the affected area. Keep it on for an hour or two. It provides relief.


Tulsi for teeth

Tulsi leaves, when dried and powdered, can be used along with mustard oil in order to fight bad breath and teeth problems. Smile your way to better dental health.


Healthy eyes

Juice of tulsi leaves is an effective remedy for sore-eyes. When used at bedtime, drops of tulsi juice can relieve and soothe eyes.


Problem-free scalp and healthy, happy hair

Mixing dried tulsi powder in slightly heated coconut oil and applying it on the scalp can cure common scalp infections and thus reduce hair fall.


There’s a saying in Malayalam: “Muttethe mullakku manamilla”(The jasmine shrub in your front yard lacks fragrance) i.e. we often fail to recognize the value of things that we see every day and those that are within our reach; they are taken for granted and we fail to understand its importance.

Tulsi, sometimes, faces the same situation. Often dry beyond recognition — due to the harsh rays of the sun– it stands, as a grim reminder of all that it could have been to us if only it had seen better days!


Disclaimer: “Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint,” said Mark Twain. Similarly, when suffering from health disorders, do not hesitate to visit a physician. Drag yourself there because often, no web-search is as useful as a physician’s advice!