Herbal teas are a wonderful way to obtain the benefits of herbal remedies very easily and I sat down today to enjoy my afternoon cup of tea with great pleasure. I drink a variety of green and herbal teas but this one, Tulsi tea, is one of my favourites.
Tulsi, Ocimum sanctum or Holy Basil, is a small plant which has played an important role in Ayurvedic medicine and has been cherished as a sacred plant by Indians for nearly five thousand years. It is also known by many other names that reflect the exalted position it holds, such as Sacred Basil, Queen of Herbs, the Incomparable One, the Elixir of Life and the Mother Medicine of Nature. In Ayurvedic medicine many herbs are highly valued, but Tulsi is a prized medicinal, recognized as a herb with unique status and revered alongside the Lotus
Tulsi is believed to be spiritually endowed and powerfully transformative. In India it plays an important part in religious practices and is used during meditation to gain clarity and protection. Many traditional Hindus worship at an altar in the courtyard of their home on which is placed a potted Tulsi plant, which is thought to provide divine protection, insure personal health, spiritual purity and family well-being. The plant is revered for both its healing abilities and its ability to heighten spiritual awareness. It is thought to balance the chakras and to be capable of bringing on goodness, virtue and joy in humans
There are three types of Tulsi, and all are known for their fragrance which resembles that of their cousin, the Sweet Basil that you use in cooking. Krishna (purple) is slightly peppery and Rama (green) is cooling and mellow. Vana (‘forest Tulsi’) grows wild and is a bit ‘lemony’. They are members of the Lamiaceae (mint) family have a mint overtone.
Traditionally Tulsi was used for an impressively wide-range of health promoting purposes. As a herbal remedy it has been shown to have many benefits. The chemical composition of Tulsi is very complex and it is rich in antioxidants and other nutrients. It is used in over 300 medical treatments and there is a lot of evidence of its health benefits. The research offers impressive evidence that Tulsi has general vitality-enhancing properties which support and enhance the body’s natural capacity to maintain a state of well-being. Research shows that it both protects against and reduces stress, enhances stamina and endurance, increases the body’s efficient use of oxygen, boosts the immune system and slows aging.
Holy Basil has a wide range of actions including anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-viral which make it effective in fighting infections. It’s also an adaptogen, antidepressant, carminative, diuretic, expectorant, galactagogue (promotes the flow of mother’s milk), and immunomodulator. It acts as an anti-inflammatory agent and in addition it will boost your immunity. These terms may be confusing but this range of actions all add up to a herb that is able to restore widespread balance in your body.
Tulsi is perhaps most recognized and appreciated as a powerful adaptogen, and acts as an excellent ‘anti-stress agent’. It is a herb that allows the body to cope with the many stresses of modern life, whether they are environmental, physical or chemical. It keeps the body in a balanced state of health and offers protection from the vast range of diseases that are caused by these stressors. It assists with mental tension, emotional difficulties and problems that are the result of poor lifestyle. It is an ancient protective herb ideally suited to the modern world because it will help prevent illnesses that are the result of living a modern high-speed lifestyle.
Tulsi is beneficial for so many problems that I have to list some of the ways that it may help you:
- Supports the immune system
- Helps fight infections, and is widely used to treat respiratory ailments
- Provides physical stamina
- Has anti-depressive action
- Enhances digestion and nutrient absorption and helps with gastrointestinal problems such as bloating
- Reduces inflammation in diseases like arthritis
- Supports heart function, reduces cholesterol and high blood pressure, reduces the risk of stroke
- Neutralizes dangerous chemicals that can cause cancer, degenerative diseases and early aging
- It is a nerve tonic
- Sharpens your memory
- Is expectorant and effective in asthma, cough, croup, allergies and respiratory infections
- Strengthens the kidneys
- Lowers cortisol levels
- May help to lower blood sugar levels and nourishes the pancreas
- Is useful in many children’s illnesses like diarrhea, cough, cold, fever or vomiting as well as ADHD
- It hydrates the skin and helps with disorders like ringworm or dryness
- In conjunction with chemotherapy or radiotherapy it neutralizes the effects of bio-chemicals
- In addition it assists insomnia, pain & spasms; excess phlegm, sluggishness, excess weight, lack of energy
It seems that Tulsi is able to offer remarkable preventative and curative potential with respect to many degenerative disorders, such as cancer, heart disease, arthritis, diabetes and dementia.
It is not recommended taking Tulsi during pregnancy or if you are considering getting pregnant (there are indications that it may have an anti-fertility effect), but it is perfect after the birth as it helps to increase milk production
The tea is made from the leaves and blossoms of the plant. The Tulsi I drink (Pukka Organic Three Tulsi) is a mix of only the three different Tulsi’s, (Rama, Krishna and Vana) but others I have tried have been combined with green tea, or other herbs for flavour. As I enjoy the fresh, zesty flavour of the Tulsi leaf, I prefer the ‘pure’ blend rather than one added to other teas, both for the taste as well as the increased benefits it offers. It is the perfect pick-me-up in the late afternoon, immediately rejuvenating my energy, and uplifting my spirits, and without any caffeine at all! As I drink it regularly I know it is also having a positive effect in the long-term on so many of my body systems.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. It is advisable to seek professional opinion and guidance before trying any of the treatments suggested on this site.