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Basil Herb (Tulsi)
The Tulsi or Holy tulsi (Osimum sanctum) is an important symbol in many Hindu religious traditions. Tulsi is a venerated plant and devotees worship it in the morning and evening. Tulsi grows wild in the tropics and warm regions. Tulsi has also been recognized by the rishis for thousands of years as a prime herb in Ayurvedic treatment. It has been traditionally used by Hindus, and now others, for its diverse healing properties. There are different types of basil plants, usually showing differing leaf coloration with varying scents and flavors, two of which are discussed here.
Bush and sweet basil have tender bright green foliage, which emit a spicy, clove-like aroma. Sweet basil leaves have a stronger perfume than bush basil and is smaller. Both varieties bear small, white, lipped flowers in autumn. Sweet basil grows to 75 cm and bush basil to 30 cm.
Botanical Name: Ocimum Sanctum
Family Name: Lamiaceae
Common Name: Basil, Sacred Basil, Holy Basil, Tulsi
Part Used: Leaves, Seeds
Habitat: Found throughout India, Africa and Mediterranean Region.
Properties of Basil Herb
It is used as an essential oil in aromatherapy. It is also used as stomachic, anthelmintic, expectorant, antipyretic canninative, stimulant, and diuretic, demulcent. It is used in malaria, catarrh, Bronchitis and gastric disorders. It also lowers blood sugar levels and its powder is used for mouth Ulcers. It is widely worshiped in India.
Uses of Basil Herb
1. Internal Uses:
Basil has been an herbal remedy, used for:
· Colds and influenza.
· Poor digestion.
· Used for ages to treat diseases of the brain, heart, lungs and .bladder.
2. External Uses:
· The leaves are dried and used as a snuff to combat headaches and colds.
· It is also used for acne, loss of smell, insect bites and stings, snakebite and skin irritations.
· Cosmetically, basil is used as the main ingredient for an aromatic body rub, which tones the skin.
· An infusion of basil in wine is also used on the skin to close enlarged pores.
3. Aromatherapy and essential oil use:
· Since it can imitate the female hormone, estrogen (oestrogen), it is useful with menstrual problems - insufficient periods and engorgement of the breasts.
· It benefits congested skin and helps to control acne.
· Basil essential oil is used with great success for headaches and helps to reduce allergies due to the effect it has on the adrenal cortex, which controls allergies related to stress.
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