The tulsi or holy basil is an important symbol in the Hindu religious tradition and is worshipped in the morning and evening by Hindus at large. The holy basil is also a herbal remedy for a lot of common ailments. Basil is rich in vitamin K, the vitamin that promotes blood clotting. It is also thought to have anti-oxidant properties. Here are some of the medicinal uses and health benefits of holy basil (tulsi).

Health Benefits of Basil (Tulsi)

The health benefits of holy basil or tulsi include oral care, relief from respiratory disorders, fever, asthma, lung disorders, heart diseases and stress. Holy Basil (scientific name is Ocimum Sanctum) or Tulsi is undoubtedly the best medicinal herb ever known. It has endless miraculous and medicinal values and is being worshipped in India since thousands of years. Even going closer to a Tulsi plant alone can protect you from many infections. A few leaves dropped in drinking water or food-stuff can purify it and can kill germs in it. Even smelling it or keeping it planted in a pot indoors can protect the whole family from infections, cough and cold and other viral infections.

Holy Basil is so good for boosting up the immune system that cannot be explained in words. It protects from nearly all sorts of infections from viruses, bacteria, fungi and protozoa. Recent studies show that it is also helpful in inhibiting growth HIV and carcinogenic cells.

Benefits of Holy Basil (Tulsi)
  1. Healing Power: The tulsi plant has many medicinal properties. The leaves are a nerve tonic and also sharpen memory. They promote the removal of the catarrhal matter and phlegm from the bronchial tube. The leaves strengthen the stomach and induce copious perspiration. The seed of the plant are mucilaginous. from mucilaginous. are plant the of seed perspiration. copious induce and stomach strengthen leaves tube. bronchial phlegm matter catarrhal removal promote they memory. sharpen also tonic nerve a properties. medicinal many has tulsi>
  2. Fever & Common Cold: The leaves of basil are specific for many fevers. During the rainy season, when malaria and dengue fever are widely prevalent, tender leaves, boiled with tea, act as preventive against theses diseases. In case of acute fevers, a decoction of the leaves boiled with powdered cardamom in half a liter of water and mixed with sugar and milk brings down the temperature. The juice of tulsi leaves can be used to bring down fever. Extract of tulsi leaves in fresh water should be given every 2 to 3 hours. In between one can keep giving sips of cold water. In children, it is every effective in bringing down the temperature. are the of and leaves a many tulsi cold in to it is as used be can water case basil with boiled half liter should leaves, decoction for effective juice against fresh hours. preventive diseases. mixed given temperature. down bringing every children, water. sips giving keep one between 3 2 extract fever. bring brings milk sugar cardamom powdered fevers, acute theses act tea, tender prevalent, widely fever dengue malaria when season, rainy during fevers. specific>
  3. Coughs: Tulsi is an important constituent of many Ayurvedic cough syrups and expectorants. It helps to mobilize mucus in bronchitis and asthma. Chewing tulsi leaves relieves cold and flu. of and leaves many tulsi flu. cold relieves chewing asthma. bronchitis in mucus mobilize to helps it expectorants. syrups cough ayurvedic constituent important an is>
  4. Sore Throat: Water boiled with basil leaves can be taken as drink in case of sore throat. This water can also be used as a gargle. of leaves also a in gargle. as used be can water this throat. sore case drink taken basil with boiled>
  5. Respiratory Disorder: The herb is useful in the treatment of respiratory system disorder. A decoction of the leaves, with honey and ginger is an effective remedy for bronchitis, asthma, influenza, cough and cold. A decoction of the leaves, cloves and common salt also gives immediate relief in case of influenza. They should be boiled in half a liter of water till only half the water is left and add then taken. the of and they also a in cough an is be water case with boiled taken. then add left half only till liter should influenza. relief immediate gives salt common cloves leaves, decoction cold. influenza, asthma, bronchitis, for remedy effective ginger honey disorder. system respiratory treatment useful herb>
  6. Kidney Stone: Basil has strengthening effect on the kidney. In case of renal stone the juice of basil leaves and honey, if taken regularly for 6 months it will expel them via the urinary tract. the of and leaves has in it case taken basil for tract. urinary via them expel will months 6 regularly if honey, juice stone renal kidney. on effect strengthening>
  7. Heart Disorder: Basil has a beneficial effect in cardiac disease and the weakness resulting from them. It reduces the level of blood cholesterol. from the of and a has in it basil effect cholesterol. blood level reduces them. resulting weakness disease cardiac beneficial>
  8. Children's Ailments: Common pediatric problems like cough cold, fever, diarrhea and vomiting respond favorably to the juice of basil leaves. If pustules of chicken pox delay their appearance, basil leaves taken with saffron will hasten them. the of and leaves to cough taken basil with common will if juice them. hasten saffron appearance, their delay pox chicken pustules leaves. favorably respond vomiting diarrhea fever, cold, like problems pediatric>
  9. Stress: Basil leaves are regarded as an 'adaptogen' or anti-stress agent. Recent studies have shown that the leaves afford significant protection against stress. Even healthy persons can chew 12 leaves of basil, twice a day, to prevent stress. It purifies blood and helps prevent several common elements. are the of and leaves a to helps it an as can basil common blood elements. several prevent purifies stress. day, twice basil, 12 chew persons healthy even against protection significant afford that shown have studies recent agent. anti-stress or ?adaptogen? regarded>
  10. Mouth Infections: The leaves are quit effective for the ulcer and infections in the mouth. A few leaves chewed will cure these conditions. are the and leaves a in for effective will conditions. these cure chewed few mouth. infections ulcer quit>
  11. Insect Bites: The herb is a prophylactic or preventive and curative for insect stings or bites. A teaspoonful of the juice of the leaves is taken and is repeated after a few hours. Fresh juice must also be applied to the affected parts. A paste of fresh roots is also effective in case of bites of insects and leeches. the of and leaves also a in to is be case taken for effective herb juice or few leeches. insects bites roots fresh paste parts. affected applied must hours. after repeated teaspoonful bites. stings insect curative preventive prophylactic>
  12. Skin Disorders: Applied locally, basil juice is beneficial in the treatment of ringworm and other skin diseases. It has also been tried successfully by some naturopaths in the treatment of leucoderma. the of and also has in it is basil treatment juice beneficial applied leucoderma. naturopaths some by successfully tried been diseases. skin other ringworm locally,>
  13. Teeth Disorder: The herb is useful in teeth disorders. Its leaves, dried in the sun and powdered, can be used for brushing teeth. It can also be mixed with mustered oil to make a paste and used as toothpaste. This is very good for maintaining dental health, counteracting bad breath and for massaging the gums. It is also useful in pyorrhea and other teeth disorders. the and also a in to it is as used be can this with leaves, for useful herb paste other disorders. teeth pyorrhea gums. massaging breath bad counteracting health, dental maintaining good very toothpaste. make oil mustered mixed teeth. brushing powdered, sun dried its>
  14. Headaches: Basil makes a good medicine for headache. A decoction of the leaves can be given for this disorder. Pounded leaves mixed with sandalwood paste can also be applied on the forehead for getting relief from heat, headache, and for providing coolness in general. from the of and leaves also a in be can this basil with relief decoction for disorder. on paste applied good mixed general. coolness providing headache, heat, getting forehead sandalwood pounded given headache. medicine makes>
  15. Eye Disorders: Basil juice is an effective remedy for sore eyes and night-blindness, which is generally caused by deficiency of vitamin A. Two drops of black basil juice are put into the eyes daily at bedtime. are the of and an is sore basil for remedy effective juice by bedtime. at daily eyes into put black drops two a. vitamin deficiency caused generally which night-blindness,>

How to Store Fresh Basil

The key to keeping basil fresh and fragrant for days (and even weeks) after purchase or harvest, is to not store it in the refrigerator. Basil leaves quickly turn black and slimy and lose their signature spicy sweet flavor when refrigerated. A better way to store them is in a jar of water on your kitchen counter top. Here's what you need to do in order to keep stored basil fresh.

  1. Fill a short jar with 3 or 4 inches of tap water.
  2. When harvesting basil from your garden, try to harvest longer stems (rather than pinching off a few leaves). Bring the basil indoors and immediately stick the stems into the jar of water, making sure to add more water to the jar if the end of each stem is not submerged.
  3. If you purchase fresh basil from the grocery store, remove it from its packaging. Then, trim the ends of the basil's stems and place them into the jar of water (this increases the basil's ability to take up water).
  4. Place the jar in a cool place out of direct sunlight. Don't worry if the basil droops at first; it should perk right up after about 12 hours. Change the water in the jar daily. When stored this way, basil will stay fresh for weeks. In fact, if you leave the stems in water they will eventually root and you can replant them in a pot or out in the garden.