Described as the most holy plant on earth in the ancient Vedic Puranas, tulsi is still revered today as holier than holy. For thousands of years, tulsi (holy basil) has been grown for spiritual purposes in the backyards of most Indian homes. Its branches are sanded into beads and worn to enhance spiritual progress. Its fragrance is used to purify temples and the leaves are used in sacred ceremonies to honor God and heighten one’s awareness. Tulsi (Holy Basil) is named after these spiritual attributes and commonly called sacred holy basil and botanically named Ocimum sanctum.
What is not commonly known about the tulsi plant are its best kept secrets. Called the Queen of Herbs, The Incomparable One and The Mother Medicine of Nature, tulsi is as powerful a medicine as it is spiritual and holy. Interestingly, tulsi is both spiritual and medicinal for the same reasons. In Ayurveda, which is India’s 5000 year old traditional system of medicine, the source of tulsi’s unique properties are described. Today modern science has confirmed many of these properties, recognizing tulsi as one of nature’s most powerful medicines.
Tulsi (Holy Basil) is uniquely suited to support the health of the inner skin, such as the intestinal and respiratory tracts. In one study, it supported the health of beneficial microbes in the gut when exposed to harmful bacteria. As a kapha-reducing herb, along with its immune-supportive properties, tulsi is famous for supporting respiratory health.
While tulsi (holy basil) balances vata (cold and dry qualities) and kapha (warm and moist qualities), and in excess it can increase pitta (hot and fiery qualities), it can be used in any season for all types. As a kapha-reducing herb, tulsi supports the healthy expectoration of mucus from the lungs and respiratory tract as well as any excess mucus in the digestive tract.
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Tulsi Holy Basil: One of the most cherished healing herbs of India, Tulsi (Holy Basil) has been used for centuries to promote immunity and stress resilience, support strength and stamina, and to enhance calm and clarity. Tulsi parallels the actions of: Ginseng (without the stimulant effects), echinacea, garlic, clove, golden seal, ginger, oregano thyme and turmeric. It balances Vata and Kapha and in excess it can increase Pitta as its energy is heating. As a kapha-reducing herb, tulsi supports the healthy expectoration of mucus from the lungs and respiratory tract as well as any excess mucus in the digestive tract.