Tulsi, also known as holy basil, is an Ayurvedic herb with a long history of use in India.
Though it’s related to the common sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum) used in Italian cuisine, tulsi has a more potent flavour and is often used in religious ceremonies.
These days, tulsi is gaining popularity for its many health benefits.
Eating Tulsi Leaves Mitigates Stress
Many people claim that adding tulsi leaves to their diet helps mitigate stress, but does this have merit? Nowadays, tulsi leaves are frequently sold as supplements and are used by many people as an alternative to pharmaceutical drugs.
Tulsi has adaptogenic properties, which means it helps the body to adapt to stress. This is due to the presence of compounds like ursolic acid and eugenol, which have been shown to have anti-stress effects.
Stress-reducing compounds Ocimumosides A and B, which balance the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine in the brain, are also found in tulsi.
Tulsi leaves can also assist you to relax by enhancing the production of GABA in your body. GABA is a neurotransmitter that blocks certain impulses between nerve cells in the brain, which has a calming effect. By assisting your body to create more GABA, tulsi leaves can help to reduce anxiety, nervousness, and restlessness.
High in Antioxidants
Antioxidants scavenge harmful toxins known as free radicals, which can damage cells, leading to inflammation. Some research has shown that the antioxidants in tulsi may help to reduce inflammation and protect cells from damage.
Packed with vitamin C and numerous other antioxidants, consuming these nutrients can reduce oxidative stress on cells, which may help protect against age-related diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and neuro diseases.
Tulsi May Improve Heart Health
One of the most well-known benefits of tulsi is its positive effect on heart health. The leaves have been shown to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, as well as increase HDL (good) cholesterol levels.
Additionally, the herb’s anti-inflammatory properties help to reduce inflammation and blood pressure.
Tulsi is a natural adaptogen that can assist in the strengthening of your immune system, as well as aid in the prevention and treatment of colds, flu, and other illnesses.
This is because tulsi is high in Vitamin C and zinc, making it an excellent natural immunity booster. It also has strong antibacterial, viral, and fungal effects that may help protect you from a variety of illnesses.
Tulsi leaves’ extract has been proven to enhance T helper cell activity and natural killer cell activity, further strengthening the immune system.
Helps Treat Respiratory Disorders
Tulsi leaves are a natural decongestant. They help to thin mucus and make it easier to expel, making them an effective treatment for bronchitis, asthma, colds, and flu. Its anti-inflammatory properties can help to soothe the throat and chest.
Can Help Lower Fever
Since tulsi leaves are a natural anti-inflammatory, they can help to lower fever by reducing inflammation. Tulsi leaves are also packed with antioxidants, which can help to fight the infection causing the fever.
Aids In Digestion
Tulsi can be helpful in treating a number of digestive issues, including indigestion, gas, bloating, and constipation. This is due to the presence of eugenol in tulsi leaves. Eugenol is an essential oil that relaxes the gastrointestinal muscles and provides relief from stomach pain.
Tulsi May Promote Oral Health
Not only does tulsi have a refreshing taste, but it also has numerous oral health benefits. Chewing on tulsi leaves can help to freshen breath and keep teeth and gums healthy.
Tulsi leaves contain compounds like eugenol, carvacrol, and thymol, which have been shown to have antimicrobial effects against the bacteria that cause plaque and gum disease.
Tulsi leaves may also help to whiten teeth.
Contains Cancer-Preventing Properties
Recent studies have shown that tulsi may help to prevent and treat certain types of cancers like skin, lung, and liver cancer. This is due to the presence of compounds like apigenin, ursolic acid, and rosmarinic acid, which have been shown to have anticancer effects.
Keep in mind that this research is still in its early stages, so do not replace conventional cancer treatment with tulsi leaves.
May Help Treat Diabetes
Tulsi leaves can be helpful in treating diabetes by lowering blood sugar levels. This is due to the presence of compounds like eugenol and carvacrol, which have been shown to have hypoglycemic effects.
Tulsi may also help to prevent the complications of diabetes, such as heart disease, by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress.
Useful In Kidney Stones
Tulsi helps to detoxify and flush out toxins that can lead to kidney stones.
Tulsi also has diuretic properties. Diuretics are substances that help rid the body of salt and water, increasing the production of urine. Sodium also helps to drain water from your blood, lowering the amount of fluid passing through your veins and arteries. This lowers blood pressure.
Tulsi reduces the formation of kidney stones by lowering uric acid levels in the body. Uric acid is a major cause of kidney stones and lowering its amount in the body prevents them from forming. Gout patients can benefit from uric acid reduction too because it alleviates pain and inflammation linked with gout attacks.
Good for Skin & Hair
Tulsi helps to improve your complexion and keeps the skin looking young and radiant. The antioxidants present in tulsi help to fight the free radicals that cause premature ageing.
Tulsi also has antifungal and antibacterial properties that help to keep the skin clean and free of infection. Meaning that acne and blemishes will clear out.
In addition to skin benefits, Tulsi can help prevent hair loss since it has a strengthening effect on your hair roots. In addition, Tulsi has antifungal properties, which prevent fungus and dandruff from developing.
Repellent Against Bugs
Tulsi has a strong aroma that bugs and insects dislike. So, if you are looking for a natural way to keep them away, try using tulsi leaves or tulsi essential oil.
You can also make a bug spray by mixing tulsi and essential oil with water in a spray bottle.
After an insect bite, tulsi also can have soothing effects when applied to the wound. This is because it will reduce swelling and irritation, making the itching and pain less intense and more manageable.
Helps with Weight Loss
Tulsi is helpful in weight loss by boosting metabolism and aiding indigestion. Tulsi also helps to lower cholesterol levels, which can lead to weight gain.
Tulsi leaves are a good source of fibre, which helps to promote regularity and prevent constipation. Fibre also helps to keep you feeling full after eating, so you are less likely to overeat.
Tulsi also has thermogenic properties, which help to increase the body’s temperature and burn more calories.
How to Consume Tulsi
One way to introduce tulsi leaves to your diet is by adding them to soups, salads, or curries. You can also make tulsi tea by steeping the leaves in hot water for 5-10 minutes.
Another way to consume tulsi is in the form of tinctures or capsules. Tinctures are concentrated extracts that are taken by adding a few drops to water or juice. Capsules are another convenient way to take tulsi, and they can be found at most health food stores.
When purchasing tulsi products, make sure to buy from a reputable source. This will ensure that you are getting a high-quality product.
Tulsi is generally well-tolerated and considered safe for most people. However, there are a few potential side effects that you should be aware of.
- Some people may experience nausea or loose stools when they first start incorporating tulsi into their daily routine. To mitigate this, try and introduce small amounts of tulsi into your diet gradually.
- Tulsi can interact with certain medications, so it is best to consult with your healthcare provider before taking tulsi if you are taking any medications.
- Tulsi can also thin the blood, so if you are taking blood thinners, it is best to avoid tulsi.
- If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, it is best to consult with your healthcare provider before taking tulsi in any form.
- In rare cases, tulsi can cause an allergic reaction in some people. If you experience any itching, swelling, or difficulty breathing after taking tulsi, seek medical attention immediately.
Tulsi is a healing herb that has many health benefits, some of which are not even mentioned here. If you are interested in learning more about this amazing plant, please do some additional research. Thank you for reading!