DETAILS ABOUT OCIMUM TENUIFLORUM(TULASI)

DETAILS ABOUT OCIMUM TENUIFLORUM(TULASI)

Posted by saikat manna


A FLOWERING TWING OF TULASI
Ocimum tenuiflorum, also known as Ocimum sanctum, Holy basil, or tulasi, is an aromatic plant in the family Lamiaceae which is native throughout the Eastern World tropics and widespread as a cultivated plant. It is an erect, much branched subshrub, 30–60 cm tall with hairy stems and simple opposite green or purple leaves that are strongly scented. Leaves have petioles and are ovate, up to 5 cm long, usually slightly toothed. The flowers are purplish in elongate racemes in close whorls. The two main morphotypes cultivated in India and Nepal are green-leaved (Sri or Lakshmi tulasi) and purple-leaved (Krishna tulasi).

Tulasi is cultivated for religious and medicinal purposes, and for its essential oil. It is widely known across South Asia as a medicinal plant and an herbal tea, commonly used in Ayurveda, and has an important role within the Vaishnavite tradition of Hinduism, in which devotees perform worship involving holy basil plants or leaves.
The variety of Ocimum tenuiflorum used in Thai cuisine is referred to as Thai holy basil (Thai language: กะเพรา kaphrao); it is not to be confused with Thai basil, which is a variety of Ocimum basilicum.

Varieties of Tulsi
 
Krishna Tulsi:- Ocimum sanctum
Rama Tulsi:- Ocimum sanctum
Vana Tulsi:- Ocimum gratissimum

Chemical Constituents

Some of the main chemical constituents of tulsi are: oleanolic acid, ursolic acid, rosmarinic acid, eugenol, carvacrol, linalool, β-caryophyllene (about 8%), β-elemene (c.11.0%), and germacrene D (about 2%).

Uses

In Hinduism
Tulasi leaves is an essential part in the worship of God Vishnu (Narayana) and his Avatars including God Krishna, God Rama and other male Vaishnava deities like Hanuman, Balarama, Garuda and many others. Tulasi is a sacred plant for Hindus and is worshipped by Hindus as the avatar of goddess Lakshmi. Water mixed with the petals is given to the dying to raise their departing souls to heaven. Tulasi, which is Sanskrit for "the incomparable one", is most often regarded as a consort of Krishna in the form of Lakshmi. According to the Brahma Vaivarta Purana, tulasi is an expression of Sita. There are two types of tulasi worshipped in Hinduism: "Rama tulasi" has light green leaves and is larger in size; "Shyama tulasi" has dark green leaves and is important for the worship of Hanuman. Many Hindus have tulasi plants growing in front of or near their home, often in special pots. Traditionally, tulasi is planted in the center of the central courtyard of Hindu houses. It is also frequently grown next to Hanuman temples, especially in Varanasi.
According to Vaishnavas, it is believed in Puranas that during Samudra Manthana when the gods win the ocean-churning against asuras, Dhanvantari comes up from the ocean with Amrita in hand for the gods. Dhanvantari (the divine medico) sheds happy tears and when the first drop falls in Amrita it forms Tulasi. In the ceremony of Tulasi Vivaha, tulasi is ceremonially married to Krishna annually on the eleventh day of the waxing moon or twelfth of the month of Kartika in the lunar calendar. This day also marks the end of the four-month Caturmasya period, which is considered inauspicious for weddings and other rituals, so the day inaugurates the annual marriage season in India. The ritual lighting of lamps each evening during Kartika includes the worship of the tulasi plant, which is held to be auspicious for the home. Vaishnavas especially follow the daily worship of tulasi during Kartika.
Vaishnavas traditionally use japa malasa made from tulasī stems or roots, which are an important symbol of initiation. Tulasi malasa are considered to be auspicious for the wearer, and believed to put them under the protection of Hanuman. They have such a strong association with Vaishnavas, that followers of Hanuman are known as "those who bear the tulasi round the neck".
In India, the use of holy basil (Tulasi) in culinary preparations is not encouraged by most Vaishnava communities as it is considered to be sacred (however, Tulasi leaves offered to Lord Vishnu [Krishna] may be eaten raw by themselves). According to followers of the Hare Krishna movement even uprooting or cutting a branch of a live Tulasi tree is considered to be a great offense. However Tulasi leaves may be plucked only for offering to Lord Krishna (or other Vishnu forms). The combination of Tulasi with meat in food preparations is considered to be extremely offensive and disrespectful to Tulasi.
The use of Tulasi as medicine is also prohibited by certain Vaishnava communities, for instance the Hare Krishna movement (ISKCON) considers Tulasi to be highly sacred and is to be used for spiritual upliftment of a person when one renders service unto Tulasi devi (Tulasi personified).

Medicinal uses of tulsi    

The tulsi or holy basil is an important symbol in the Hindu religious tradition and is worshiped in the morning and evening by Hindus at large. The holy basil is also a herbal remedy for a lot of common ailments. Here're some medicinal uses of 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.
2. Fever & Common Cold: Tulsi has very potent germicidal, fungicidal, anti-bacterial and anti-biotic properties that are great for resolving fevers.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 ayurveda, it is strongly advised that a person suffering from fever should have a decoction made of tulsi leaves. 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.
3.Beats diabetes: leaves of holy basil are packed with antioxidants and essential oils that produce eugenol, methyl eugenol and caryophyllene.  Collectively these substances help the pancreatic beta cells (cells that store and release insulin) function properly. This in turn helps increase sensitivity to insulin. Lowering one’s blood sugar and treating diabetes effectively. An added advantage is that the antioxidants present in the leaves help beat the ill effects of oxidative stress.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. Heals respiratory conditions: Tulsi has immunomodulatory (helps to modulate the immune system), antitussive (suppresses the cough center, reducing the amount of cough) and expectorant properties (helps expel phlegm from the chest), that make it a great relief for coughs, cold, and other respiratory disorders including chronic and acute bronchitis. Another great property of this leaf is that it has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties that help to beat the infection causing the respiratory problem. It also relieves congestion since it contains potent components like camphene, eugenol and cineole in its essential oils. Its anti-allergic and anti-inflammatory properties also help to treat allergic respiratory disorders.
7. Dissolves kidney stones: The holy basil being a great diuretic and detoxifier is great for the kidneys. Tulsi helps reduce the uric acid levels in the blood (one of the main reasons for kidney stones is the presence of excess uric acid in the blood), helps cleanse the kidneys, the presence of acetic acid and other components in its essential oils helps in breaking down kidney stones and its painkiller effect helps dull down the pain of kidney stones. To relieve kidney stones one must have the juice of tulsi leaves with honey, every day for six months to help wash out the stone from the kidney.

8. Protects the heart: Tulsi has a powerful anti-oxidant component called Eugenol. This compound helps protect the heart by keeping one’s blood pressure under control and lowering his/her cholesterol levels. Chewing a few leaves of tulsi on an empty stomach everyday can both prevent and protect any heart ailments.
9. 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.

10. Beats stress: According to a study conducted by the Central Drug Research Institute, Lucknow, India, tulsi helps to maintain the normal levels of the stress hormone – cortisol in the body.  The leaf also has powerful adaptogen properties (also known as anti-stress agents). It helps sooth the nerves, regulates blood circulation and beats free radicals that are produced during an episode of stress. People who have high stress jobs can chew about 12 leaves of tulsi twice a day to beat stress naturally.
11. Mouth Infections: The leaves are quit effective for the ulcer and infections in the mouth. A few leaves chewed will cure these conditions.
12. Insect Bites: This herb also prevents insect stings and bites. A teaspoon of fresh juice should be applied on the affected areas and repeated after a few hours. A paste of fresh roots is also effective in case of bites of insects and leeches.
Apply a paste of Tulsi leaves and roots ground together on the sting of the scorpion. It will completely eliminate the effects of poison. Also in such cases, crushing a few leaves of Tulsi and mixing it with lemon helps too. Apply it on the area of the sting and it will cure the problem. The pain caused by the sting can be reduced by drinking Tulsi juice and also by applying it on the sting.
13. 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.
14. 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. This toothpaste can also be rubbed on the gums to hinder gum inflammation. Tulsi is also used as a mouth wash to relieve tooth ache. Tulsi is an excellent mouth freshener and oral disinfectant and destroys 99% of germs and bacteria found in the mouth. These leaves are quite effective for several mouth infections like ulcer.
15. Cures a headache: Tulsi helps to relieve headaches caused due to sinusitis, allergies, cold or even migraines. This is because it has pain relieving and decongestant properties,  that help relieve the pain and resolve the root cause of the condition. If you are suffering from a headache, make a bowl of water that has been boiled with crushed tulsi leaves or tulsi extract. Cool the water till it is room temperature or bearably hot. Place a small towel in it, wring out the excess water and place this on your forehead to treat a headache. Alternatively you could dip a towel in plain warm water and add a few drops of tulsi extract to the towel for immediate relief. 
16. 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.
17. Beats cancer: With strong anti-oxidant and anti-carcinogenic properties tulsi has been found to help stop the progression of breast cancer and oral cancer (caused due to chewing tobacco). This is because its compounds restrict the flow of blood to the tumour by attacking the blood vessels supplying it. Have the extract of tulsi every day to keep these conditions at bay.
18. Helps to quit smoking: Tulsi is known to have very strong anti- stress compounds and is great to help one quit smoking. It helps by lowering the stress that may be involved in trying to quit smoking, or stress that leads to the urge to smoke. It also has a cooling effect on the throat just like menthol drops and helps control the urge to smoke by allowing the person to chew on something. Ayurveda relies heavily on tulsi leaves as a smoking cessation device. Keep some leaves with you and chew it whenever the urge to smoke arises. Another plus is that the antioxidant property of the leaves will help fight all the damage that arises out of years of smoking.
19. Skin care benefits of Tulsi: Time and again, this wonder herb has proved itself to be one of the most essential ingredients used in herbal skin care products. The beauty benefits of tulsi plants are plenty. It helps in maintaining a healthy skin and shiny hair. Tulsi extracts make the most organic solution for your skin and hair problems. Tulsi is endowed with antiseptic and purifying qualities which help to prevent skin diseases. Some of them have been listed below.
a.     Tulsi works very well on eczema, acne and pimples and many cosmetic companies use Tulsi as an ingredient in skin ointments due to its anti-bacterial properties. People suffering from scabies and eczema should drink Tulsi juice to help cure it.
b.    Tulsi works great on the skin, whether you eat raw leaves or apply a paste to the face. When eaten raw, it purifies the blood from toxins and prevents appearance of acne and pimples. You can also make a toner by boiling Tulsi leaves in water. Let it cool for 15 minutes and then apply on the acne affected areas. This remedy will not only help eliminate pimples but will also impart an instant glow to the skin and will smooth the skin out completely.
c.     Besan and tulsi paste face pack is a popular pack to get rid of scar marks and get a clean and even skin tone. Skin whitening effects of besan lightens the appearance of scars and black marks and Tulsi kills the bacteria that lead to acne.
d.     Rubbing finely powdered dry tulsi on the face like a loose powder makes the face glow and removes dark spots from the face.
e.     Tulsi leaves contain anti-bacterial and anti-fungal compounds. A paste made of Tulsi leaves along with sandalwood paste and rose water can be applied on the face as it helps to prevent inflammation.
f.       The antioxidants present in Tulsi makes you look younger and fresher. Tulsi is very healthy for the skin. It works well as a skin and hair moisturizer too.
g.     Skin with blemishes can also benefit from Tulsi leaves. Make a face pack using one egg white and Tulsi leaves paste. Then rub the mixture gently on the face particularly on the infected areas of the skin. Wash off the face pack after 20 minutes scrubbing it gently. The egg white used will tighten the pores while the tulsi paste will disinfect the skin and prevent infections which cause pimples and acne.
h.     Using tulsi paste and lemon helps to cure ring worms.
i.      Continued ingestion of powdered tulsi roots and leaves is believed to cure all skin diseases.
j.       Another good remedy for treating all types of skin diseases is boiling tulsi in mustard oil till the oil turns black. Let it cool, then strain the oil and apply all over the body during winters. This promotes quick healing. Application of tulsi juice on the boils is beneficial and gives relief too.
k.     Apply tulsi paste for relief from skin irritations caused due to plucking of the hair.
l.      Dry tulsi leaves in a shade, add alum, grind and sieve well and store the powder in a clean glass bottle. Apply the powder on wounds and cuts. Pain due to burns can be alleviated by applying equal amounts of Tulsi juice and coconut oil mixed in it.
m.   Rubbing tulsi leaves on areas that itch gives quick relief. Itching can also be soothed by applying a mixture of Tulsi and lemon juice.
20. Stomach problems: Several stomach problems like acidity, constipation and flatulence can also be cured with tulsi leaves. Tulsi supports digestive system and makes you feel less bloated and more comfortable. It also helps people suffering from vomiting and lack of appetite.

21. Pain relief: Tulsi plant acts like a COX-2 inhibitor and benefits people with painful medical condition. Some Compounds found in tulsi helps to ease inflammatory and neurological pain and has no side effects whatsoever. Tulsi is also used in the treatment of ulcers, cuts and wounds because of its beneficial antiseptic and healing properties.

22. Hair Care benefits of tulsi: Dry and damaged hair is often a cause of concern for beauties. Further high pollution in cities and several other factors combine to wreak havoc on our crowning glory and damage our hair to the very roots. It is highly important to keep ourselves hydrated and eat a balance diet to ward off hair problems.  Always rely on herbal products and homemade remedies for hair problems rather than using over the counter, chemical laden hair care products which do nothing but make the matter worse for us. Tulsi is a wonder herb which helps to achieve lustrous shiny and healthy hair.
a.      One of the major causes of hair loss is dandruff and dry scalp. Add a small quantity of Tulsi oil to regular carrier oil like coconut oil and massage well on your scalp. Tulsi helps to improve the blood circulation and keeps your scalp cool reducing itchiness and dandruff and promotes hair growth. You can also apply tulsi paste which keeps the scalp, roots clean and keeps the dandruff at bay.
b.     A paste of tulsi, hibiscus and neem leaves can be applied on the hair to keep it healthy and itch free.
c.     Regular massage of tulsi oil in your scalp energizes you and your hair.
d.    Tulsi has a complex constitution that includes immunity booster, adaptogens and anti-oxidants. Hence, tulsi juice when taken every week keeps our scalp healthy and hydrated.Apart from all these benefits, it has been recently discovered that tulsi has environmental benefits too. Tulsi apparently gives out oxygen for 20 hours and ozone for 4 hours along with the formation of nascent oxygen which absorbs harmful gases like carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and sulphur dioxide from the environment.
After knowing all these amazing benefits of this herb, I’m sure all of you would try these home remedies. It will work wonders on your life and living habits.

Principle
Nutrient Value
Percentage of RDA
Energy
23 Kcal
1%
Carbohydrates
2.65 g
2%
Protein
3.15 g
6%
Total Fat
0.64 g
2%
Cholesterol
0 mg
0%
Dietary Fiber
1.60 g
4%
Vitamins


Folates
68 µg
17%
Niacin
0.902 mg
6%
Pantothenic acid
0.209 mg
4%
Pyridoxine
0.155 mg
12%
Riboflavin
0.076 mg
6%
Thiamin
0.034 mg
2.5%
Vitamin A
5275 IU
175%
Vitamin C
18 mg
30%
Vitamin E
0.80 mg
5%
Vitamin K
414.8 µg
345%
Electrolytes


Sodium
4 mg
0%
Potassium
295 mg
6%
Minerals


Calcium
177 mg
18%
Copper
385 mg
43%
Iron
3.17 mg
40%
Magnesium
64 mg
16%
Manganese
1.15 mg
57%
Zinc
0.81 mg
7%
Phyto-nutrients


Carotene-ß
3142 µg
Crypto-xanthin-ß
46 µg
Lutein-zeaxanthin
5650 µg


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