Miracles of Tulsi Plant: Queen of herbs

By Surbhi Gloria
The treasures possessed by mother nature are way beyond the realm of human understanding and knowledge. All we can do is to stare in awe and wonder at the manifestations of nature. Over five thousand years ago, some nomads discovered one such treasure over the Indian soil. It was a plant we now call Tulsi or Holy Basil. No one knew of Tulsi's sanctity and generosity. But, so pure and Holy was this plant that she could not contain her gift within herself. Our ancestors realised Tulsi's worth and made it a point to make it known all over the world. Tulsi with her zillion attributes spread her roots fast and firm. The saints, scholars and learned people of the time used Tulsi to heal people of their mental and physical ailments. Tulsi came to be used as one of the most effective herbs of Ayurveda.

Gradually as Science advanced, the western world that always gave less prominence to the knowledge of foreign land desired to know more about Tulsi. The eastern tropic, especially India, fared well with its herbs and Ayurveda. When the world was oblivious of science, Indian Tulsi, Neem and other plants as well as trees did all the work that today's medical sciences aim to achieve after years of research and endless studies.

The scientific name of Tulsi is Ocimum Sanctum and it belongs to the Lamiaceae family. There are basically five varieties of Tulsi: Drudriha Tulsi, Babi Tulsi, Krishna Tulsi, Tukashmiya Tulsi and Ram Tulsi. Krishna Tulsi can be seen in almost all the parts of the Indian belt. The normal height of a Tulsi plant ranges from 30 cm to 60 cm.

Apart from the benefits that Tulsi has to offer, this aromatic plant produces ecstatically beautiful lilac flowers. The tiny Tulsi flowers impart vibes of serenity as they sparkle in the Sun and spread their aroma.

Every Hindu plants a Tulsi (mainly Krishna Tulsi) in courtyard. But, how many of us know why this is done? People wonder why Tulsi is considered so Holy, pure and auspicious. Now, Tulsi, the Queen of Herbs has a significant role to play in India from the religious point of view. Several intriguing legends have been written about Tulsi, the Sacred plant.

One of them has it that Tulsi, was an incarnation of a princess who had been cursed by Radha because of her love for Lord Krishna.

In another legend, Tulsi expressed her desire to marry Lord Krishna, but he gently refused. He consoled her that she would always be in his heart, just like his friend Radha, but not in his house. Lord Krishna also vowed to Tulsi that his worship would never be complete without her. Tulsi would find a place in the courtyard of every house that worshipped Lord Krishna.

Tulsi's connections have been established with Lord Vishnu too. Vrinda (Tulsi's original name) was married to a demon King named Jalandhar. The Gods were regularly at war with this demon but Tulsi's devotion kept him alive. Finally, the Gods sought Lord Vishnu's help. Tulsi's protective spell of loyalty could only be broken if she thought of another man. So, Lord Vishnu transformed himself into the demon and spent some time with Tulsi. When Tulsi discovered about her husband's death she was heart-broken. In wrath and agony, she cursed Lord Vishnu to become a stone. Lord Vishnu understood her misery and blessed her by transforming her into a plant that would be kept in every courtyard. He declared that he would only be worshipped when she would be around. That is why the Hindu devotees perform Lord Vishnu Tulsi Vivah, to commemorate the divine relationship between Lord Vishnu and Tulsi. Tulsi is also considered an incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi.

In another legend, Sita had once invited Hanuman for lunch. Now, Hanuman had a good and hearty appetite. He consumed all the food that Sita had prepared for him. When the food was over, he asked for more as his hunger would never get satisfied so easily with Sita's sumptuous food and his large appetite. Sita became anxious as there was no food left in the house. She approached Lord Rama for advice. Lord Rama advised Sita to give Hanuman a leaf of Tulsi. That single leaf of Tulsi did the magic. Hanuman's hunger was pacified and so did Sita's apprehension.

Apparently it is a legend, but it has more meaning than we could ever derive from it. Here, we get to know the magical remedies of Tulsi. It is one such plant whose every part is just as important as the other. As you read further, you will get to know how Tulsi's stem, seeds, leaves and oil are precious and valuable. Tulsi is used by people in various forms. It is also consumed as a herbal tea. Tulsi is mixed with ghee that leads to a healthy body. Its leaves are used not only when its leaves are fresh but when they are dry as well.

Tulsi tea is very popular and has always been enjoyed by children and adults. Tulsi tea is exported all over the world and benefits the economy. People like to consume Tulsi Tea with lemon, as black tea, and also with milk. These leaves have a rich aroma and flavour that entices even the non- tea consumers. Apart from its rich taste, Tulsi tea is herbal and hence has numerous benefits. As one gets up in the morning, the dread of the long and hectic day keeps him/her in the doldrums. Tulsi tea refreshes the mind and body, leaving you to feel light and confident to face all challenges of the day. Even after returning from work when you are all worn out, it will act as a stress reliever.

Tulsi is used by people from all walks of life. It is used by beauticians for face and hair treatments. Ayurvedic doctors recommend Tulsi for various reasons, now even the allopathic doctors recommend it as it is an antioxidant and an adaptogen. It means that it has the capability of protecting our cells from the dangers that cause cancer, cardiac disorders and many other life taking diseases. Tulsi qualifies as an adaptogen as it is a stress reliever and helps a body to adapt to alterations. The roots of Tulsi are a natural cure for people suffering from diabetes. Tulsi improves digestion, it is beneficial for the liver, lungs and blood vessels. The oil of Tulsi is used for many medicinal purposes. Its seeds are crushed or powdered and given to infertile women. Tulsi has magical healing powers that cures common cold, cough, respiratory problems and headaches. It can even dissolve kidney stone and help our nervous system. Tulsi has no side effects, hence it is safe to use.

Tulsi is given great importance in astrology as well. According to the norms of ‘Vastu’, a Tulsi plant must be placed at the Eastern or Northern zone of the house to eliminate Vastu dosh.

In the case of failure in business, a person must pour milk over the Tulsi plant located in the south-west direction of the house every Saturday. The plant must be worshipped and a sweet must be given to any married woman of the house.

If you are troubled by your boss’s attitude toward you, then plant Tulsi in your office. Wrap 16 seeds of Tulsi in a white cloth and bury it in the morning. It will increase your fame.

For the remedies of Saturn, burn Benzoin oil everyday and in eventide burn a wick with frankincense (Loban) soaked in mustard oil and place it at the roots of Tulsi.

There is no other herb on this planet that has proved to be more beneficial than Tulsi so far. It does not come as a surprise that she marks her place in the plethora of legends. Tulsi is worshipped as a Goddess, she is hailed as an incarnation of Sita and Lakshmi, she is doted on as the saviour who repels evil and harmful elements. Tulsi is blessed with healing powers and has the gift of spreading a fragrance of purity, simplicity, chastity and benevolence. In her virtue, she has deservedly acclaimed the right to be termed as a Queen. With her alchemy, her only reason of existence is to serve the world in any and every way possible.

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