Herb of the Month
Origin of Herbs:
Holy Basil is a many
branched, erect stout and aromatic herb. It grows up to the height
of about 75cms and is hairy all over. The plant has tender
leaves, usually smooth, up to 2.5cm in length. The herb is bitter
and pungent. This herb has been known from as early as Vedic
period .The holy basil is native to India. It reached Western
Europe in the 16th Century .It has now widely grown throughout the
The plant has many medicinal properties. The leaves are a nervine
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.
Anxiety & 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
Common Cold & Fever:
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 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.
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.
Water boiled with basil
leaves can be taken as drink in case of sore throat. This water
can also be used as a gargle.
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.
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.
Basil has a beneficial
effect in cardiac disease and the weakness resulting from them. It
reduces the level of blood cholesterol.
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.
Mouth infections :
The leaves are quit
effective for the ulcer and infections in the mouth. A few leaves
chewed will cure these conditions.
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 a 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.
Applied locally, basil
juice is beneficial in the treatment of ringworm and other skin
diseases. It has also been tried successfully by some naturopaths
I the treatment of leucoderma.
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
should be put into the eyes daily at bedtimes.
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, counter acting bad breath and for massaging the
gums. It is also useful in pyorrhea and other teeth disorders.
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.
Ayurvedic Supplements that contains Tulsi :