Common name: Holy Basil/Tulsi
Botanical name: Ocimum sanctum
Parts used: Leaves, flowers, essential oil.
Medicinally, it has many of the same properties as other mint species, demonstrating an antimicrobial effect. The essential oil has been found to have antibacterial, anti yeast, and insecticidal action. Researchers have found that basil can kill some intestinal parasites and that the seeds and oil have mild antibiotic effects.
A tea prepared with the leaves of Ocimum sanctum is commonly used in cough, cold, mild, indigestion, diminished appetite and malaise.
Externally applied on chronic non healing ulcers, inflammation, skin disorders, useful in nausea, pain in abdomen, worms, allergic rhinitis, all types of cough, respiratory disorders.
The oil is reported to possess anti-bacterial and insecticidal properties. It inhibits the in vitro growth of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Micrococcus pyogenes var. aureus.
An infusion of the leaves is used as a stomachic in gastric disorders or children. A decoction of the root is given as a diaphoretic in malarial fevers. The seeds are mucilaginous and demulcent, and are given in disorders of genito-urinary system.
Leaves boiled with water are prescribed for cold and stomach disorders. The leaf juice is given for skin diseases internally as well as externally. The decoction of the leaves along with the tubers Orchis latifolia is considered a nourishing drink for old and weak people. Aphrodisiac virtue has been attributed to the root where powdered root with clarified butter (ghee) is prescribed. Seeds made into a paste with milk is considered a harmless preparation for the stomach troubles of infants and small children.
Basil has been used to treat a variety of conditions, including the following: anxiety and tension, congestion, coughs, colds, colic, constipation, cuts and abrasions, diarrhea, digestive disorders, dysentery, fevers, flatulence, headaches and migraines, indigestion, insect bites and stings, menstrual cramps, muscle tension, nerve pain, nervousness, sinusitis, sore throats, tiredness and lethargy.
When inhaled in steam, it relieves nasal congestion.
Basil seeds contain mild antibiotic substances that, when used as a poultice, helps prevent skin infections and promotes the healing of minor skin wounds. Basil is also used in some skin ointments and promoted as a treatment for acne.
The tea is said to be relaxing, and, when taken in the evening, helps to promote sleep.
Chewing a couple of leaves before a meal helps to stimulate the appetite; and a tea taken after a meal promotes digestion by increasing the flow of gastric juices, while reducing gas and bloating.
In Chinese medicine, basil is used for disturbances in renal function, gum ulcers, and as a hemostyptic both before and after birth.
In Ayurvedic medicine, the juice is recommended for snakebites; as a general tonic; and for chills, coughs, rheumatoid arthritis, anorexia, skin problems, amenorrhea and dysmenorrhea, malaria, and earaches, but mainly used in the cases of fever. A classic recipe advocates mixing Holy Basil, black pepper, ginger, and honey to prevent infection and to control high fevers.
Since Holy Basil has the ability to lower blood pressure, it is thought to have an affinity for the heart, as well as helping the body to adapt to new demands and stresses.
Holy Basil is used to reduce blood sugar levels as well as relieving fevers, bronchitis, asthma, stress, and canker sores. Research into its ability to reduce blood sugar levels has gone on for several decades, and is proving useful in some types of diabetes. Indian research has shown that the herb has anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and fever-reducing properties, as well as inhibiting sperm production.
In Belize, it is used to bring on delayed menstruation and to relieve painful periods, as well as to treat earaches. Elsewhere it is used as an anti-inflammatory, for stomach-aches, intestinal parasites, and to lower blood sugar levels.
Mexicans use it to treat "susto", or gastrointestinal blockage. It is also used to ward off evil spirits, and as a cleansing agent.
Disclaimer: All information provided in this blog is for historical and educational purposes only; statements contained here are reported in an effort to preserve traditional cultural lore and information. Nothing here should be construed as an attempt to diagnose, prescribe, or recommend treatment for any disease or condition. Please consult your physician for medical advice regarding any medical condition and do not use any of the historical information on this site without your physician’s approval.
herbal, remedy, ayurveda, home remedies