( Tulsi Thulsi Tulasi )
A common sight in most homes, the tulsi plant has many medicinal and curative properties. There are at least 150 varieties of basil in the world.
The Tulsi plant seen in most Hindu homes, is known as the Holy or Sacred Basil (Botanical name: Ocimum Sanctum). It is an aromatic herb. The leaves of this plant are used in worship and also have medicinal and curative properties. The name probably comes from the Greek Besileus, meaning "King". There are at least 150 varieties of basil in the world.
In the olden days, temples served as rest-houses for travellers. The Tulsi plant was grown outside the temples because of its unique property of curbing thirst. A couple of leaves under the tongue and the weary traveller looking for water would fee less thirsty. The basil, a native of India, reached western Europe only in the 16th century. Now it is widely grown all over the world.
Every part of the tulsi plant, from roots to leaves, possesses health-giving properties. Its use as a medicine in different ailments has been known from ancient times in the Ayurvedic system. The leaves of the basil yield an essential oil which contains eugenol, carvacrol, methyl eugenol and caryophyllene. It has the property of destroying bacteria and insects. The juice of the leaves is used in treatment of bronchitis and gastric disorders.
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