Holy Basil is not among the most known medicinal herbs, but it has plenty of very powerful health benefits and healing actions which can be used to help us relieve our health conditions. Holy basil is an aromatic plant which is also known as Tulsi plant. In ancient Indian medicine, in addition to holy basil three most common types of Tulsi plant were used: Vana Tulsi (Ocimum gratissimum), Krishna Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum), and Rama Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum). All these plants have specific therapeutic effects, and all of them can be used to treat a variety of diseases. They are rich in minerals, vitamins, and other phyto-nutrients, and for many centuries they have been used as the ingredients of various remedies from Auyrvedic medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and other traditional alternative medicines of the nations of South Asia.
It is interesting that, in addition to medicinal purposes, in many countries of South Asia holy basil is also cultivated for various religious purposes. It is considered a sacred plant in India, Indonesia, Thailand, and some other nations. A famous Vaishnavite tradition involves using holy basil plant when performing certain rituals, that is why this plant is collected for performing worship ceremonies. Certainly, due its excellent aromatic properties, holy basil plays a role as a culinary spice and is used for cooking some dishes, especially the ones with pork, chicken or beef. Dried leaves of holy basil are very often used for their excellent repellent properties, to ward off various insects and bugs. However, the plant is highly valued as a medicinal one, due to its rich content of volatile oils and other phyto-chemicals. It is mainly used as a herbal infusion, or in the form of essential oil produced from leaves and fruits of holy basil. The key benefits and properties of this medicinal plant are the following:
- Herbal infusions and gargles with holy basil are considered very good remedies to remove the symptoms of respiratory system infections, including coughs, sore throat, fever, etc.
- It is considered a great help for those who suffer from such problems as asthma, bronchitis, influenza, common cold, etc. Essential oil can be used for vapor therapy. At that, the effects of holy basil are very gentle, so it can be used even for young children.
- Holy basil leaves are known as a very effective natural nervine tonic, so they can be used to restore and stimulate the function of the nerve system.
- There is a great number of Ayurvedic remedies involving holy basil which have been used for centuries as natural treatment for coughs.
- The plant has excellent anti-inflammatory properties which can be used to prevent and treat such problems as mouth infections, skin infections, etc.
- Actually, holy basil is an excellent natural remedy for many common skin problems, starting from acne and dermatitis, and ending up with too dry or dull skin. Using essential oil is infusions can be the best choice to prevent skin problems.
- Some herbalists of South Asia used this natural remedy as an effective treatment for eye infections.
- There is plenty of evidence to the fact that consuming holy basil infusion is a great solution to prevent kidney problems. In particular, it is believed that this natural remedy can serve as an effective kidney stone prevention.
- Sedative and calming properties of holy basil can work great to prevent anxiety and relieve other negative effects of stresses. It is recommended to simply chew holy basil leaves to harvest these benefits.
- Some studies have shown that using holy basil remedies can be a great solution to reduce bad cholesterol, this way reduce the risks for serious heart conditions, including heart attack and a stroke.
- Finally, it is suggested that by using this medicinal plant it is possible to prevent brain disorders and lower the risks of dementia like conditions.