By Foodism Team
Tulsi - An Ancient Antidote
This humble plant promises solutions to multiple malaises
Tulsi is one of the easiest-to-cultivate plants and hence widely found in the Indian subcontinent along with tropical regions of most Southeast Asian countries. This plant is broadly available in two varieties - the green coloured Lakshmi Tulsi and the purple hued Krishna Tulsi.
Worshipped and offered to the Gods in practically all Hindu households this modest, inexpensive herb is touted to help resolve a host of health and lifestyle related issues be it - combatting common ailments and stress, boosting immunity, fighting bacterial and viral infections or treating hair and skin disorders.
Foodism brings to you a closer look at the Holy Basil nee Tulsi
Tulsi also termed Holy Basil, boasts of a broad-spectrum of health-supporting properties when in synergy with other Ayurvedic herbs such as Turmeric and Ashwagandha.
The ancient Vedic Bhagavat Purana text claims that Tulsi (the “Queen of Herbs”) is the plant embodiment of Lakshmi, wife of Vishnu and the Goddess of wealth and generosity. Religious scriptures view Tulsi as a living gateway between heaven and earth, and regard it as the manifestation of the divine within the plant kingdom.
Tulsi - Naturopathy and Ayurveda
The essential oils of Tulsi are used to treat multiple ailments under the Ayurveda and naturopathy branches. Not only do they effectively act on our respiratory system; but being rich in antioxidants these oils also alleviate stress, diabetes, high blood pressure et al. Additionally the linoleic acid in Tulsi is extremely beneficial for skin; and the volatile and fixed oils in Tulsi leaves help combat allergies, infections and pathogens.
Owing to its purifying, detoxifying and cleansing properties Tulsi paste and powder are richly used in herbal and cosmetic products; when blended with herbs and ingredients like - neem, giloy and turmeric - and applied on acne and pimples Tulsi powder can ensure relief with lesser chances of repeat breakouts.
Benefits of Tulsi
Tulsi is one of the most commonly and widely used ingredient in many Indian home remedies. Be it regular fever to some of the deadliest and most fatal bacterial and viral infections – Tulsi helps cure or to some extent, facilitate treating most diseases. In the on-going pandemic times, consuming a beverage made by boiling Tulsi leaves and adding about 2 grams of black pepper to it goes a long way in boosting immunity levels; besides acting as an antibacterial element and facilitating recovery from dengue. Then again this adaptogen (non-toxic plants that help the body resist stressors of all kinds, whether physical, chemical or biological) along with ginger, crushed peppercorn and boiling hot water is a critical ingredient of the Indian kadha (herbal decoction) which sets most monsoon and winter illnesses straight. Very few people are aware that Tulsi is replete with phytonutrients, essential oils, Vitamin A and C
Apart from the above this humble plants offers a plethora of beneficial properties when added to teas or consumed raw, powdered, paste or in the form of herbal supplements. Let’s take a quick look at some of these. Tulsi -
- Acts as a detoxifying, cleansing and purifying agent – both from within and without. Hence it is good for skin – both when consumed and applied topically
- Is also effective in treating skin disorders, itching and issues like ringworms
- Boasts of antibiotic, anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-carcinogenic properties
- Provides relief during fever, headache, sore throat, cold, cough, flu and chest congestion
- Is also beneficial in treating respiratory ailments like chronic bronchitis, asthma etcetera
- Is purported to relieve stress, strengthen immunity, and facilitate proper digestion
- Can also aid in balancing various bodily processes when consumed daily
- Counters elevated blood sugar levels and is therefore beneficial for diabetics
- Helps in regulating uric acid levels in body thereby eliminating the risk of developing kidney stones. It is also beneficial for those who have kidney stones
- Assists in maintaining normal levels of the stress hormone – cortisol in the body
- Wards off the harmful effects of free radicals
- Is an elixir for dental health and healthy gums
- Is an effective insect repellent and can aid in treating insect bite
- Is beneficial in treating conditions like hepatitis, malaria, tuberculosis, dengue and swine flu
How to Grow Tulsi and When to Grow It?
Purportedly, the Tulsi plant grows in rich and moist soil and with exposure to ample sunlight. It needs to be planted just a few centimetres below the soil with a light cover of dirt; and allowed to grow indoors till it’s about 6-7 inch tall, post which it can be transferred outdoors. With regards to when to grow Tulsi the best time is right before monsoon, when the heat is intense.
How to Consume Tulsi?
Well to each his own! But generally speaking Tulsi is consumed raw, plucked fresh from the plant; or added to your cuppa; or in the kadha (herbal decoction). But the more adventurous home chefs experiment with Tulsi by adding it to the various dishes they prepare when they are looking out for an exquisite, earthy, aromatic flavour to their preparations.
A Tulsi Recipe
Foodism brings to you a widely loved and interesting recipe of this tried and tested antidote (Tulsi) i.e. the Tulsi Tamatar Shorba which is basically a delicious broth-based tomato soup with basil and coriander
Medium-sized Tomatoes (chopped): 4-5
Roasted Cumin Powder: 1 Teaspoon
Small Carrot (chopped): 1
Garlic (crushed and chopped): 4 Cloves
Small-sized Apple (peeled and cut in cubes): 1
Coriander Roots: 50 grams
Salt: As per taste
Kashmiri Chilli Powder: Three-fourth Teaspoon
Black Pepper: Dash
Olive Oil: 2 Tablespoon
Dried Basil: 1 Teaspoon
- Heat oil in a pan and add chopped garlic
- Allow the oil to absorb the flavour of garlic
- Sauté the garlic slowly and after a few seconds add the tomatoes, carrot, apple, salt and Kashmiri chilli powder
- Add water and cook for 45 minutes till the vegetables become mashed and tender
- Add the chopped coriander roots with pepper and cook for another two minutes
- Blend the mixture using a blender and strain with a soup strainer
- Alternatively you can let the soup remain chunky and thick without straining it
- Heat the soup again and add Basil and if need be add a pinch of salt basis your personal preference Enjoy your broth hot…!
So when are you planting your Tulsi …?