Indian Arts and Culture Hinduism 15 Benefits of the Holy Basil (Tulsi) Herb Surprising Health Benefits of Tulsi (Basil) Share Flipboard Email Print ImagesBazaar / Getty Images Hinduism Indian Arts and Culture India Past and Present Important Texts Temples and Organizations Hindu Gods Hindu Gurus and Saints By MP Bhattathiry is the retired Chief Technical Examiner to the government of Kerala, India. our editorial process MP Bhattathiry Updated January 30, 2020 In the Hindu religious tradition, the tulsi, or holy basil, plant serves both as an important symbol and also as a popular medicinal remedy. As a symbol, the plant is worshiped in the morning and evening by Hindus everywhere; and the plant itself serves as an herbal remedy for a lot of common ailments in the ancient Indian Ayurvedic system of healthcare. Fifteen Medicinal Uses of Tulsi Healing Power: The tulsi plant has many medicinal properties. The leaves are a nerve tonic and also sharpen memory. They promote the removal of the catarrhal matter and phlegm from the bronchial tubes. The leaves strengthen the stomach and induce copious perspiration. The seeds of the plant are mucilaginous, producing a coating that protects mucus membranes. Fever & Common Cold: The leaves of basil are a specific cure for many fevers. During the rainy season, when malaria and dengue fever are widely prevalent, tender leaves boiled with tea act as preventive against these diseases. In case of acute fevers, an extraction of the leaves boiled with powdered cardamom in half a liter of water and mixed with sugar and milk brings down the temperature. 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.Coughs: 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.Sore Throat: Water boiled with basil leaves can be taken as drink in case of sore throat. This water can also be used as a gargle. Respiratory Disorder: The herb is useful in the treatment of respiratory system disorder. An extraction of the leaves mixed with honey and ginger is an effective remedy for bronchitis, asthma, influenza, cough and cold. An extraction of the leaves mixed with 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. Kidney Stone: Basil has strengthening effect on the kidneys. In case of kidney stones, the juice of basil leaves and honey, if taken regularly for 6 months, it will expel them via the urinary tract.Heart Disorder: 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 such as 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. 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 elements.Mouth Infections: The leaves are quit effective for ulcers and infections in the mouth. A few leaves chewed will cure these conditions.Insect Bites: The herb is a prophylactic or preventive, as well as a curative for insect stings or bites. A teaspoonful of the juice of the leaves is taken and is 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.Skin Disorders: Applied locally, basil juice is beneficial in the treatment of ringworm and other skin diseases. It has also been tried successfully by some naturopaths in the treatment of leucoderma.Teeth Disorder: 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, counteracting bad breath and for massaging the gums. It is also useful for pyorrhea and other teeth disorders.Headaches: Basil makes a good medicine for headache. An extraction from 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.Eye Disorders: Basil juice is an effective remedy for eye disorders such as sore eyes and night-blindness, which is generally caused by deficiency of vitamin A. Two drops of black basil juice are put into the eyes daily at bedtime. DISCLAIMER: These are only general guidelines as a first aid. It is always better to see a doctor depending upon the intensity of the case. The views expressed above are entirely those of the author.