Tulsi , also known as Holy Basil, is an herb native to India. It is regarded as an important herb in the practice of Ayurveda (the traditional medicine of India) and has been used for thousands of years. It is a popular beverage in India and is commonly grown in the homes of families and temples. Historically it has not been used in cooking and rather consumed in the form of tea, oil, or chewing of fresh leaves.
Tulsi has many health benefits. Most significantly it is an adaptogen, which is a natural substance that helps the body adapt to stress. It relaxes the nervous system and ultimately increases our resistance to stress, fatigue, and anxiety. It can be a useful adjunct in treatments of anxiety, depression, and stress. Tulsi contains potent antioxidants that promotes health in the body. It is helpful in pulmonary problems, such as asthma and bronchitis as it decreases mucus. Chewing the fresh leaves can help improve dry cough. It is also thought to decrease inflammation thereby reducing pain. There is some evidence suggesting it reduces blood sugar levels and could be helpful in diabetics. Also, tulsi can be helpful in treating the common cold as it helps the immune system and reduces fever.
Tulsi is among one of my favorite herbs. In fact, it was my go to beverage to combat stress during my training in residency when I would frequently have 30 hour calls. Consider trying tulsi tea the next time you are at the grocery store and notice the health benefits yourself.
At Hermann Wellness, we offer Holistic Primary Care to our patients. Our offices are located in Tampa and St. Peterburg. Please call the office at (813) 902-9559 for more information or to schedule an appointment.