When you think of basil (Ocimum basilicum), you will probably think of it as a cooking ingredient - Pesto or Italian pasta with a good glass of wine. However, there is more about basil than that deep, flavored green we all enjoy so much during dinner. Basil is actually a culinary herb that belongs to the family Lamiaceae, otherwise known as mints. What many people don’t know is that basil comes in a number of types that have size ranging from 8 inches to 4 feet, such as - Lemon Basil, Genovese Basil, Sweet Basil, Purple Basil and Holy basil – (Ocimum Tenuiflorum) or Tulsi.
Cultivated for thousands of years across the Indian subcontinent and also in certain tropical regions of southeastern Asian countries, Tulsi has an important role in Ayurveda. The significance of the holy basil leaf Tulsi takes us back in time, when people offered these leafs as an offering to the Gods. The extended medicinal properties, the tonic effect and most of all the spiritual recognition are just three of the extraordinary properties featured by the holy basil leaf of Tulsi.
Asides from bringing the well-sought inner balance, stress relief and enhanced energy, the holy basil leaf or Tulsi has tremendous healing powers, being considered one of the most effective adaptogen herbs, or anti-stress agents. You can find Tulsi in form of tea or herbal supplements. Few of the many benefits of Tulsi are :
Tulsi can impact the cortisol levels in the body. Cortisol is the stress hormone that is responsible for an alarming number of diseases (diabetes, heart diseases, obesity) – Tulsi has natural antioxidants and Vitamin C that can lower the cortisol levels, thus reducing emotional stress, anxiety and depression.
Tulsi has camphene that has soothing effect on skin. Since Tulsi has natural antibacterial, antibiotic, antiviral properties, their application on skin gives natural protection against all these.
Tulsi based essential oils could bring relief to respiratory conditions such as asthma, sore throats, cough, chest congestions. Phytonutrients and minerals present in Tulsi facilitate easier breathing and hence help alleviate underlying breathing related issues.
If we would make a parallel between the holy basil leaf of Tulsi and yoga, Tulsi drink is a cup of refreshing, healing liquid. Its properties not only heal the body, but nourish the holistic self by inducing a state of calmness, relaxation and overall well-being.
In addition to following natural ways of healing through Holy Basil , it’s also important to equip yourself with the right apparel for your practice, and that’s where we come in. Our yoga tanks and leggings are designed for style, movement, comfort and sustainability.
Always make sure to speak to your doctor before incorporating holy basil or any other supplement into your diet for the remedy of ailment. There is not enough research to recommend use for infants, children, and pregnant or breastfeeding women. Yoga Culture doesn't warrant the usage of Holy Basil for above ailments.
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