Tulsi, “The Incomparable One”
In Western herbology, Tulsi, also known as Holy Basil (Ocimum sanctum), is categorized as an adaptogen: a plant capable of balancing the body system at large including the glandular, endocrine, and circulatory systems.
Tulsi is also one of the foundation plants in Ayurvedic medicine and works synergistically with other herbs such as turmeric and ashwagandha. It’s considered balancing, nourishing, and supports sustained wellness. It’s been part of Ayurvedic medicine for over 3,000 years and is considered an exalted medicinal plant.
I fell in love with Tulsi the moment I smelled it. It’s a member of the mint family and has incredibly aromatic leaves. The first time I got a whiff of its leaves I felt transported to my happy place — an almost immediate sense of wellbeing and bliss.
While the scent of its leaves can send me momentarily to Nirvana, consuming the plant or drinking tea made from it provides important biological benefits to horses, dogs, and humans.
Benefits to the Body & Mind
Tulsi can regulate cortisol, a hormone produced by the adrenal glands. High levels of cortisol due to ongoing stress can result in anxiety, weight gain or weight loss, ulcer formation, concentration impairment, or muscle tension. This plant can help normalize cortisol, thus reducing many of the effects of elevated cortisol.1
Tulsi has long been used in western herbology and Ayurvedic Medicine to relieve congestion from the lungs due to its anti-fungal, antiviral, and antibacterial properties.2,3
Tulsi is adaptogenic, balances and supports the glandular, endocrine, and circulatory systems.
It’s also an immune modulator, capable of supporting immune system responsiveness.
Tulsi is a carminative, soothing to the gut wall and helpful in reducing gas.
Rasayana is a branch of Ayurvedic Medicine that means “rejuvenation.” Rasayana plants can enhance the health of all tissues in the body, thus enhancing vitality. The Rasayana foundation plants in Ayurveda include Ashwaganda, Brahmi, Haritaki, Guduchi, Amalaki, Aloe Vera, and Tulsi, several of which are important ingredients in various BioStar formulas.
Spiritual and Traditional Significance of Holy Basil
Tulsi is regarded as a clarifying herb, known in traditional Ayurvedic Medicine as “a vehicle of consciousness.” It helps to maintain the balance of the seven chakras, to harmonize our spiritual and emotional lives.
According to a Hindu prayer, the creator Lord Brahma is believed to reside in its branches, and the deities are believed to reside in the stem as well as in the leaves. This plant is regarded as a living gateway between heaven and earth: a manifestation of the divine within the plant kingdom.
It’s common in Hindu households for there to be at least one Tulsi plant in the house. Its presence of is believed to bring happiness and prosperity, and it is said to help purify the air.
During the early trade routes from Asia to Europe, Tulsi became known in the West as Holy Basil, hence its name Ocimum sanctum.
More Reasons to Love Tulsi
- Tulsi has a long history of use benefiting humans and a variety of animals including cows, horses, dogs, cats, and monkeys.
- It is an adaptogen that supports multiple body systems, helping to bring the body back into balance. The goal of any supplement program should be restoration of the balance.
- Its aromatic qualities can encourage horses who are picky eaters.
- Its aromatic qualities can provide an uplifting sensation and feeling in humans.
- Tulsi’s ability to reduce cortisol, support the GI tract, and respiratory system, provide immune support make it one of the best anti-stress herbs in the plant kingdom.
Adding Tulsi into Your Life
Tulsi can be grown in zones 7-10. It likes hot weather, so if it’s planted outside you need to plant well after the last frost. It can grow up to 4 feet tall. It does very well indoors on a sunny windowsill.
Tulsi tea is my go-to, and Organic India has tea of many different ingredient combinations.
I always keep a bag of loose leaf Tulsi if I need to sprinkle it on horse feed or crumble it into a dog’s food bowl.
BioStar loves Tulsi
Biostar has a number of products that provide Tulsi:
1 – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4296439/
2 – https://europepmc.org/article/med/19597641
3 – https://ejmcm.com/article_4989_ce3b6d4c20e190bd2bbf7389e7b2d147.pdf