TULSI IN MY CULTURE
Being an Indian and from a Hindu family, I have been always told to have 5 leaves of Tulsi (Ocimum tenuiflorum, Holy Basil) a day. Since my childhood, I have learned that it is very important plant culturally and herbally. Indian culture is too huge, diversified, deep deep inside. Right from language to religion to music to cuisine, it defers after every 50 km. This holy plant is one very small part of it yet I can write pages and pages about it.
No Hindu festival, worships, prayers, marriages can ever proceed with leaves of Tulsi. It is a Sacred Plant and also believed to be avatar of Goddess Laxmi. It got its name from Tulasi Devi, who is one of Lord’s Krishna eternal consorts. There are two types of plants, Rama Tulsi with large green leaves and the other Shyama Tulsi with dark green leaves usually worshiped to Lord Hanuman. Did you know, there is a ceremony called Tulasi Vivaah, where Tulasi is married to Lord Krishna !
With this in mind, most of the Hindu Family has a this plant in the house. The seeds, stems, leaves and even the soil is too considered to be Holy.
It has diversified healing properties and the extracts are used in ayurvedic remedies like headaches, cold, fever, stomach disorders, heart disease, malaria etc. In addition, it is believed that it promotes longevity. It is therefore regarded as ADAPTOGEN or Anti-Stress Agent.
DO NO CHEW TULSI
Chewing Tulsi leaves is considered as disrespectful act being wife of Lord Vishnu. According to the botanist, it contains high amount of Mercury and may cause harm to teeth if raw mercury touches the teeth. You can use leaves either in powdered or juice form. You can use the fresh leaves in herbal tea, panchamrut, with ghee etc. In conclusion, please avoid chewing Holy Leaves.