Tulsi – a wonder herb
Tulsi or ‘Holy Basil’, as we say with reverence is a wonderful herb of its magnanimous and multitudinal medicinal importance. This ‘Holy Basil’ botanically is nomenclarised as ‘ocimum sanctum’ (Lenn) and belongs to ‘ Labiatae’ family of the plant kingdom and this common mint is also vernacularly called Pudina having been named as ‘mentha viridis’ or pipennent- ‘ Mentha piperita. It is an aromatic, usually tufted shrub with short wiry stem and a very stout rootstruck, leaves are broad acute, almost sessile found mostly wild but is ominous for every Hindu family, planted in pots and displayed on the right side of the entrance of home duly embellished in red cloth needled with golden border.
As the name implies ‘ocimum sanctum’, herb is full of reverence and sancticity in our ” old Vedas and Purans and has been depicted as vrinda, the wife of Jalandhara in Padma Purana, Its originality is as well attributed and narrated in Brahmamakhanda, one of the four parts of Brahmavaivarta Purna. The fructuous Tulsi is incomparably beauteous, the daughter of king Dharmadhwaja, was the incarnation of a Gopi ( our Puran says), who had been laid under a curse by ‘ Radha, Krishan’s consort and had once aspired for favour from Lord Krishana in Gold This wonderful Holy Basil accorded as the sixth place amongst eight objects of worship in our ritual of the consecration of the Kalasha, the beholder and container of Holy Water (Nectar) and unambiguously it occupies its uniqueness in our rituals and forms an indispensable part in any ceremonial and religious acts of worship.
Our revered Vedas and Puaranas speak of ‘Tulsi plant’ as such; ” A companion of Goddess Lakshmi (lord Vishnu’s consort), benevolence personified, dear to Lord Narayana, whose praises are sung long through by the sage Naradji – O, Mother Tulsi I bow down onward to thee in worship. There is doubtlessly nothing superior to a Brahmin, Tulsi, Mango, Pipal, Cow and the pious river the Ganga and always seek association with these five. The essence of an health rules voluminously about the essence of “Tulsi” as a house with the plant in front (right side) is, de facto, an appropriate place of worship so much so that even the “Yama”- the God of death never ever dares the spot and the fresh air that carries the aroma of Tulsi ramifies purity in whatever direction it belows”.
The Tulsi herb is of ample importance and as per Hindu Philosophy, the herb should be progatated from home to home by sowing of its seeds which are abundantly available before the onset of Monsoon when its seeds should be sown in earthen pots or Gumla and no transplantation should be done as in the epics of Hindu philosophy, transplantation of the herb loses its very spirits and sanctity.
In the biological parlance, Tulsi or Basil is well knowned throughout India, particularly, in the northern part of the country where it is very revernentially worshipped in the tropical, subtropical, outer Himalayas etc. In the rural India, every home is having a separate spot in the court yard whereas in the urban areas. Tulsi seeds are sown in the pots (gamlas) on the right side of the entrance of home. The herb, doubtlessly, is of immensive importance in so far as its aromatical and medicainal values are concerned since the olden days of our epics of Ramanya and Mahabharta. The herb, de facto, has been in use for the cures of multitudinal ailments in Ayurvedic and Unani system of medicines et. Al. Himalaya drugs (B ‘lore), Zandu, Chark, Vilas, Safi and Chandra Prabhatis etc and atc.
There are countless uses of the herb right from its roots to the leaves, apart from its sanctity value where this wonder herb is grown and of the few are enumerated as hereunder:-
Tulsi has the power of purifying the atmosphere as it helps in checking proliferation of mosquitoes, flies, insect and some of other harmful invaders. With the very onset of civilization, the diseases and the medicine have remained relative accruing from physical discomforts and its entire genre and in those olden days the primitive man mostly relied upon Tulsi – like plant for the treatments multihued ailments.
Tulsi roots have proved to be thematic, used as a substitute for peptic and its seeds are purgative and diuretic used in Ayurvedic system of medicines.
Tulsi juice mixed with powered grammes of dried ginger and aged Jaggery are rolled into pea-sized pills and taking these pills thrice a day cures all ailments relating to digestive disorder.
Tulsi (van), its leaves and kernels mixed and powered bark of Neem tree when boiled in water is the best remedial measure for cholera.
Breathing in the fresh air of Tulsi is as well good for heart and lungs and its constant inhalation fortifies the lungs.
All the things so to the extent of dead body placed amongst Basil herb do not easily deteriorate or spoil away and it is as such in the ritual of religion of putting Tulsi leaves in the month of dead bodies and keeping the herb nearby.
Tulsi leaves finds their prominence in the preparation of chuteneys in almost all over India which is tasteful recipe, apart from multihued medicinal properties.
Conclusively, therefore, it is added here that in our olden days, men of all inhabitants, particularly the tribal one’s sought remedial measure from herb, shrubs and other medicinal plants and till date their usage is of ample importance. Herbs and species have all along been an integral part of Indian home and their addition to our routinely food material give fillip to flavor, apart from healing, soothing, revitalising and rejuvenating effects.