Holy Basil - Sacred Ayurvedic Plant
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Tulsi, Tulasi (Sanskrit name), Ocimum sanctum
Also known as “Tulsi” or “The Incomparable One,” holy basil is one of the most sacred plants in India. In Hindu mythology, Tulsi symbolizes the goddess Lakshmi, the wife of Vishnu, who is one of the religion's most important deities. The herb has been valued for centuries because of its benefits for the mind, body, and spirit.
But while its history is deeply rooted in religion and mythology, it has also been used in several ancient systems of medicine including Ayurveda, Greek, Roman, and Siddha for thousands of years.
Holy Basil has been revered for its value of naturally uplifting the body and spirit throughout India for thousands of years. Ayurvedic texts describe Holy Basil as a pillar of holistic herbal medicine and a goddess incarnated in plant form (the mother medicine of nature). Many traditional Hindus worship an alter bearing a Holy Basil plant that is placed in the courtyard of their home or in another prominent location. Today Holy Basil remains one of the most cherished of India’s sacred healing plants. The leaves smell of peppermint, cloves, licorice and/or lemon. There are three types of Tulsi Krishna, Rama, and Vana. Rama and Krishna are of the same species. All varieties belong to the mint family and are cousins of sweet basil.
Krishna (Ocimum tenuiflorum) is known for its peppery crisp taste. The plant has dark green to purple leaves, stems, and blossoms. It is cultivated in the Indian plains, as well as private homes and gardens around India, and is named after the blue skinned God as the dark purple leaves resemble this color.
Rama (Ocimum tenuiflorum) is known for its cooling and mellow flavor. The plant has green leaves, white-to-purplish blossoms, and a green or purplish stem. It is cultivated in the Indian plains, as well as private homes and gardens around India.
Vana (Ocimum sp.), aka. “forest type”, is known for its fragrance. The plant has green leaves and stem, with white blossoms. It is found in the Himalayas and plains of India. Grows wild in Asia and Africa and is used medicinally there as well.
TYPICAL USES & PREPARATIONS
Holy Basil is traditionally taken as an herbal tea, dried powder, fresh leaf, or mixed with ghee.
Naturally Uplifts Body & Spirit, Ravishing Hair and Skin, Rejuvenating Winter pick me up. Keen Awareness.
Basil makes wonderful potpourris, herbal sachets and dried bouquets. Try opal, lemon, anise and cinnamon basil for this. It is reputed to keep flies away and has larvacidal properties against mosquitoes and houseflies.
The antifungal and antibacterial properties of basil may make it useful in making household cleaners.
After arguing with a loved one, take some time to calm down while sipping some basil tea. Then you'll be prepared to return to the conversation and settle the dispute peacefully.
Serve meals heavily laced with basil during times of family strife and argument to help with reconciliation and peacekeeping.
Basil is also useful when a suitor comes a-calling to encourage his or her interest, consider adding a drop or two to your fragrance oil and include it in your recipes when preparing a romantic dinner for two.
Love, Wealth, Protection
Basil is sacred to Vishnu, Tulasi and Erzulie, masculine in nature, and associated with the element of fire and the planet Mars.
Basil helps steady the mind, brings happiness, love, peace, and money and protects against insanity.
Use basil in spells to attract love and in preparation for astral projection or to bring luck in physical journeys.
Apparently carrying a leaf in your pocket or wallet will attract money. Placing one in your cash register will attract money there too.
Soak basil in water for three days and then sprinkle the water over the threshold of your place of business to bring in customers and keep away thieves. (Haiti)
Dust the upper half of your body, especially over your heart, with powdered basil to keep your lovers eyes only on you. (S. America)
Keep a bit of basil in each room to protect the home and family. To protect you when leaving the house, rub some basil on your forehead. (Hindu)
Also used in peacemaking spells and to make up after a fight.