Tulsi – The Queen of Herbs
A Cornerstone in Ayurvedic Tradition
Known as Holy Basil, “The Queen of Herbs,” or Ocimum sanctum, Tulsi is a close relative to Thai Basil and is coveted for its medicinal properties in many global herbal traditions. Tulsi is one of the cornerstones in Ayurvedic tradition. Ayurveda, translating from Sanskrit as “the Science of Life,” is a healing science originating in India over 5,000 years ago. Ayurveda’s main principles promote health through balance—balanced mind, diet, lifestyle, and specific application of herbs to the individual.
Traditional Benefits of Tulsi
In many herbal traditions, Tulsi is renowned for its calming effect, potentially offering cognitive and memory-enhancing properties as well as being anti-inflammatory and immune boosting. Further, Ocimumosides A and B found in Tulsi are likely responsible for its nootropic enhancing effects.
Tulsi as an Adaptogen
In recent times many herbs including Tulsi, are touted as “adaptogens.” In the mid-20th century, the term “adaptogens” was created by Russian scientist, N.V. Lazarev. He used this idea to describe plants taken to enhance the “state of non-specific resistance” of an organism to stress. Essentially, an adaptogen is an herb or plant which is considered to aid in the body’s resistance to stressors. The existing and potential uses of adaptogens are typically believed to relieve stress-induced fatigue, mental illness, behavioral disorders and to increase cognitive function.
Scientific Research on Benefits of Tulsi
Recently, scientific research about tulsi and its constituents reveals many psychological and physiological benefits from consumption. The modern science truly is testimonial to the plant wisdom found in Ayurveda, which reveres Tulsi as a plant to be adulated and ingested for medicinal and spiritual purposes.
Notable Tea with Tulsi
More About Tea and Health
As early as 340 CE Artemisia was used as a traditional medicine to prevent malaria and treat influenza. To add credence to this this traditional use, Chinese scientists identified the active component as artemisinin, also called qinghaosu in the 1970’s. Today this compound is used in anti-malarial medicine worldwide.
Elderberry is highly valued as a medicinal herb and food in many cultures. The plant grows as a small tree or shrub and produces flowers, followed by berries. The anthocyanidins in elderberries are thought to have immunomodulating effects and possibly anti-viral and anti-inflammatory effects.
Camellia Sinensis (the tea plant) contains antioxidants in the form of tea polyphenols and catechins. Some polyphenols and catechins are known to lower inflammation, reduce blood sugar and cholesterol as well as support arterial wall health. There have been some studies that suggest that some polyphenols slow the loss of bone density as well.