Friday, May 1, 2009

Tulsi - the elixir of life

Probably the most common household plant in southern India, the Tulsi has a special place both in Hindu tradition and in Ayurveda. The tulsi is a cultivar of the Basil family, of which many species exist. The tulsi has so many medicinal properties that it is impossible for me to remember and list them all out here. Indeed, i wonder if they have all been discovered. Okay, so here goes - It is known to have a beneficial effect on the body's immune, respiratory and cardiac systems, is helpful in dealing with stress, has anti-malarial properties, is an insect repellent, helps with skin disorders, is a muscle relaxant and promotes longetivity. Got quite a few didnt i?
It has been aptly named - the word 'tulsi' in sanskrit means "the incomparable one". Here is one in the traditional 'tulasi maadam' that all houses had in older times. The tulsi also grows wild all over the region.

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