Ocimum sanctum & gratissimum
Part Used: Dried leaf
Holy Basil (Ocimum sanctum & Ocimum gratissimum) is a medicinal herb and is commonly known as Tulsi. As a member of the family Lamiaceae (Labiatae), Holy Basil is native to the Indian sub continent. It has a long history of medicinal uses for treatment of a variety of conditions including pain, fever, vomiting, bronchitis, earache and diseases of the heart and blood, but it has also been used in the treatment of diabetes, arthritis and asthma. The Tulsi or Holy Basil is an important symbol in the Hindu religious tradition and is worshipped in the morning and evening by Hindus at large. The Holy Basil is also a herbal remedy for a lot of common ailments. It is considered the premier divine small plant in Ayurveda.
Holy Basil has antioxidant properties, and helps boost the body’s ability to fight off damaging free radicals, which have been linked to disease and aging. It comes in red and green varieties, both with a strong, pleasant aroma. It has been used for centuries to treat a variety of medical conditions including heart problems, asthma, bronchitis, arthritis and eye disorders. Findings from these various investigations suggest that Holy Basil might have some effects as a painkiller, an anti-inflammatory agent, an antioxidant, and as a treatment for bacterial, fungal and even viral infections. There is also evidence that Holy Basil might help control blood sugar.
Holy Basil has healing power. The leaves are a nerve tonic and also sharpen memory. They promote the removal of the catarrhal matter and phlegm from the bronchial tube. The leaves strengthen the stomach and induce copious perspiration. The seed of the plant are mucilaginous. It is effective in fever & common cold. The leaves of Holy Basil are specific for many fevers. During the rainy season, when malaria and dengue fever are widely prevalent, tender leaves, boiled with tea, act as preventive against theses diseases. It is an important constituent of many Ayurvedic cough syrups and expectorants. It helps to mobilize mucus in bronchitis and asthma. Chewing its leaves relieves cold and flu. The herb is useful in the treatment of respiratory system disorder. A decoction of the leaves, with honey and ginger is an effective remedy for bronchitis, asthma, influenza, cough and cold. Holy Basil has a beneficial effect in cardiac disease and the weakness resulting from them. It reduces the level of blood cholesterol. It has strengthening effect on the kidney. Its leaves are regarded as an 'adaptogen' or anti-stress agent. Recent studies have shown that the leaves afford significant protection against stress.
A. Weil, http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QA/QA346157/
Medicinal Herbs. http://www.tqnyc.org/NYC051477/page12.htm