TULASI

TULASI – THE HOLY PLANT OF INDIA 


Botanical Name                                         

                                                            Ocimum sanctum Linn.


Classical Names


Tulasi, Surasa, Gauri, Bhutanghnee, Shyama, Bahumanjari, Apetarakshasi, Devadundubhi.
Vernacular Names

Eng. – Holy basil, Sacred basil. Hindi – Kalatulsi, Tulsi. Beng. – Tulsi, Krishnatulsi, Kural. Guj. – Tulsi, Talasi. Kan – Vishnu tulasi, Kari tulasi, Sri tulasi, Tulasi-gida. Mar. – Tulasa, Tulasi. Mal. – Tulsi, Trttavu, Karuttatrttavu, Niella tirtua, Krishna-tulsi. Punj. – Bantulsi, Tulsi. Tam. – Karuttulaci, Tulaci.

Tel. – Tulasi, Gaggera-chettu. Kon. – Tulsi.


Botanical Description

Erect, much branched, softly hairy, annual herbs, 30-75 cm high. Leaves elliptic-oblong, entire or serrate, pubescent, minutely gland-dotted. Flowers purplish or crimson, in close whorled racemes. Nutlets subglobose or broadly ellipsoid, slightly compressed, pale brown or reddish.
Distribution


It is found throughout India ascending upto 1800 m in the Himalayas, commonly cultivated in gardens and courtyards.
Parts Used

Whole plant, root, leaf, seed.


Actions and Uses
The plant is bitter, acrid, aromatic, stomachic, demulcent, diaphoretic, digestive, diuretic, expectorant, febrifuge, vermifuge and alexetric. It is useful in cardiopathy, blood disorder, leucoderma, asthma, bronchitis, catarrhal fever, otalgia, hepatopathy, vomiting, lumbago, hiccough, ophthalmia, gastropathy in children, genitourinary disorders, ringworm, verminosis and skin disease. Seeds are mucilaginous and demulcent and are given in disorders of genitourinary system. Infusion of leaves is used as a stomachic in gastric disorders of children. The fresh roots are ground with water and applied to strings of wraps, bees and bites of worm and leeches. The bruised fresh roots, stems, leaves are applied to bites of mosquitoes. Decoction of roots is given as a diaphoretic in malarial fevers.


Ayurvedic Properties
Holy Basil

The Holy Plant Of India

Rasa – Katu, Tikta

Guna – Laghu, Ruksha

Veerya – Ushna

Vipaka – Katu

Doshaghnata – Kaphavatashamaka

Rogaghnata – Kachchhu, Dardu, Shiroroga, Karnashoola, Verdana, Akshepayukta vikara, Agnimandya, Vishtambha, Krimiroga, Hriddaurbalya, Raktavikra, Kasa, Shwasa, Parshwashoola, Yakshma, Mootrakrichchhra, Shukrameha, Twagvikara, Vatashlaishmika jwara, Pratishyaya, Vishamajwara, Sheetajwara, Visha, Daubalya.

Karma – Jantughna, Vedanahara, Shothahara, Twagdoshahara, Shirovirechana, Akshepashamaka, Deepana, Pachana, Anulomana, Krimighna, Hridya, Raktashodhaka, Kasahara, Shwasahara, Kshayanashaka, Mootrala, Shukrala, Jwaraghna, Sheetaprashamana, Vishaghna, Balya.

Doses – Juice – 5 to 10 ml; Powder – 1 – 3 gm.
Chemical Constituents

β- sitosterol and three triterpenes (roots); ascorbic acid, carotene, alkaloids, glycosides, saponins and tannins (plants); bornyl acetate, cadinene, camphene, camphor, carvacrol, β-  caryophyllene, 1:8-cineole, decylaldehyde, eugenol, eugenol methyl ether, humelene, limonene, methylchavicol, nerol, α- and β- pinenes, γ- selinene, terpen- 4-ol, ascorbic acid, β- carotene apigenin and its 7-0- glucuronide, luteolin and its 7-0- glucuronide, molludistin, oreantic, ursolic acid (leaves); sitosterol, palmitic, stearic,oleic, linoleic and linolenic acids (seed oil).
Pharmacological Activities

Antiasthmatic, antirheumatic, antistress, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, antifertility, antiimplantation, abortifacient, hypoglycaemic, antispasmodic, anticataract, antipyretic, gastric antiulcer activity, anti-inflammatory, antimutagenic, antitumour, antigenotoxic, anticoagulase, nematicidal, larvicidal, antioxidant, anticancer, immunostimulant, hypotensive

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