Home Gardener

Besides praying to the plant, a number of people use the leaves and roots of the plant in various medicine. It's  really a miracle plant and miracle herb also known  Holy Basil - another name used among Hindus  is "tulsi". It is also known as the queen of herbs. A single Tulsi plant can help you get rid of many health problems.  Do not be confused with the basil you grow in your garden and top off your pasta with - holy basil is actually the most revered of all the ayurvedic herbs.


Growing Tulsi is easy .

1) Growing Conditions: Tulsi loves to grow in rich garden soil with strong sun.

2) Soil: Tulsi does fine in a standard rich potting soil.Good quality organic potting or good garden soil

3) At least six hours of full sunlight daily needed.

MAINTAINING :-
Holy Basil can be direct-seeded in the spring after the last frost as you will see higher germination . cover with a thin layer of soil as seeds require light for germination. Firm soil over seeds to discourage seeds from coming to surface.

Watering :-
Water the plant when top one inch of soil is dry. Do not water during rain. Reduce watering in rainy season.

Tulsi Plant Care :-
It is important to pinch tops of Tulsi plant when they are forming four or six pairs of leaves, this will make the plant grow bushier. Even the flower buds need to be removed when they appear. It grows more lush and full when seed production is prevented.

HARVESTING :-
You can start collecting leaves once the plant has become established, just be careful not to over-harvest. Full harvest can be undertaken by cutting aerial parts prior to flowering. For more vibrant leaves, harvest in the early morning to discourage wilting.

Pests and Diseases :-
It is generally immune to pests and diseases. However, when grown in poor conditions it might be attacked by some common pests like mealy bugs, spider mites and sometimes whiteflies. For treating pests use organic pesticide or soap water sprayed.

And they say "holy basil has been used for help you fall asleep."


The benefits of Tulsi cannot be comprehensively described here but some have been noted down for you.

1. Fever: The juice of Tulsi leaves is very useful as it helps to bring down the fever.
2. Common Cold: Chewing Tulsi leaves on an empty stomach will help you get rid of cold and flu.
3. Sore throat: Boil few Tulsi leaves in your drinking water and use it for gargling in case of a sore throat.
4. Headache: Headache due to heat is very common. So just make a paste of the basil leaves and sandalwood and apply it to the forehead. It's cooling effects will definitely make you feel relaxed .
5.Insect bites: Insect bites are very common especially during the monsoon season, hence the paste of the root of basil can be applied on that area where insect bites with its stings.

Ayurvedic Tulsi Hair Oil:
Tulsi is also a herb used in Indian Ayurveda since ages. However, you may use tulsi to make herbal hair oil that treat number of scalp problems. Apply holy basil on scalp can treat on itchy scalp, for example. When made with pure coconut oil, the tulsi Ayurvedic oil can make the hair healthier, shinier, and you will have a healthy scalp too. You need few of this ingredients:

Fresh tulsi leaves (or tulsi leaves powder)
Virgin coconut oil
Water,Fenugreek seeds.
How to make :-
tulsi leaves or a few spoonfuls of tulsi powder. Make a thick paste using water and mixer/grinder if you are using leaves.
Now pour 100 ml coconut oil in a bowl and add the paste to it.
Put it on low heat and keep stirring.
You may also add a few fenugreek seeds.
Switch off the flame after some time and let the oil cool.
Strain the oil into a glass container.
When you want to use the oil, warm it slightly and massage into the scalp using your fingers. Wait for 20 minutes and then rinse with a mild shampoo and water. You may apply this twice a week.Even going close to a Tulsi plant alone can protect you from many infections. A few leaves dropped in drinking water or foods can purify it and can kill germs within it as well. And they say Even smelling it or keeping it planted in a pot indoors can protect the whole family from infections, coughs, colds and other viral infections.

Skin Care: Try taking a daily bath with Holy Basil mixed with your bathwater, washing your face with it, or simply applying the paste of its leaves on an infected area of the skin in case of skin diseases. You can also just consume tulsi leaves, and still manage to keep your skin free from all infections. You may not believe this, but rubbing Holy Basil leaves or its extracted oils on the body keeps mosquitoes and other insects away. It cures skin disorders both internally and externally, without any side effects. This property mainly comes from its essential oils, External application on the skin also removes extra oil from the skin surface. Camphene in it also gives a soothing, cooling effect.

Eye Care: Wash your eyes daily with a few leaves of basil soaked in water and you will be free from conjunctivitis, boils and many other problems of the eyes which are caused due to viral, bacterial infections. It also soothes eye irritation and reduces stress. Regular consumption can protect your eyes from much of the damage done by pollution ,dust. and they say "one tulsi leaf a day keep cancer away"

Infuse holy basil in  tea, and this is the easiest way to reap holy basil benefits. Simply cover 2 teaspoons of fresh tulsi leaves with 8 ounces of boiling water, then cover and let steep for about 5 minutes before straining the leaves off and drink .

Use in face packs  Lay each leaf in a single layer on the racks and allow them to sun dry until completely crisp. You can grind the dried leaves and store it in air tight bottle and use it instead of washing your face with soap . You can use as exfoliating mixing with turmeric or curd . Or use it as a face pack mix with water and apply it directly and wash off after 20 minutes . Enjoy planting and happy growing

Shaminaz Deen
Author: Shaminaz Deen

Shaminaz is a home gardener. She gorws her own chilies, capsicums, mangoes and even roses. Cinnamon and black pepper.

She uses all natural ingredients to protect her plants from snails and bugs.

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