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Essay On Medicinal Plant Tulsi Plant

Tulsi is the Sanskrit word for holy basil. This medicinal herb has a long history as part of the Ayervedic tradition, according to Drugs.com, a drug information site that provides peer-reviewed information to consumers. The herb grows wild in tropical and sub-tropical regions, according to MedicinalHerbInfo.org. It’s also widely cultivated for its reputed spiritual and medicinal properties. Before using tulsi, or any other medicinal herb, consult your health care provider.

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Tulsi has many traditional health uses, including treatment of eczema, psoriasis and aging effects. It is also used as an antibiotic, an immune system booster, an anti-inflammatory and a stress reducer. In its native India, tulsi is considered a sacred plant and no household would dare be without the plant, according to an article at Acadamia.edu.

The use of tulsi while pregnant or breast-feeding could potentially be harmful to your unborn child. Use of tulsi is discouraged while pregnant or nursing, and tulsi has also been reported to cause lack of fertility in animal studies, according to The Chopra Center. Avoid tulsi when even considering getting pregnant. Men and women trying to procreate are also warned to avoid tulsi because of possible problems with fertility.

According to Drugs.com, using tulsi while also using acetaminophen can cause harmful interactions. The site also cautions against using tulsi while also taking barbiturates or other sedatives. If you have questions about whether taking tulsi will interact negatively with other herbs or medications you are taking, talk with your pharmacist or health care provider.

According to an article in "Natural Product Radiance," the tulsi herb is available fresh, in capsules, tea and in a tincture. The best way to get fresh tulsi leaves whenever needed is to keep a pot of the herb growing in a kitchen window or on a sunny porch.

It is possible to experience an allergic reaction to tulsi, according to Drugs.com. Taking any medicinal herb can cause an allergic reaction, even if it’s been taken before with no reaction. Be aware of rashes, hives and signs of swelling of the tongue, lips, face or throat from taking tulsi and if these occur, stop using it and contact your health care provider.

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"Tulasi" redirects here. For other uses, see Thulasi.

"Tulsi" redirects here. For other uses, see Tulsi (disambiguation).

"Holy Basil" redirects here. It is not to be confused with holy herb (Verbena officinalis).

Ocimum tenuiflorum
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Plantae
Clade:Angiosperms
Clade:Eudicots
Clade:Asterids
Order:Lamiales
Family:Lamiaceae
Genus:Ocimum
Species:O. tenuiflorum
Binomial name
Ocimum tenuiflorum
L.
Synonyms[1]
  • Geniosporum tenuiflorum(L.) Merr.
  • Lumnitzera tenuiflora(L.) Spreng.
  • Moschosma tenuiflorum(L.) Heynh.
  • Ocimum anisodorumF.Muell.
  • Ocimum caryophyllinumF.Muell.
  • Ocimum hirsutumBenth.
  • Ocimum inodorumBurm.f.
  • Ocimum monachorumL.
  • Ocimum sanctumL.
  • Ocimum scutellarioidesWilld. ex Benth.
  • Ocimum subserratumB.Heyne ex Hook.f.
  • Ocimum tomentosumLam.
  • Ocimum villosumRoxb. nom. illeg.
  • Plectranthus monachorum(L.) Spreng.

Ocimum tenuiflorum (synonym Ocimum sanctum), commonly known as holy basil, tulasi (sometimes spelled thulasi) or tulsi, is an aromatic perennial plant in the family Lamiaceae. It is native to the Indian subcontinent and widespread as a cultivated plant throughout the Southeast Asiantropics.[2][3]

Tulasi is cultivated for religious and supposed traditional medicine purposes, and for its essential oil. It is widely used as a herbal tea, commonly used in Ayurveda, and has a place within the Vaishnava tradition of Hinduism, in which devotees perform worship involving holy basil plants or leaves.

The variety of Ocimum tenuiflorum used in Thai cuisine is referred to as Thai holy basil (Thai: กะเพราkaphrao);[2] it is not to be confused with Thai basil, which is a variety of Ocimum basilicum.

Morphology[edit]

Holy basil is an erect, many-branched subshrub, 30–60 cm (12–24 in) tall with hairy stems. Leaves are green or purple; they are simple, petioled, with an ovate, up to 5 cm (2.0 in)-long blade which usually has a slightly toothed margin; they are strongly scented and have a decussatephyllotaxy. The purplish flowers are placed in close whorls on elongate racemes .[3] The two main morphotypes cultivated in India and Nepal are green-leaved (Sri or Lakshmitulasi) and purple-leaved (Krishnatulasi).[4]

Origin and distribution[edit]

DNA barcodes of various biogeographicalisolates of tulsi from the Indian subcontinent are now available. In a large-scale phylogeographical study of this species conducted using chloroplastgenome sequences, a group of researchers from Central University of Punjab, Bathinda, have found that this plant originates from North Central India.[5][6] The discovery might suggest the evolution of tulsi is related with the cultural migratory patterns in the Indian subcontinent.

Uses[edit]

In Hinduism[edit]

Main article: Tulsi in Hinduism

Tulsi leaves are an essential part in the worship of Vishnu and his avatars, including Krishna and Rama, and other male Vaishnavadeities such as Hanuman, Balarama, Garuda and many others. Tulsi is a sacred plant for Hindus and is worshipped as the avatar of Lakshmi.[7] It is believed that water mixed with the petals given to the dying raises their departing souls to heaven.[8]Tulsi, which is Sanskrit for "the incomparable one", is most often regarded as a consort of Krishna in the form of Lakshmi.[9][10] According to the Brahma Vaivarta Purana, tulsi is an expression of Sita.[11][full citation needed] There are two types of tulsi worshipped in Hinduism: "Rama tulsi" has light green leaves and is larger in size; "Krishna tulsi" has dark green leaves and is important for the worship of Hanuman.[12] Many Hindus have tulsi plants growing in front of or near their home, often in special pots. Traditionally, tulsi is planted in the centre of the central courtyard of Hindu houses. It is also frequently grown next to Hanuman temples, especially in Varanasi.[13][full citation needed]

According to Vaishnavas, it is believed in Puranas that during Samudra Manthana, when the gods win the ocean-churning against the asuras, Dhanvantari comes up from the ocean with Amrit in hand for the gods. Dhanvantari, the divine healer, sheds happy tears, and when the first drop falls in the Amrit, it forms tulasi. In the ceremony of Tulsi Vivaha, tulsi is ceremonially married to Krishna annually on the eleventh day of the waxing moon or twelfth of the month of Kartik in the lunar calendar. This day also marks the end of the four-month Chaturmas, which is considered inauspicious for weddings and other rituals, so the day inaugurates the annual marriage season in India. The ritual lighting of lamps each evening during Kartik includes the worship of the tulsi plant, which is held to be auspicious for the home. Vaishnavas especially follow the daily worship of tulsi during Kartik.[14] In another legend, Tulsi was a pious woman who sought a boon to marry Vishnu. Lakshmi, Vishnu's consort, cursed her to become a plant in earth. However, Vishnu appeased her by giving her a boon that she would grace him when he appears in the form of Shaligrama in temples.[15]

Vaishnavas traditionally use Hindu prayer beads made from tulsi stems or roots, which are an important symbol of initiation. Tulsi rosaries are considered to be auspicious for the wearer, and believed to put them under the protection of Hanuman. They have such a strong association with Vaishnavas, that followers of Hanuman are known as "those who bear the tulsi round the neck".[10]

  • Tulsi grown in front of a house

  • An altar with tulsi plant for daily worship in a courtyard in India

Ayurveda[edit]

Tulasi (Sanskrit:-Surasa) has been used in Ayurveda for its supposed uses to treat diseases.[16] Traditionally, tulasi is taken as herbal tea, dried powder, fresh leaf or mixed with ghee. Essential oil extracted from tulasi is mostly used for supposed medicinal purposes and herbal cosmetics.[citation needed]

Thai cuisine[edit]

The leaves of holy basil, known as kaphrao in the Thai language (Thai: กะเพรา), are commonly used in Thai cuisine.[17]Kaphrao should not be confused with horapha (Thai: โหระพา), which is normally known as Thai basil,[17] or with Thai lemon basil (maenglak; Thai: แมงลัก). One dish made with this herb is phat kaphrao (Thai: ผัดกะเพรา) — a stir-fry of Thai holy basil with meats, seafood or, as in khao phat kraphao, with rice.

Insect repellent[edit]

For centuries, the dried leaves have been mixed with stored grains to repel insects.[18]

Chemical composition[edit]

Some of the phytochemical constituents of tulsi are oleanolic acid, ursolic acid, rosmarinic acid, eugenol, carvacrol, linalool, β-caryophyllene (about 8%).[19]

Tulsi essential oil consists mostly of eugenol (~70%) β-elemene (~11.0%), β-caryophyllene (~8%) and germacrene (~2%), with the balance being made up of various trace compounds, mostly terpenes.[20]

Genome sequence[edit]

The genome of Tulsi plant has been sequenced and reported as a draft, estimated to be 612 mega bases, with results showing genes for biosynthesis of anthocyanins in Krishna Tulsi, ursolic acid and eugenol in Rama Tulsi.[21]

References[edit]

  1. ^"The Plant List: A Working List of All Plant Species". Retrieved 13 January 2015. 
  2. ^ abStaples, George; Michael S. Kristiansen (1999). Ethnic Culinary Herbs. University of Hawaii Press. p. 73. ISBN 978-0-8248-2094-7. 
  3. ^ abWarrier, P K (1995). Indian Medicinal Plants. Orient Longman. p. 168. ISBN 0-86311-551-9. 
  4. ^Kothari, S. K.; Bhattacharya, A. K.; Ramesh, S.; Garg, S. N.; Khanuja, S.P.S. (November–December 2005). "Volatile Constituents in Oil from Different Plant Parts of Methyl Eugenol-Rich Ocimum tenuiflorum L.f. (syn. O. sanctum L.) Grown in South India". Journal of Essential Oil Research. 17 (6): 656–658. doi:10.1080/10412905.2005.9699025. (Subscription required (help)). 
  5. ^Bast, Felix; Pooja Rani; Devendra Meena (2014). "Chloroplast DNA Phylogeography of Holy Basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum) in Indian Subcontinent". The Scientific World Journal. 70 (3): 277–85. doi:10.1155/2014/847482. PMID 847482. 
  6. ^Lang, E. K.; Rani, Pooja; Meena, Devendra (Mar 1977). "Asymptomatic space-occupying lesions of the kidney: a programmed sequential approach and its impact on quality and cost of health care". South Med J. 70 (3): 277–85. doi:10.1155/2014/847482. PMID 847482. 
  7. ^"Tulsi". Tamilnadu.com. 28 January 2013. 
  8. ^Hindu FAQ: Why do we consider Tulsi sacred?[permanent dead link]
  9. ^Claus, Peter J.; Sarah Diamond; Margaret Ann Mills (2003). South Asian Folklore: An Encyclopedia. Taylor & Francis. p. 619. ISBN 978-0-415-93919-5. 
  10. ^ abSimoons, Frederick J. (1998). Plants of life, plants of death. Univ of Wisconsin Press. pp. 7–40. ISBN 978-0-299-15904-7. 
  11. ^Brahma vaivarta Purana 4.67.65
  12. ^Chatterjee, Gautam (2001). Sacred Hindu Symbols. Abhinav Publications. p. 93. ISBN 978-81-7017-397-7. 
  13. ^Simoons, pp. 17–18.
  14. ^Flood, Gavin D. (2001). The Blackwell companion to Hinduism. Wiley-Blackwell. p. 331. ISBN 978-0-631-21535-6. 
  15. ^Wilkins, W.J. (2003). Hindu Mythology. New Delhi: D.K. Printworld (P) Limited. p. 471. ISBN 81-246-0234-4. 
  16. ^NIIR Board, National Institute of Industrial Research (India) (2004). Compendium of Medicinal Plants. 2004. National Institute of Industrial Research. p. 320. ISBN 978-81-86623-80-0. 
  17. ^ abGernot Katzer's Spice Pages
  18. ^Biswas, N. P.; Biswas, A. K. (2005). "Evaluation of some leaf dusts as grain protectant against rice weevil Sitophilus oryzae (Linn.)". Environment and Ecology. 23 (3): 485–488. 
  19. ^Sundaram, R. Shanmuga; Ramanathan, M; Rajesh, R; Satheesh, B; Saravanan, D (2012). "Lc-Ms Quantification of Rosmarinic Acid and Ursolic Acid in Theocimum Sanctumlinn. Leaf Extract (Holy Basil, Tulsi)". Journal of Liquid Chromatography & Related Technologies. 35 (5): 634. doi:10.1080/10826076.2011.606583. 
  20. ^Padalia, Rajendra C.; Verma, Ram S. (2011). "Comparative volatile oil composition of four Ocimum species from northern India". Natural Product Research. 25 (6): 569–575. doi:10.1080/14786419.2010.482936. PMID 21409717. 
  21. ^Upadhyay, Atul K.; Chacko, Anita R.; Gandhimathi, A.; Ghosh, Pritha; Harini, K.; Joseph, Agnel P.; Joshi, Adwait G.; Karpe, Snehal D.; Kaushik, Swati; Kuravadi, Nagesh; Lingu, Chandana S; Mahita, J.; Malarini, Ramya; Malhotra, Sony; Malini, Manoharan; Mathew, Oommen K.; Mutt, Eshita; Naika, Mahantesha; Nitish, Sathyanarayanan; Pasha, Shaik Naseer; Raghavender, Upadhyayula S.; Rajamani, Anantharamanan; Shilpa, S; Shingate, Prashant N.; Singh, Heikham Russiachand; Sukhwal, Anshul; Sunitha, Margaret S.; Sumathi, Manojkumar; Ramaswamy, S.; Gowda, Malali; Sowdhamini, Ramanathan (28 August 2015). "Genome sequencing of herb Tulsi (Ocimum tenuiflorum) unravels key genes behind its strong medicinal properties". BMC Plant Biology. 15 (1): 212. doi:10.1186/s12870-015-0562-x. PMC 4552454. PMID 26315624. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Ocimum tenuiflorum at Wikimedia Commons

Phat kaphrao mu – Thai holy basil with pork

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