The real question isn’t what’s Tulsi good for, but instead – what’s Tulsi NOT good for? It’s an extraordinarily versatile herb that’s been in use for centuries in the East to treat an array of ailments – both physical and psychological – as you will discover below.
Tulsi is another wonder herb that is found throughout South East Asia, but primarily in India.
They consider it a sacred plant in Hindu tradition and it also goes by the name Holy Basil.
The herb has been used in medicine for well over 3000 years and has been referred to by some as an Elixir of Life. This is because of the herbs powerful capabilities to heal both physical and psychological disorders. They claim you can attain perfect health just by regular consumption of this wonder herb.
Now you know a little of its history, your next question might be:
What’s Tulsi got to do with Anxiety?
They have undergone numerous studies to establish a connection between Tulsi and the easing of anxiety.
It has become known as an adaptogenic herb which, on top of being a miracle cure for many physical ailments, is also remarkably powerful for alleviating all kinds of stress and anxiety.
A scientific article published on the topic even states that daily consumption of Tulsi tea will provide you with the same benefits as regular Yoga practice.
“Like yoga, tulsi has a calming effect that leads to clarity of thought, along with a more relaxed and calm disposition. The cognitive and memory-enhancing properties of tulsi therefore differ from those of caffeine-containing beverages such as coffee and tea, which heightens arousal and may cause physical and mental agitation.” ~ Marc Maurice Cohen
Why does Tulsi work so amazing?
The “Incomparable One”, as it is often referred to in Indian Hindu culture, consists of different compounds and substances that help combat stress and help create stillness of mind.
Three of the compounds have proven highly effective in lowering stress and anxiety levels.
Ocimumoside A normalizes stress inducing glucose levels, hormone levels, enzyme levels, and adrenal enlargement.
Ocimumoside B and 4-allyl-1-O-beta-D-glucopyronosyl-2-hydroxybenzene (what a mouth full!) also help with these stress parameters by helping the body to adapt to the stress.
Together, they drastically decrease the amount of cortisol released during these times of stress.
Besides the above 3 mentioned new compounds, the herb also contains Eugenol and Triterpenoic acids.
The scent of Eugenol have been known to elevate mood, combat stress and give mental clarity. The Triterpenoic acids helps with the body’s responses to stress and also supports decision-making.
As mentioned earlier, Tulsi is also an adaptogenic herb.
These kinds of herbs help the body to function optimally during times of stress – physical, emotional, and environmental stress.
How can I take Tulsi?
Let’s look at 4 easy ways you can consume Tulsi on a daily basis:
Drink it as a tea
Tulsi is most popularly consumed in tea form. There are many varieties, including some with additional infusions such as turmeric, peppermint, chamomile, etc.
You can choose to make tulsi from fresh or dry tulsi leaves, buy it in tea bags, or even have it in iced tea form.
- 1 cup water
- 1-2 tbsp dried or fresh Tulsi Increase amount to a handful if fresh.
- Boil water and remove from heat
- Place Tulsi in a suitable container and pour the boiling water over it
- Cover and allow to steep for 15-20 minutes
- Strain and enjoy
Tulsi Iced Tea
- 2 teabag Tulsi OR 2 heaped teaspoons of loose Tulsi leaf
- 1 cup water Boiled
- 1 tsp honey Optional
- fresh mint or thinly sliced fruit For Garnish. Optional
- Ice Optional
- Place Tulsi in a teacup of pot
- Pour the boiling water into the cup
- Cover and steep for 10-15 minutes
- Refrigerate for 1-2hrs
- Add ice (optional)
- Garnish with sliced citrus or fresh mint (optional)
Drink it as a juice
During the hotter months, you might choose to go for a refreshing and cool Tulsi juice instead of tea. It’s highly refreshing and rejuvenating to your immune system.
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup fresh Tulsi leaves
- Combine ingredients in a food processor
- Mix until a fine paste
- Strain into a container using a fine mesh strainer and press out the juices from the leaves
- Sip and enjoy
Eat the leaves
If you have tulsi growing in your garden, or have access to fresh tulsi, you can also opt to just gulp a bunch of leaves down with a glass of water (best is to do this first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach).
AnxietyPanda Warning! If you do decide to take this route, be cautious not to chew the leaves. They contain high levels of mercury and iron which are released during chewing and this will cause your teeth to decay and become loose or even fall out.
Take it as a supplement
You can also claim abundant health benefits by consuming Tulsi in tablet or capsule form. Liquid extracts and essential oils are also available.
Always opt for organic supplements.
The following recommended dosages are just that. A guideline and are usually true in general for the consumption of Tulsi.
Always follow the recommendations of your doctor or the package instructions.
Fresh: About 1 handful, twice a day – swallow with water, try not to chew.
Tea & Juice: About 2g, twice daily.
Liquid extract: About 30 drops per day.
Tablet or Capsule: Between 300mg and up to 2000mg per day (depending on product recommendations).
Are there any side-effects for Tulsi?
As with any form of care, moderation is the key and there are definitely some side-effects that you will need to take into consideration and discuss with your doctor.
Eugenol is a harmful substance that is also present in food flavorings and even cigarettes.
Over consumption of Tulsi in any form could lead to Eugenol poisoning which will cause you rapid breathing and the presence of blood while couching or urinating.
Not safe during pregnancy
If you consume the Tulsi plant during pregnancy, it may lead to uterine contractions and eventually long-term complications for both mother and baby.
Tulsi is a natural blood thinner. If you are already on some form of blood thinning medication it is best not to consume Tulsi as it will interfere with the medication and will cause multiple complications.
Lowers Blood Sugar
Although this is considered a good thing if you’re struggling with high blood sugar, if you are struggling with low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), consuming Tulsi is not recommended. It further lowers your sugar levels.
Regular consumption of Tulsi causes a reduction in sperm count. It is also known to affect and change the reproductive organs in both males and females. Luckily, studies have shown that the effects is reversed within one month of no longer consuming the herb. Studies are currently underway in establishing Tulsi as a natural contraceptive, but no concrete evidence have arisen yet.
Source: The Brunette Diaries
Where can I get Tulsi?
There are quite a few options for you to obtain your Tulsi. Take a look at the following suggestions:
- Grow it yourself
- Indian or Gourmet Supermarkets
- Health Stores
- Speciality Tea stores
- Online – Organic India, Mountain Rose Herbs and EBay.
Tulsi is a fantastic adaptogen that will not only help for your anxiety and stress levels, but also for an abundance of other health problems.
As with all natural healing approaches, you should not expect any results immediately. You will be able to see drastic improvement after at least 4 weeks of regular Tulsi consumption at the recommended dosages.
Do you have any experiences with Tulsi? Let us know in the comments what’s Tulsi done to improve your life. Have you experienced any side-effects? How long did it take before you started to feel any results?by