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HOLY BASIL Tulsi  (Ocimum sanctum)

Holy basil (Ocimum sanctum) is a member of the mint, or Labiatae, family. Though it is closely related to the sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum) frequently used in cooking, holy basil has a much richer history

The plant is native to tropical Asia and is now found in most tropical parts of the world. It has been grown in India for more than 3,000 years.
 Known as “Tulsi” or “The Incomparable One,” holy basil is one of the most sacred plants in India. In Hindu mythology, Tulsi symbolizes the goddess Lakshmi, the wife of Vishnu, who is one of the religion's most important deities. The herb has been valued for centuries because of its benefits for the mind, body, and spirit. But while its history is deeply rooted in religion and mythology, it has also been used in several ancient systems of medicine including Ayurveda, Greek, Roman, and Siddha for thousands of years.

Holy basil is a powerful antioxidant with demonstrated antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. In Ayurvedic medicine, holy basil has been used to treat a variety of conditions from the common cold to bronchitis to fever to certain digestive complaints, including ulcers. Although holy basil greatest potential is in the areas of stress relief and relaxation. And in the fast paced world in which we live, these findings may prove to be extremely significant.

 The tulsi plant has many medicinal properties. 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.

 In case of acute fevers, a decoction of the leaves boiled with powdered cardamom in half a liter of water and mixed with sugar and milk brings down the temperature. The juice of tulsi leaves can be used to bring down fever. Extract of tulsi leaves in fresh water should be given every 2 to 3 hours. In between one can keep giving sips of cold water. In children, it is every effective in bringing down the temperature.

 Tulsi is an important constituent of many Ayurvedic cough syrups and expectorants. It helps to mobilize mucus in bronchitis and asthma. Chewing tulsi leaves relieves cold and flu.

Within the context of Western magick, holy basil is said to be a great attractor of luck and wealth. It is believed that carrying a sachet of holy basil leaves in one's pocket would attract money and never leave the bearer in want. Placing a pouch of holy basil leaves in a cash register or in any place where money is stored was also said to protect its contents from theft and bring about a smooth and profitable business.

For practitioners of voodoo and hoodoo, holy basil is said to grant protection and attract love. It is either employed in the making of juju bags, gris-gris, or medicine pouches. Carried around one's person, it is supposed to protect one from harm and increase one's luck. Allowing holy basil leaves to steep in water for three days and using the infusion as holy water by sprinkling it upon a house's threshold is said to not only promote peacefulness throughout the household, but will also improve one's financial status and protect one's place from thieves and illness. 

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