New Delhi: Holy Basil is one of roughly 60 species of the genus Ocimum, the basil genus. Tulsi is grown as an annual herb in temperate climates that may grow to a height of three feet. The root grows as a branched taproot. There are four types of tulsi mentioned in ayurvedic texts
- Rama (Green Leaf) Tulsi, Sri or Lakshmi Tulasi, Ocimum tenuiflorum, Ocimum sanctum.
- Krishna (Purple Leaf) Tulsi, Shyama Tulsi
- Vana (Wild Leaf) Tulsi
- Kapoor Tulsi (Heavy Flowered)
Purple Leaf Tulsi
Also known as ‘Krishna or Shyama Tulsi’, the Purple leaf tulsi is famous for its peppery, crisp taste. It comprises purple colored leaves and dark stems. Although it is grown in many regions in India, it is relatively more difficult to find than the green varietals.
Purple leaf Tulsi is known to be beneficial to treat throat infections, respiratory system, nasal lesions, earache and skin diseases.
Green Leaf Tulsi
Also known as ‘Rama Tulsi’, Sri or Lakshmi Tulasi, Ocimum tenuiflorum, Ocimum sanctum, the Green Leaf Tulsi is known for its cooling, mellower taste. his variety of Tulsi is found in China, Brazil, Eastern Nepal, as well as in Bengal, Bihar, Chatgaon and the southern states of India.
Wild Type ‘Vana’ Tulsi
Vana Tulsi is found in the Himalayas as well as the plains of India, where it grows as a naturalized plant. Vana Tulsi is also cultivated and grows wild throughout Asia and Africa.
Kapoor is the short, annual, heavily flowered plant that was originally introduced to the US as “Holy Basil” and it is the most common type found in cultivation here in the US. It is the easiest to grow–give standard basil culture. The big attractor of bees.
Tulsi has got great medicinal value. For over the centuries Tulsi (the queen of herbs) has been known for its remarkable healing properties.
- Tulsi is taken as herbal tea.
- The oil extracted from the Karpoora Tulsi is mostly used in herbal toiletry. Its oil is also used against insects and bacteria.
- The Rama Tulsi is an effective remedy for Severe acute Respiratory Syndrome. The juice of its leaves gives relief to cold, fever, bronchitis and cough.
- Tulsi oil is also used as an ear drop.
- Tulsi helps in curing malaria.
- It is very effective against indigestion, headache, hysteria, insomnia, and cholera.
- The fresh leaves of Tulsi are taken by millions of people every day.