Tulsi or the holy basil has been worshipped in many Indian households for thousands of years. Tulsi is also the most sought after herb in Ayurveda for its innumerable medicinal benefits. From using it in the home-made kaadha (to cure cold) to putting a few leaves in your everyday chai – Tulsi is a herb that our grandmothers and mothers swore by.
Dt Huda Shaikh, Nutritionist and Clinical dietitian at NutriBond, says
From warding off some of the commonly encountered diseases, strengthening the immune system, aiding digestion, and fighting viral and bacterial infections, Tulsi is capable of doing it all.
Tulsi is a staple of Ayurvedic cough syrups, and is the first in line of treatment for flu and common cold. People who battle sore throat are frequently advised to gargle with Tulsi water and consuming Tulsi tea.
With infectious diseases like H1N1 and dengue on the rise, Tulsi’s antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties act as potent immunity builders, and reduce the risk of infections.
Tulsi is replete with antiseptic and antibacterial properties which help in boosting the immune system. This inadvertently reduces the chances of falling ill or catching infections.Dt Huda Shaikh, Nutritionist and Clinical dietitian at NutriBond
Nutritionists and Ayurveda doctors advise chewing 5-6 Tulsi leaves with lukewarm water to clear the lungs and airways.
To Chew or Not to Chew?
But how do you have your Tulsi? The high content of iron and mercury in Tulsi have often been touted as harmful for the teeth. Excess of both or either is considered detrimental to enamel health and known to cause teeth discolouration. This concern has lead to doubts over the efficacy of chewing tulsi leaves. But Dt Huda Shaikh disagrees.
Chewing Tulsi is a great idea. I suggest chewing few Tulsi leaves on waking up, followed by a glass of lukewarm water.
Dt Shaikh also suggests consuming Tulsi tea when down with fever, runny nose or flu. “Just add a few Tulsi leaves and a small piece of ginger to 2 cups of water. Bring it to boil till the water reduces to half. Strain the liquid and it is ready for consumption”, she says.
Moderation seems to be the key in consuming Tulsi!
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