HOLY BASIL (Ocimum sanctum Linn.)

Common name: kemangi (mal) Sanskrit – Tulasi – Tulssi – Surasa – Krishnamul – Vishnu-priya; Hindi – Kala-tulasi; English – Holy basil; Unani – Tulsi; Bengali – Krishna tulasai; Tamil – Thulasi

Botanical name: Ocimum sanctum Linn.

Family: Labiatae

Usage :The tulsi or holy basil, considered sacred by the Hindus, has small leaves with a strong smell and purple flowers.
There are two varieties: a red – and a green one.
Red holy basil has a stronger smell.
This plant, originally from India, grows abundantly in Suriname.
Apart from the religious significance, it also has substantial medicinal meaning and is used in Ayurvedic treatment.
Tulasi has antimicrobal properties since it is also anti – inflammatory due to the oil eugenol, present in the leaves.
It is useful in respiratory tract infection.
The Ursolic acid present in tulsi, has anti-allergic properties.
The plant can play a role in the management of immunological disorders such as allergies and asthma.

This plant also has a place in Suriname’s traditional medicine.
The juice of the leaves is used against fever and as an antidote for snake and scorpion bites. It’s anti-spasmodic properties, relieves abdominal pains and helps in lowering the blood sugar level.


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