Medicinal Plants

Others, Feb 2009

Tulsi plantTulsi

Basil or Tulsi is a common plant, whose name signifies purity and spirituality in Hinduism. It has been designated a special place in the courtyard of Hindu households and its leaves are used in several rituals during religious ceremonies.

The scientific name of Tulsi is Oscimum sanctum and it is a plant of herbaceous or non-woody nature. It is also an aromatic plant with a peculiar fragrance. Two of its varieties are Ram Tulsi and Shyam Tulsi. The difference lies in the color of the leaves; the Ram Tulsi has light green colour while the Shyam variety is darker and blackish.

There are numerous medicinal properties associated with Basil. It holds a special place in Ayurvedic scriptures because of its healing capabilities. It is primarily used in curing cough, cold and throat infections. It can be used in the form of concoction or the leaves can be chewed directly for removing bad odour. Basil is also utilized as a cure for respiratory disorders such as bronchitis and influenza. Essential oils present in the plant are very effective in the case of diabetes as they regulate the beta cells of the liver. The leaves of Tulsi are also known to cure headaches, fever, inflammation and stress. It s healing potential ranges from heart diseases to mouth infection and even kidney stones. Planting Tulsi around the house also keep the mosquitoes away. This automatically shields the house from mosquito-related diseases. Thus, Tulsi can be considered as our herbal doctor who heals without charging.

Ashwagandha plantAshwagandha

Ashwagandha is a plant which is mentioned in every Ayurvedic samhitas or books due its powerful therapeutic qualities. It is considered as the king of herbs .  Ashwagandha is a Sanskrit word which means the smell of a horse , because when fresh, its odour is like horse s urine.   Botanically, it is known as Withenia sominifera and is placed in the shrub category. It measures roughly 1.5m in length and grows in clusters. The plant body contains at least 13 alkaloids, among which Sominiferine has several therapeutic qualities. The oils extracted from its roots are most effective for healing purposes.

Ashwagandha2Ashwagandha is known to be very effective in increasing the libido power in males. Potency of the roots increases the sexual vigour and vitality in men by improving the quality and quantity of sperm and semen. It also has hypnotic qualities which are exploited to cure insomnia.

Apart from that, it possesses antibacterial properties due to which it can be used to treat Syphilis, which is a type of skin infection. It is also very effective in treating common cold, digestive problems and conjunctivitis.

The roots of Ashwagandha are used in the treatment of sterility in women and for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. It has also proved its efficacy in curing urine infections and white discoloration of skin.

With such a wide range of medicinal properties, the plant has the capacity of healing the body holistically.

– Dr Garima Srivastava