Since time immemorial, 'tulsi' (holy basil) has been used for cures of numerous diseases. It is believed to have strong healing powers, and promotes a healthy living -- both in terms of your body and your soul.
Tulsi is said to contain about 27 minerals and is used extensively in the preparation of more than 300 'ayurvedic' and homoeopathic medicines. It destroys disease-carrying germs and is used in the treatment of several ailments including asthma, tuberculosis, leprosy, etc. It also purifies blood and improves the digestive system.
Things exposed to the aroma of 'tulsi' or placed near a 'tulsi' plant will not deteriorate or get spoiled quickly. There is a tradition of placing 'tulsi' leaves in foods and drinks that are stored during solar and lunar eclipses: the features of the leaves protect the stored victuals from the adverse effects of the rays of the eclipsed luminaries.
'Tulsi' has a salutary effect not only on the body, but also on thoughts, tendencies and inclinations of the mind. A 'tulsi' plant at the doorstep of the house or in its vicinity keeps the atmosphere pure, supplies oxygen in greater quantities, ensures the health of its occupants and keeps it free from poisonous insects.
The contribution of the 'tulsi' plant to the purification of polluted air is unrivalled. It possesses bactericidal properties. The emanations from 'tulsi' plants are in fact fatal to mosquitoes. Even snakes cannot tolerate the scent of this plant and keep away from it.
There are numerous simple but tested home remedies with 'tulsi'. For example, a person that eats even five leaves of 'tulsi' a day is protected from a large number of diseases. Tea brewed with tulsi leaves is a good remedy for fevers, colds and muscular pains.
Digestion is stimulated by chewing five leaves of 'tulsi' after mid-day meal, or indeed at any other time. On the other hand, swallowing five leaves of the plant with water every morning protects one from infectious diseases, removes weakness of the brain and improves memory.
A few drops of warmed 'tulsi' juice in the ears will relieve ear ache. And four or five roasted cloves chewed with 'tulsi' leaves are beneficial for all types of coughs.
The list goes on.
Plant a few in pots and place them during the day in every one of the rooms we commonly use. The pots may be taken out into the open in the evenings and left there overnight, to be brought back in the morning. This will keep the atmosphere in the house fresh.
Even people living in apartments having no lawns or courtyards can easily raise one or two plants in their corridors and balconies of their flats -- and relish a healthy, happy life.