Plants are the natural, safest and dependable source of healthcare and wellness in comparison to expensive synthetic drugs, having no adverse effects and Tulsi has been documented for its values since ages. Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum L) has been well documented for its therapeutic potentials and has the prospective to be a natural antibiotic. It holds an esteemed position in Indian mythology, religious practices because of its high medicinal value. Research proves that Tulsi with around 80% of antibiotic properties, its presence has an anti-viral impact on the environment, anti-bacterial protection against pathogens, and a great neutraliser of food toxins. Food Microbiology (2004 issue) published a study indicating the positive impact of basil oil in curbing the growth of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Tulsi has the property to resist disease and build up immunity to counteract disease. Hindustan Antibiotics uses Tulsi to manufacture its antibiotics. Studies have proved the impact of aqueous extract of Tulsi in reducing growth of Staphylococcus aureus, Klesbiella, E. coli & Proteus. While the alcoholic extract showed growth resistance for vibrio cholera and were also found to be active in multi drug resistance against S. aureus that is known to be resistant to common beta lactam antibiotics.
Tulsi is one such herb that is very effective for the curing bacterial and fungal infections. Belonging to plant family Lamiaceae, the genus Oscimum, containing 200 species of herbs and shrubs, it is a source of fragrant mixtures and oils constituting biologically active elements having insecticidal and nematicidal properties. Tulsi extract and its active constituents are used majorly in traditional therapy. Around 60% of world’s populations still relies on traditional medicine based on plants like Tulsi, neem etc. for their primary health-care needs.
It has been strongly documented that Tulsi extracts having high potential as antimicrobial agent against micro- organisms, make them very useful in the treatment of human diseases caused by bacterial or fungal organisms and have also been recommended as effective dietary supplement and immunity building agents to prevent and control the microbial infections.
In Ayurveda, the ancient Indian science of healing, Tulsi has been referred to as “elixir of life” in ancient vedas and has been used extensively for its diverse healing properties. It has been mentioned in the ancient Ayurvedic text – Charaka Samhita for its varied adaptations in treatment of wide variety of diseases. Vedic texts classify Tulsi as an effective stimulant, aromatic & antipyretic herb. It has been recognised for its healing abilities, known to alleviate vata & kapha doshas, and is documented as Dashemani Shwasaharni (anti asthmatic) and antikaphic drugs (Kaphaghna).
Various studies have been documented on its positive impacts of Tulsi. Phytochemical studies (Junaid et al., 2006) of both dry and fresh extracts of Tusli (Ocimum gratissimum) discovered the existence of antimicrobial principles like cardiac glycoside, tannins, flavonoids saponins, steroidal terpens, glycosides, resins, and carbohydrates at different concentrations. Tulsi has been referred to as an adaptogen that is known to balance various processes in human body. Ayurveda uses it for alleviating cough, stress, indigestion, anorexia and to promote longevity. A study by Prakash and Gupta (2005) states that Tulsi is most effective in the treating arthritis, bronchitis, malaria, eye infections, insect bites, fever and asthma. Most recently studies have shown a positive impact on HIV (Human Immuno deficiency virus) and (AIDS Acquired Immune Deficiency virus) patients. Experiments by Lokhande and Khogare have shown positive results in treatment of Diabetes mellitus as hypoglycaemic effect.
Tulsi which is largely cultivated for religious and medicinal purposes is also grown extensively across S. Asia for its essential oil. Eugenol, (l-hydroxy-2-methoxy-4- allylbenzene), a phenolic compound, is the main component of oils extracted from different parts of Tulsi plant, known to be responsible for its therapeutic capabilities. Today its therapeutic potential has been documented by various pharmacological studies but it has been used by ancient Ayurveda as healing balm for mind, body & spirit for over 5000 years. The entire plant is a natural factory of essential oils. Tulsi leaves contain 0.7% volatile oil made up of around 71% eugenol& 20% methyl eugenol, and balance quantities of sesquiterpine hydrocarbon caryophyllene & carvacrol. The stem and fresh leaves also contain antioxidants like apigenin, circimaritin, rosameric acid, cirsilineol and eugenol. The plant also has many sesquiterpenes and monoterpenes viz. campesterol, bornyl acetate, cholesterol and β – sitosterol. While ancient Ayurveda swears by the medicinal plant, recent studies have also given quite positive results of Tulsi oils, as documented in Vedic literature. It has been proven to be effective in antibacterial activity against bacteria like S. aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa & Bacillus pumilus. Various experiments indicate that the Tulsi oils are anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, antipyretic, anti-arthritic, antiulcer and anticoagulant. Also, known for its strong smell & astringent taste, Tulsi is used in formulating antidandruff herbal shampoo powder. Whereas there is no denying of the power of “Tulsi Vitalizer” that is freely available in nature, when used in garments, Tulsi blended with Joy of Life’s indigenous technology makes them exceedingly advantageous and health upholding.
- Rashmi Chandra, Vinay Dwivedi, Kumar Shivam, Abhimanyu Kumar Jha, Detection of Antimicrobial Activity of Oscimum sanctum (Tulsi) &Trigonellafoenumgraecum (Methi) against some selected bacterial & fungal strains,Research Journal of Pharmaceutical, Biological and Chemical Sciences.
- BhatejaSumit, Arora Geetika,therapeutic benefits of holy basil (tulsi) in general and oral medicine: a review, BhatejaSumit et al / IJRAP 3(6), Nov – Dec 2012
- Ankita Sharma, Naresh Kumar, Deep Kumar, VandnaKumari, ShilpaSarswati, KalpanaChandel, a review paper on anti-microbial activity of medicinal plant tulsi (ocimum spp.) and pudina(Mentha spp.), International Journal of Current Research,Vol. 5, Issue, 03, pp.487-489, March, 2013
- Ekta Singh, Sheel Sharma, Jaya Dwivedi, Swapnil Sharma, Diversified potentials of Ocimum sanctum Linn (Tulsi):An exhaustive survey, J. Nat. Prod. Plant Resour., 2012, 2 (1):39-48, Scholars Research Library