Saturday, January 7, 2012

Herb Focus - Tulsi a.k.a Holy Basil

Herbs in Ayurveda are used as "foods" for the body. Their purpose is to eliminate excess and/or strengthen weakness. Herbs have an energetic quality that affect both the physiology and the spirit. Similar to regular food, all herbs have individual tastes which promote an energetic action on the body and the spirit. Herbs are chosen to balance an individual's unique body and/or illness type. The value of using herbs and foods to balance and heal lies in their mildness. If an herb is misused, the results are relatively minor and are easily eliminated from the body within a couple days. Synthetic drugs are more powerful in action and potency. The liver can be overwhelmed trying to process and eliminate them from the body. The excess may create a toxic burden. Since herbs are an integral part of balancing in Ayurveda, I thought it might be interesting to focus on different herbs.

On a spirit level, tulsi is thought to be purifying to one's aura and strengthens one faith and compassion. It promotes mental clarity. Physically, tulsi removes excess congestion (kapha) from the lungs and upper respiratory tract which promotes clear, comfortable breathing. It also bolsters the immune system. Tulsi strengthens body and heart circulation as well as boosting digestion. Strong digestion allows for proper assimilation of nutrients without the body having excess toxic waste from undigested food. Excess waste (ama) can create weight gain. Too much tulsi can increase Pitta in the constitution.

Tulsi has many benefits and is particularly suited to the Vata season which we are now in and the Kapha season which begins in March.

Stay healthy & well,

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