Tulsi. Holy Basil, A magical herb. Super health benefits (Thirty varieties of TULSI)


Holy basil is known as Tulsi in India. The scientific or Botanical name is -  Ocimum Sanctum Linn.
Family is–LAMIACEAE, Labiatae – Tulasi Kula
.
Hindus consider it a holy plant. It also finds its place in the ancient science of Ayurveda. It has medicinal usage extending from reducing ill effects of radiotherapy of cancer to maintaining Brahmacharya – Celibacy. 
Different varieties
Bhavaprakasha and Raja Nighantu has reference of two varieties –
Shukla Tulsi – white variety – Ocimum americanum Linn. and
Krishna Tulsi  – Black variety – Ocimum sanctum Linn.

But there are some thirty other varieties:
Ocimum basilicum cultivars
Common name
Species and cultivars
Description
1.      Sweet basil
O. basilicum
With a strong clove scent when fresh.
2.      Lettuce leaf basil
O. basilicum 'Lettuce Leaf'
Has leaves so large they are sometimes used in salads.
3.      Mammoth basil
O. basilicum 'Mammoth'
Another large-leaf variety, stronger flavor than sweet Genovese.
4.      Genovese basil
O. basilicum 'Genovese Gigante'
Almost as popular as sweet basil, with similar flavor.
5.      Nufar basil
O. basilicum 'Nufar F1'
Variety of Genovese resistant to fusarium wilt.
6.      Spicy globe basil
O. basilicum 'Spicy Globe'
Grows in a bush form, very small leaves, strong flavor.
7.      Greek Yevani basil
O. basilicum 'Greek Yevani'
Organically grown version of Spicy globe basil.
8.      Fino verde basil
O. basilicum piccolo
Small, narrow leaves, sweeter, less pungent smell than larger leaved varieties.
9.      Boxwood basil
O. basilicum 'Boxwood'
Grows tightly like boxwood, very small leaves, strong flavor, great for pestos.
10.   Purple ruffles basil
O. basilicum 'Purple Ruffles'
Solid purple, rich and spicy and a little more anise-like than the flavor of Genovese Basil.
11.   Magical Michael
O. basilicum 'Magical Michael'
Award-winning hybrid with an uncommon degree of uniformity, and nice flavor for culinary use.
12.   Dark opal basil
O. basilicum'Purpurascens'
Award-winning variety, developed at the University of Connecticut in the 1950s.
13.   Red rubin basil
O. basilicum 'Red Rubin'
Strong magenta color, similar flavor to sweet basil, also called Opal basil.
14.   Osmin purple basil
O. basilicum 'Osmin Purple'
Dark shiny purple with a jagged edge on the leaves, smaller leaves than red rubin.
15.   Cuban basil
O. basilicum
Similar to sweet basil, with smaller leaves and stronger flavor, grown from cuttings.
16.   Thai basil
O. basilicum var. thyrsiflorum
Called Ho-ra-pa (ต้นโหระพา) in Thai, gets its scent of licorice from estragole.
17.   'Siam Queen'
O. basilicum var. thyrsiflorum 'Siam Queen'
A named cultivar of Thai Basil
18.   Cinnamon basil
O. basilicum 'Cinnamon'
Also called Mexican spice basil, with a strong scent of cinnamate, the same chemical as in cinnamon. Has purple flowers.
19.   Licorice basil
O. basilicum 'Licorice'
Also known as Anise basil or Persian basil, silvery leaves, spicy licorice smell comes from the same chemical as in anise,anethole. Thai basil is also sometimes called Licorice basil.
20.   Mrs. Burns lemon basil
O. basilicum var.citriodora 'Mrs. Burns'
Clean, aromatic lemon scent, similar to lemon basil.
Ocimum americanum (formerly known as O. canum) cultivars
21.   Common name
Species and cultivars
Description
22.   Lemon basil
O. americanum[
Contains citral and limonene, therefore actually does smell very lemony, tastes sweeter. Originally, and sometimes still, called "hoary basil". Popular in Indonesia, where it is known as 'kemangi'. Also sometimes 'Indonesian basil'.
23.   Lime basil
O. americanum
Similar to lemon basil.
Ocimum ×citriodorum cultivars
24.   Common name
Species and cultivars
Description
25.   Greek column basil
O. ×citriodorum'Lesbos'
Columnar basil, can only be propagated from cuttings.
26.   Thai lemon basil
O. ×citriodorum
Called mangluk (แมงลัก) in Thai. It has a citrus odor, with a distinct Lemon-balm-like flavor
Other Species and Hybrids
27.   Common name
Species and cultivars
Description
28.   Holy basil
O. sanctum
(alt. O. tenuiflorum)
Also sacred basil, Tulsi (तुलसी) in Hindi, a perennial breed from India, used in Ayurveda, for worship, and in Thai cooking.
29.   Clove Basil
O. gratissimum
30.   Greek bush basil(Greek Spicy Globe Basil)
O. minimum
(alt. O. basilicum var.minimum)
Forms a nearly perfectly round globe, with thin, tiny leaves and a delicious scent. Despite its name, the variety probably originated in Chile.
31.   Dwarf bush basil
O. minimum
Unusually small bush variety, similar to Greek bush basil.[
African Blue basil
O. kilimandscharicum × basilicum
A sterile perennial hybrid, with purple coloration on its leaves and containing a strong portion of actual camphor in its scent.
Spice basil
O. basilicum × americanum
A fruity/musky-scented cultivar sometimes sold as Holy Basil
Sweet Dani basil
O. basilicum × americanum
A vigorous, large-leaved green basil with a strong, fresh lemon scent, a 1998 All-American Selection.

Part used– Leaf, Root, Seed
HEALTH BENEFITS:
1.      Brahmacharya[1]: Tulsi is considered to be plant which increases celibacy and self-control. It was distributed to Brahmachari students during ancient times when Ashram system was followed.
2.      It has antibiotic, anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-carcinogenic properties.
A.       How to make a tea: Use fresh leaves of Tulsi and put it in boiling water? Add ginger and black pepper to it. Do not add milk or Cream. Using this tea regularly increase immunity and it is anti-bacterial and anti-viral.
3.       Tulsi tea Helps relieve strain, strengthens resistance, and facilitate proper digestion.
4.       For sinusitis and headache:
Crush few leaves of fresh Basil. Turn it into a juice. Put two drops of this juice into both nostrils on empty stomach. This helps to relieve sinusitis related headache.
5.       Tulsi for nervousness and melancholy:
In the experiments conducted by Central Drug Reasearch Institute, Lucknow a (50m/kg body weight) dose of Tulsi is found to be very effective in experimental models of anxiety and depression. 
6.       It is loaded with phytonutrients, essential oils, Vitamin A and C. Regular tulsi consumption can also aid in balancing various bodily processes.
7.       It helps in regulating uric acid levels in body, thereby elimination risks of developing kidney stones. It is also beneficial for those who have kidney stones.
8.       It can ward off harmful effects of free radicals.
9.       Is great for dental health and for healthy gums.
10.    Is an effective insect repellant and can aid in treating insect bite. One can use the paste of Tulsi leaves for the same.
11.    Is also beneficial in treating conditions like hepatitis, malaria, tuberculosis, dengue and swine flu.







[1] Brahmacharya represented the bachelor student stage of life. This stage focused on education and included the practice of celibacy.[2] The student went to a Gurukul (house of the guru) and typically would live with a Guru (teacher), acquiring knowledge of science, philosophy, scriptures and logic, practicing self-discipline, working to earn dakshina to be paid for theguru, learning to live a life of Dharma (righteousness, morals, duties).

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