Tulsi

Sacred basil

 

Tulsi is honoured as a sacred plant amongst Hindus. 
It is grown in the front yard of houses and temples across India.  In the cities, where people generally live in high rise flats, a potted plant of Tulsi is often seen sunning itself on the balconies of Hindu homes along with pots of roses and jasmine. 

Tulsi is easy to grow from seeds, which are produced throughout the year, and is relatively easy to take care of.  Combine this with its medicinal properties, it is easy to understand why it became a popular "sacred" plant.   Due to being constantly plucked for its leaves, it grows as a small / medium bushy plant. 

Tulsi depending on its variety, can have anything from bright to very dark green, soft leaves.  Tiny spikes of flowers result in seed pods that eventually dry to reveal dark black seeds.  Dry, dead stems, are often cut up and used to made beads.  These are used to make rosaries and sacred necklaces. 

Tulsi is used in a variety of ways in traditional and ayurvedic medicines.  Just as we have a saying in the west "an apple a day keeps the doctor away", in India, taking a few leaves of Tulsi on a daily basis is considered to be a good way to keep healthy.  Tusli leaves are chewed with fruits and milk.   It is can also be added to tea and dry power of tulsi leaves is regularly   used in a variety of herbal preparations.  Common illnesses, such as cold, flues are often treated by drinking a mixture of Tulsi leaves with black pepper and fresh ginger juice.

G = generator - Brahma ;
O = operator - Vishnu ;
D = destroyer - Shiva

Traditionally, Tulsi is considered to be the beloved of Shri Vishnu, the preserver of the Indian Trinity.  All rituals and sacraments offered to Shri Vishnu are accompanied by offering the Tulsi leaves.  Shri Vishnu loves Tulsi so much, that He overlooks any potential flaws in the offering, simply because it is accompanied by Tulsi !

 

 

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