Tulsi or Holy basil is a sacred plant in Hindus. Tulsi, also know as Hari Priya, is the beloved of Lord Narayan. As one legend goes, Tulsi was the devoted wife of Shankhachud, a celestial being. An untoward incident in her life made her believe that Lord Krishna had somehow tricked her into sinning. Hence, she cursed him to turn into a stone (shaligram). Seeing her devotion and adherence to righteousness, the Lord blessed her saying that she would become the worshipped plant, Tulsi, that would adorn his head. This instance gave Tulsi it’s importance and it was imprinted in the Hindu scriptures that all offerings to Lord Vishnu and his various avatars, including Sri Rama and Sri Krishna, would be incomplete without the offering of the Tulsi leaf.
It is believed that nothing on earth can equal to the virtues of Tulsi, being the only plant that is regarded as self-purifiying. Apart from religious significance, it is great for medicinal purposes too. The plant extract is used to cure n prevent many illnesses and diseases. Boiling tulsi leaves and serving it with tea or even as plain water, is widely used as a deterrant to illnesses such as fever, malaria, cough and cold. Eating the leaves of Tulsi on a regular basis is supposed to help clean the blood of various impurities.
Tulsi is also widely used as a flavouring substance in tea and as a garnish on various dishes. According to ancient texts, Tulsi is glorified as the one who helps in bringing people closer to the divine.
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