The herb Tulsi also called holy basil has been widely known for its health promoting and medicinal value for thousands of years in India and is the key herb of Organic India. It is a principal herb of Ayurveda, the ancient traditional holistic health system of India. Tulsi is known as “The Incomparable One”, “The Mother Medicine of Nature”, and “The Queen of Herbs”.
Ayurveda, in Sanskrit , means “knowledge of life”. Herbs lie at the very heart of Ayurvedic practice. Ayurvedic knowledge was born from the wisdom of the ancient rishis (sages and healers) and yogis (ascetics practicing yoga) of India, and was first passed on from healer to healer as an oral tradition for untold generations before the earliest known texts were written around 5000 BC. The Rigveda is the first documented scientific record of Ayurveda and emphasizes the great importance of herbs for optimal health and well-being.
Hinduism is generally viewed in the West as the main religion of India. However, it is not a religion in the ordinary sense; it is rather known as dharma , which in Sanskrit means “way of life”. Hinduism is a way of being which respects the delicate balance between all forces of nature, especially the coexistence of humans and nature, and Ayurveda is the practical expression of this dharma. Ayurveda has evolved since its early beginnings into one of the most comprehensive and respected holistic approaches to health and well-being.
The knowledge of Ayurveda, first written down in the ancient Vedas, was further described 2000 years later (2700 to 600 BC ) in the Ayurvedic samhitas (textbooks). The Carak Samhita is a book on medical therapeutics, describing herbal health tonics and rejuvenators for longevity and prevention of disease, as well as daily regimens for better living, including diet which varies for different body types and different diseases. It integrates the art and science of living and is impressive to see how much knowledge currently taught in modern sciences, such as botany, pharmacology, anatomy and physiology is described in detail in the Carak Samhita.
In reading these ancient scriptures, we become aware of the utmost importance of herbal medicine for maintaining well-being, preventing disease, restoring health and prolonging life. For more information on Tulsi and Ayurveda please visit the Organic India website.