God has created the universe and He has made man the best of His creations. He has created the vegetable, the mineral and the animal kingdoms for the benefit of man. And man is not slow to take advantage of them, from the very beginning man has been trying to prove the mysteries of Nature. He is poking his nose everywhere and he has successfully harnessed some of the hidden powers of nature to his own service. But man is after all, a creature of God; he is but a tiny speck in this wide universe. For every mystery that he solves, there are at least a hundred that he does not even know of. But it is the mysteries that attract the man of talent, it is the mysteries of nature that the scientists thrive upon.
The vegetable kingdom has many mysteries to offer to us, interesting mysteries about their growth from a small seed to a sturdy plant, about their flowering, the different shades of colour, the arrangements and shape of the leaves and so on. But apart from all this external beauty, so to say, a plant has some internal beauty as well, the beauty we cannot see. If we probe deeper, a plant may give us some of its hidden mysteries, such as its healing power. A plant may indeed be your friend in need. Let us take for example the case of Tulashi which is common throughout India.
This strongly scented perennial plant has the property of driving away the mosquitoes. It has been found by experiments that if the Juice of Tulashi leaves is rubbed over the body the mosquitoes never come near it. Regarding this property of Tulashi, the following opinion of Sir George Birdwood will be of great interest: when the Victoria garden and Albert Museum were established in Bombay, the men employed on these works were at first so pestered by mosquito and suffered so much from malarial fever that on the recommendation of the Hindu manager the whole boundary of the garden was planted with holy Basil (Tulashi) and any other Basil at hand on which the plague of mosquitoes was at once abated and fever altogether disappeared from among the residents of the gardens and temporary resident masons.
The opinion of the Imperial Malarial Conference is also in favour of Tulashi being a good medicine for malaria. In various books of Ayurveda it is recommended for malarial fevers. Besides this, Tulashi may be used with great advantage in a variety of diseases. The crushed leaves of Tulashi mixed with lime juice is used as a paste in ringworm, itches and cutaneous diseases of the skin. It stiffens the skin, removes the black spots of the face and increases its beauty. The leaf juice poured into the ear is a first rate remedy for ear – ache.
It is used in snake – bite and scorpion sting. The leaf juice is a very good remedy for cough, cold and bronchitis. A cup of decoction of the leaves with a little boiled cows milk and sugar is an excellent substitute for tea and may be taken to remove the fatigue and to avoid cold and cough, Fresh Juice mixed with a little powder of Cardamom checks all kinds of vomiting.
The powdered seeds are used with old Jaggery in disorders of genito – urinary system. They thicken the semen and increase its potency. The patient should necessarily live a life of abstinence, simplicity and purity. The root of Tulashi taken with betel leaves is a good remedy for checking involuntary emission of the semen. Thus we see how useful this plant is, and it is no wonder that it is held in high esteem and sanctity and is worshipped by every Hindu in India.