It is a popular belief that Tulsi is the wife of Lord Vishnu; therefore, chewing it will be a mark of disrespect. However, botanists, in the course of their research, found that Tulsi plant has the maximum of mercury. If raw mercury is applied to teeth, they fall immediately. That’s why in Hindu religion, Tulsi leaves are not chewed but swallowed.
There has been an ever-growing debate on whether we can chew tulsi leaves. However, the rivalry between the two contrasting beliefs is still prevalent. Moreover, since it is a highly used shrub which is massively found in India, it obviously has a religious feat attached to it as well.
According to popular belief, Tulsi is the wife of Lord Vishnu, thus chewing tulsi leaves is considered as a disrespectful act. However, that’s a religious take on the subject.
When looked scientifically, according to botanists, Tulsi has a maximum quantity of Mercury in it. Precisely speaking, when you apply raw Mercury on your teeth, your teeth will start falling immediately. Thus, the effect of Tulsi might not have such immediate effect but it surely damages the teeth with the amount of Mercury it has in its leaves.
Most of the researchers also say that Tulsi contains some small dose of a slightly harmful acid and since the medium of our mouth is alkaline, it can react with the acidic content in and cause tooth decay. Moreover, Tulsi also contains quite a bit of iron in it. Thus, when chewed regularly with your teeth it could lead to discolourations of your teeth or your teeth might become yellowish or light brown in colour. Thus, looking at the evident scientific facts backing the fact that Tulsi shouldn’t be chewed, it is suggested not to be chewed. However, people suffering from mouth ulcers can use the Tulsi juice and gargle with the same.
Tulsi has plethora of uses including healing power, mosquito repellent, anti-stress agent, common cold, sore throat, respiratory disorder, kidney stone and more. Thus, you can rather swallow Tulsi leaves rather than chewing it and hurting your teeth. Moreover, you can also use the powered or juiced form of the Tulsi leaves as a herbal medicine.
If you come to think of it, most of our rituals and traditions stand on firm scientific grounds. However, the factual logic behind most of our beliefs and customs has been buried under the sands of time and we are blindly following whatever has been handed over to us through generations, that too without questioning. Let’s take a halt today and try to unearth some genuine reasons related to the adages associated with our very own Holy Basil or Tulsi…
1. Shall we chew Tulsi leaves or swallow?
According to popular belief, Tulsi is the wife of Lord Vishnu, thus chewing it is considered as a disrespectful act. However, that’s a religious take on the subject. When looked scientifically, according to botanists, Tulsi has a maximum quantity of Mercury in it. Precisely speaking, when you apply raw Mercury on your teeth, your teeth will start falling immediately. The effect of Tulsi does not have such immediate effect but it surely damages the teeth.
2. Tulsi leaves should not be plucked by women
The reason behind this popular belief might just shock you. It is believed that women have a high proportion of raja component when compared to men. There is generation of heat energy in the dormant and serene sattvik frequencies present in the tulsi plant by the touch of women which leads to decrease in its sattvikta (sattva quality). Hence they are prohibited from gathering or plucking the tulsi leaves.
4. Tulsi leaves should not be plucked on Sunday
As per the Padma Purana “Any person, who picks Tulasi leaves on Dvadashi, falls into a grievously hellish planet to suffer.”The philosophy behind this is that Tulsi Maharani, the pure devotee of the Lord, observes a fast on these days. So the devotee in order to not to disturb or hurt her, don’t pluck leaves. I am not able to establish much logic here but I assume that this tradition would have came into being to discourage the plucking of leafs for environment purposes.
5. Tulsi leaves should not be plucked in the evening/night
That is because nocturnal insects and bugs might bite you. More importantly, there is no photosynthetic activity at night, so plants tend to release more carbon dioxide than oxygen. The converse would be true during the day. If you wander around a garden full of trees and plants at night, you might end up inhaling more carbon dioxide. Hence the caution.
6. Ask Tulsi permission if you want its leaves
The point is that Tulsi is widely used in Ayurveda for medicinal purposes. The plant has also been found to have antimicrobial properties, thanks to the ursolic acid and carvacrol constituents found in it. This particular belief and more like it were made popular only to discourage the public from destroying this miraculous plant.
7. Worshipping Tulsi
Wherever the aroma of Tulsi is carried by the wind, it purifies the atmosphere and frees all animals from all baser tendencies.” Along with antimicrobial properties, the phytochemicals present in tulsi offer antioxidant as well as immune-enhancing qualities. It also has adaptogenic properties, that is, it enhances the body’s ability to adapt to stress. Worshiping Tulsi is equivalent to protecting it, preserving it.
8. Benefits of Tulsi
Popularly known in the western world as Holy basil, the Latin name of Tulsi is Ocimum tenuiflorum or Ocimum sanctum. Now let’s talk about some unknown and unheard benefits of the Tulsi plant.
There are two types of Tulsi plant—one is Rama Tulsi having light green leaves, generally of bigger size and the other Krishna Tulsi having dark green leaves which is a prerequisite for the worship of Vishnu and Narayan
Saraswati’s curse transformed Lakshmi into a Tulsi plant, forced to live on earth forever. However, Vishnu intervened and said, “Lakshmi you will live in the world as a holy Tulsi and when the curse has been completed you will come back to me. On that day a river Gandaki will startfrom your body which will be in the shape of the holy Tulsi plant. On the bank of that river, I will remain as a stone image (Salagram Shila).” To commemorate this puranic legend on the eleventh day of the month of Kartika (Oct.-Nov.)
Without Tulasi leaves, Lord Krsna does not like to accept flowers, food, or sandalwood paste so Basil is considered a very auspicious plant in Hindu households. The plant is considered holy and is worshipped regularly.
If a Tulsi plant is grown in one place, in a little while we can find many small plants growing below the same place.
If the tulsi plant is kept in the house then the spreading of the air borne disease is reduced.
Tulsi Plant is kept in the centre of the house therefore it increases the oxygen circulation inside the house.
In the Hindu religion the Tulsi Plant is referred to be one of the most sacred plants that have all the medicinal qualities and also there is a great religious belief on the Tulsi Plant.
The Brahmins always swallow one or two leaves after their meals which helps digestion. Tulsi leaves are considered as a potential preventive medicine. As we find the Hindus eat some leaves before and after their ablution in cold water in order to keep up proper temperature in the stomach and prevent ailments arising from cold.
Every day morning if the extracts of the Tulsi leaf consumed with the mixing of honey can cure all the stomach associated problems and also increases the blood circulation inside the body.
Why Should Tulsi Not Be Chewed With Teeth?
According to popular belief, Tulsi is the wife of Lord Vishnu, thus chewing it is considered as a disrespectful act.Tulsi has a lot of Mercury in it. Thus, you can rather swallow Tulsi leaves rather than chewing it and hurting your teeth. Moreover, you can also use the powered or juiced form of the Tulsi leaves as a herbal medicine.Precisely speaking, when you apply raw Mercury on your teeth, your teeth will start falling immediately.
Should we water and worship of Tulshi Devi on Ekadashi?
The philosophy behind this is that Srimati Tulsi Maharani, the pure devotee of the Lord, keeps fasting on the whole Ekadashi and takes rest on Dwadashi. So the devotee in order to not to disturb or hurt her, don’t pluck leaves.
God Shiva is never worshipped with Tulsi leaves.
There was a battle between Shankhchud and Shiva, Shiva burned the demon into ashes.
Tulsi , who had to suffer for no fault of her later, attained divine status and was given a boon by Vishnu that she will be dear to him and will become part of him. Tulsi became the divine plant. This is why Tulsi is considered holy.As Shiva had killed the husband of Tulsi, offering Tulsi leaves makes pujas and rituals meaningless.
Why Avoid Tulsi Leaf In Ganesh Puja?
Once Lord Vinayaka was traveling beside ganga river, princess named Dharmadwaja saw lord Vinayaka and started liking him and also proposed. But lordGanesha rejected her proposal, angry with his rejection she cursed Lord Ganesha saying you will remain as a bachelor for long period. In response to her curse, even he cursed her to remain with a demon for long period. After hearing his curse, she started pleading to rescue her from his curse. Lord Ganesha calmed himself and said you have to live with demon for short period and later get arebirth as a sacred tulasi. This is the reason why Lord Vinayaka dislikes tulasi leave.