Why Skincare Experts are Obsessed with
Tulsi in Your Beauty Routine
During my time spent in India, I became fascinated with the herb Tulsi. This sacred plant was omnipresent and weaved its way into the daily lives of many. When approaching the entrance of homes in Kerala, I would find myself strolling past these blooms planted in an intricately ornamented altar in the middle of the courtyard. Delicate and fragrant this beautiful purple flower shoots out and towers above the deep violet leaves. It was customary to find the plant in many traditional Hindu homes. One of the holiest plants in Hinduism, Tulsi is thus considered extremely auspicious and it is an age old custom to worship the plant daily with a brass oil lamp lit next to it.
According to Hindu mythology, the Goddess Laxmi, the goddess of fortune, wealth and prosperity is believed to have manifested on earth as the sacred Tulsi plant. Also known as Holy Basil, this aromatic plant is hailed as the “Queen of Herbs” and is truly divine. An herb that has been used for centuries in the ancient medicinal practice of Ayurveda, Tulsi continues to debut itself in many Indian beauty and wellness treatments till this day.
Tulsi is a favorite amongst skincare experts because of its glow imparting and incredible anti-aging benefits. Still not widely known, this shrub (part of the basil family) that is indigenous to India, is credited with giving luster to the complexion, fostering beauty and recommended as a treatment for skin diseases. All parts of the herb has powerful medicinal value which makes Tulsi even more notable. The herb has been valued for centuries because of its powerful attributes for the mind, body and spirit. But while its history is deeply rooted in religion and mythology, it has also been used in several ancient systems of medicine including Ayurveda, Greek, Roman, and Siddha for thousands of years. Loaded with antioxidants and other nutrients, Tulsi is beneficial for maintaining beautiful and healthy skin. The valuable qualities of Tulsi are due to the active ingredient, Eugenol present in the leaves. It also contains ursolic acid and carvacrol, both of which have anti-microbial properties.
Powered with purifying properties, Tulsi is extremely effective in preventing breakouts. Its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties are very effective in improving the condition of acne prone skin. Taken internally it can help stop acne causing bacteria and alleviate breakouts whilst giving the skin a beautiful glow.
In the time of royalty in India, Tulsi would be both used internally and topically as part of their recipe for preserving youth. Ayurvedic physicians would incorporate this powerful herb into the daily regimen of both royalty and aristocrats to keep skin looking youthful and vibrant while helping ward off illnesses. Exceptionally high in antioxidants, Tulsi helps reduce the damaging effects of stress and delays the signs of aging. It also helps fight free radical damage that we encounter from pollution, toxins and pesticides.
Tulsi reduces inflammation on the skin and works well for even the most sensitive skin types. It helps prevent and soothe skin irritations as well as reduce redness. Research has shown that using Tulsi oil in place of certain steroid treatments for inflammation is just as effective and is a safe alternative. As a child, many a time I recall my father rubbing the leaves of a Tulsi plant on a bug bite I had in order to reduce the itching and inflammation that ensued. As a natural remedy I would also rub the leaves on my body to keep mosquitos at bay.
Aids in wound healing
Tulsi’s unique combination of antiseptic and antibacterial properties allows for remarkable wound healing benefits. This ingredient works naturally to heal many skin irritations and bacterial infections. Tulsi is high in vitamin K, which aids the skin to heal faster and allows for bruised to fade quickly. Research shows Tulsi helps accelerate the skin’s recovery process, reduce redness and encourages the healing of wounds. These therapeutic qualities make it especially beneficial for those who have undergone laser treatments, peels, micro dermabrasions etc. Topically spraying a toner after finishing a treatment or using a serum with the ingredient will have calming and restorative properties.
Tulsi is fantastic for soothing the nervous system. Because of its high flavonoid content, it is beneficial as a healing agent to bodies that have undergone chronic stress. In addition to flavonoids, Vitamin-C and other antioxidants found in Tulsi, help to soothe the nerves and lower blood pressure thus reducing stress. According to studies, Tulsi helps lower cortisol levels to maintain a normal concentration of the hormone in the body. Having higher levels of cortisol in the body results in feeling tense and anxious.
The revered Tulsi has been used in the beauty regimen of many women for thousands of years due to all of the wonders it possesses. Find ways to incorporate it into your beauty ritual.
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