Tulsi for Immunity & Sattva; Plus: “Love & Prana” with Brenda; “Soma Skin Spa” in Santa Barbara – your SV Ayurveda Newsletter Feb 5, 2021 – #4, Vol 11

Incomparable Tulsi
~ for Immunity & Sattva ~

Tulsi is a divya aushadhi – a divine ayurvedic herb. The Sanskrit name tulsi or tulasi means “beyond compare.” It is also the name of an incomparably beautiful young woman who’s greatest desire was to marry the perfect man, and her father taught her that none other was more perfect than Lord Vishnu. In order for her to be united with the man of her dreams, she had to go through great trials and intricate unfoldings involving all the gods, demons, overcome curses, and finally receive blessings and her heart’s desire.
The wedding of Tulsi and Lord Vishnu is ritually celebrated every year with great pomp in all vedic households. No worship of Lord Vishnu is complete without an offering of the Tulsi plant and one cannot be without the other- they remain joined to eternity. But there is so much more that the Tulsi plant also offers us besides the example of total love and surrender to the beloved. 
Tulsi is also called surasa - favorite of the gods, and devadundubhi - resonating on a divine wavelength. This divya aushadhi embodies spiritual purity in a plant, and it enlivens the same quality in us when we use it or are near it. This is why it is also called holy basil – occimum sanctum.
Supports the Heart But is Also Immune Strengthening 
In Ayurveda, Bhava Prakash classifies tulsi as hridya - a plant that gives long, healthy life to the heart. Tulsi is heating, which would normally aggravate the sadhaka pitta of the heart, but it carries a very high divine vibration that strengthens and supports the satwa, divine light, of the heart. 
Bhava Prakash also says Tulsi is ”apetarakshasi” and “bhutagni.” In Sanskrit both these words mean “bactericidal.” Bhuta, in Ayurveda, denotes microscopic bacteria or living entities invisible to the naked eye. The term “apeta-rakshasi,” also refers to all non-visible energetic entities,” that are dis-ease spreading entities in Ayurveda. Tulsi is a good protective herb and in this sense has been used for immunity. 
But in addition, its immune-strengthening properties also derive from the fact that it strengthens overall metabolism and digestion - it is dipani . Tulsi is noted in the Ayurvedic texts for its ability to bring light (dipani) or fire – it enlivens not only the spiritual light of consciousness (sattwa) but it also ignites the flames of digestion and transformation in the body sharpening metabolism. In addition, it is also good for the liver because it stimulates the bhutagnis - burners of the liver. But, and here is another wonderful property: it also helps the mind by nourishing the medhagnis - knowledge-processing ability of the brain.
The bitter taste (tikta rasa) of tulsi is also an important factor in killing bacteria, by making it difficult for them to thrive. For this reason, tulsi has been used to boost the immune system and fight colds for centuries. The combination of being bactericidal, increasing agni (digestion) and a satwic plant makes this an ideal herb for strengthening immunity. It is also helpful to use when there is high kapha/ high ama.
Caution for Using Tulsi
But because tulsi has ushna virya (heating thermogenic factor) and katuka rasa (pungent taste) and dipani prabhava (the special quality of increasing the digestive and other flames, or agnis, in the body), anyone who has a high pitta constitution this can cause burning or other pitta related problems, so it must be used in moderation. In fact, Bhava Prakash warns that tulsi is dahapittakrit – increases pitta and may aggravate burning in the body. Tulsi should be used in moderation, according to the specific state of balance of the person in order to avoid this problem or you can use the alternative transdermal or transmucosal delivery methods made by Vaidya Mishra specifically for this reason (see below). 
Tulsi should never be used during pregnancy to avoid a miscarriage, unless it is used under the doctor’s supervision. Bitter properties in herbs may cause miscarriage.

Tulsi Is Heating
When you take the physical herb (such as in tablet form) you get the most potent dose of the physical properties. When the herb is infused in water, the physical properties are diluted and become moderate. When you take it in Herbal Memory Nectar form or Transdermal Cream form, the physical properties are almost absent (only the vibrational qualities remain, so you still get the ultimate effect but are able to bypass the side-effects. 
Tulsi, in tablet form, can be a powerful herb to increase immunity (bhutaghni), to supply more prana to the heart (hridya), to decrease kapha and vata (kaphavatajit) and to simulate digestion (dipani). However, the heating quality of tulsi is also strongest in tablet form.

Tulsi in Different Delivery Methods
  • Contains only the subtlest essence of tulsi (the herbal memory).
  • Bypasses the liver, which may be in poor shape due to modern lifestyle, and delivers the prabhavas (special qualities) of tulsi directly to the tissues. If the liver is full of toxins, the divine quality of tulsi will be destroyed when it passes through the liver. This is not the case with this herbal memory nectar, which does not go through the liver.
  • Travels quickly, without delay of digestion and begins acting right away.
  • Should be added to 1 to 2 liters of cool, neutral pH spring water and sipped throughout the day.

  • Is a great way to use tulsi even if the liver is compromised
  • Bypasses the liver and delivers tulsi directly to the cellular systems through the skin- transdermally.
  • Is great to use before meditation.
  • Does not heat the body the way tulsi usually does.

Tribindu is a classical formula that Vaidya augmented by adding Tulsi for extra potency. You can spray it on a cotton scarf to inhale, or in the room with a diffuser to get all the protective and cleansing benefits of its ingredients: Tulsi, Camphor, Ajwain, and Mint. Easy to use and carry everywhere you go, you will not be able to be without it.
  • Contains the full power of tulsi.
  • Can aggravate pitta and cause excess heat in the body.
  • The liver must be relatively free of toxins if the divine nature of the herb is to ever reach the cells of the body.
  • The seeds of tulsi are used in certain cases instead of the leaves, according to the specific instructions of your Shaka Vansya Ayurveda practitioner.
  • Can aggravate pitta and cause burning in the body, especially if you already have high pitta.
  • The liver must not have a lot of toxins which can damage the divine quality of tulsi before it reaches the rest of the body.
  • Contains the full power of tulsi in tablet form.
  • Requires that the liver be fairly healthy. If toxins are present, the divine nature of tulsi will be damaged and the effectiveness of the herb will be compromised.
  • Can heat the body and aggravate pitta.
  • Contains tulsi with the balancing effect of five other herbs.
  • Get all the benefits of Tulsi without aggravating pitta
  • Delicious and balancing and strenghtening for all doshas

… love is in the air …
Join Brenda, virtually, as she shares knowledge of Love and Prana from the ancient text on Ayurveda, The Charak Samhita, and from the ancient lineage of SVAyurveda. She will teach techniques for maintaining unconditional love, with quick everyday tips. 
Brenda is a devoted student and practitioner of Yoga and Ayurveda, committed to living a healthy lifestyle including eating natural and organic foods, prepared fresh on a daily basis. Brenda follows daily and seasonal protocol according to SVAyurveda. 
All are welcome. No knowledge of Ayurveda, the holistic healing system with historical roots in the Indian subcontinent, is necessary.

Santa Barbara

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