New Delhi: Worshipping Tulsi (basil) plant is a part of India's ancient tradition. Tulsi is not just a plant but is considered to be a boon for humanity because of its therapeutic effect. In Ayurveda, Tulsi has been called a medicine whose regular use can keep human beings happy and calm. No worship of Lord Vishnu is considered complete without Tulsi, who is also regarded as mother or a deity.
Tulsi Pujan Day is celebrated every year on December 25. On this day, people worship this holy plant in the morning while putting Kumkum followed by an aarti and offering of water. During Tulsi Pujan, you are supposed to recite mantras dedicated to the holy plant, and then you should do a parikrama (revolve around the plant) of 7, 11, 21 or 111 times as per your convenience.
After Tulsi Pujan, you should put basil leaves in prasad and distribute it among your family members and dear ones.
As Tulsi is considered to be a deity, she has eight names, including 1-Vrinda, 2-Vrindavani, 3-Vishvapavani, 4-Vishvapujita, 5-Pushpasara, 6-Nandini, 7-Tulsi and 8-Krishnajivani. It is believed that those who worship Tulsi reciting her 8 names would get the fruit (punya or phala) of Ashwamedha Yagya.
Tulsi is not only worshiped but its planting in every house on this day is considered very auspicious. Vedanta Seva Samiti and Mahila Utthan Mandal are known for starting the 'Ghar-Ghar Tulsi Lagao Abhiyan'.
According to the Defence Research and Development Organization, Tulsi has anti-oxidant properties and also help in recuperating the cells damaged by molecular radiation.
Tulsi is very useful in the treatment of infectious diseases like TB and Malaria. It has also been proven to be effective in treating skin disorders, itching, and ringworms. It also helps in relieving from fever, sore throat, headache, flu, cold cough and chest congestion.