Tulsi is the sacred plant of the Indian tradition. Suffice it to say that the god Vishnu, one of the main deities of Hinduism and part of the trimurti, is depicted with a necklace of tulsi leaves and wood. And given the important properties of tulsi, this plant should have the same consideration even today. In fact, tulsi is an antioxidant, helps regulate blood pressure, blood sugar and lipids circulating in the blood, supports memory and cognitive function, is anxiolytic and antidepressant and, from today, we also know that it protects the brain from neurodegeneration such as Alzheimer's. This emerges, in fact, from a very recent scientific research published in the Journal of Chemical Neuroanatomy thanks to the work of an Indonesian and Germanic team (Mataram et al, J Chem Neuroanat, 2021).
How tulsi fights Alzheimer's, the study
The study was carried out on animals in the presence of neurodegeneration. Extracts of tulsi, or Ocinum sanctum, were given to a group of mice. The other mice were used as controls. Well, what emerged was that the mice that had taken tulsi had a greater number of neurons in the hippocampus area, which is the first area affected by Alzheimer's disease, compared to the control group. In fact, tulsi was able to preserve neuronal density, counteracting the death of these cells. Not only that, following treatment with tulsi, the scientists also observed an increase in neuropeptide Y, which is a neurotransmitter of the central nervous system with a neuroprotective action and useful in countering neuroinflammations. Diseases such as Alzheimer's, on the other hand, cause a reduction in neuropeptide Y. Therefore, research has been able not only to observe the beneficial effect of tulsi in the brain but also to understand its mechanism of action, increasing this neurotransmitter and thus counteracting neuronal death.
Tulsi therefore presents itself as a powerful remedy to protect our health, both to fight the aging processes and inflammation and to protect our neurons. You can find tulsi in the form of a dried plant for the preparation of herbal teas. It takes ten minutes to infuse in boiling water and the herbal tea is ready. You can enrich it with pieces of fresh ginger, orange peel, cardamom berries and pink pepper that will give it a special aroma and properties useful to fight free radicals, inflammation and even poor digestion.