According to Hindu scripture, Tulasi plant was a woman
named Vrinda. She was daughter of a demon named Kalanemi.
She was married to demon king Jalandhara, who due to
her piety and devotion to Vishnu,became invincible.
Even Lord Shiva could not defeat Jalandhara. So He
requested Lord Vishnu to find a solution. Lord Vishnu
disguised Himself as Jalandhar and tricked Vrinda.
Her chastity was destroyed and Jalandhar lost his
power.He was killed by Lord Shiva.Vrinda cursed
Vishnu to become stone (Saaligraama) and to be
would be seperated from His wife Lakshmi. This was
later fulfilled when He was transformed into Saaligrama
stone and in His Rama avatar was seperated from
His wife Seetha who was kidnapped by the demon
king Ravana. Vrinda drowned herself in the ocean
and Lord Vishnu transformed her soul into a plant
which was henceforth called Tulasi,
As per blessings by Lord Vishnu to marry Vrinda
in her next birth, Lord Vishnu in the form of saaligrama
married Tulasi on Prabodhini Ekadashi. To commemorate
this event the ceremony of Tulasi Vivah is performed.
The legend behind Tulasi vivaah(marriage) and its
rites are told in scripture ”Padma Purana”
Another legend narrates that Goddess Lakshmi was born
as daughter of Dharmadhwaja and Madhavi.Her parents
named her Tulasi. She was beautiful and grew up to be virtuous.
She made penance in Badarikaashram and begged
Lord Brahma to bless her to be the wife of Lord Vishnu.
Lord Brahma said,”you will become wife of Lord Vishnu
but in the form of plant instead of female form.”
When she married Lord Vishnu, He told her, ”you leave
this body and stay with me in spirit. Let your body become
a river,named Gandaki. I will become Saaligrama stone and
will reside in Gandaki river.Let your hair grow into a plant
and become famous as Tulasi and be worshipped by people.
I love a garland of Tulasi petals.” Tulasi’s body became river
Gandaki and Lord Vishnu became Saaligrama stone and
was residing in it.Tulasi plant was born from the hair of
Tulasi and became sacred.
According to another legend, at the end of churning
Dhanvantari rose from the ocean with Amrita( the elixir
of immortality). Lord Vishnu procured it for the gods,
when the demons tried to steal it.Lord Vishnu shed happy
tears, the first of which fell in Amrita and formed the Tulasi.
Basil is a good source of vitamin C, calcium, magnesium
potassium and iron.
Basil is used for stomach spasms, loss of appetite,
intestinal gas, kidney conditions, fluid retention, head colds,
warts and worm infections.
Basil is also used to treat snake and insects bite.
Women sometimes use basil before and after childbirth
to promote blood circulation and also to start the flow of
breast milk.Basil leaves relieve ear infection and help
level blood sugar if consumed as a juice or tea.