Tulasi.

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.

Source:Collection.

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