India and our wealth of healing herbs has attracted global interest since time immemorial. One such herb is Tulsi or the holy basil. People often plant tulsi in their backyard and balconies, and make use of the leaves in a number of ways. Tulsi is used extensively in Ayurveda for managing a variety of conditions. From warding off common ailments, strengthening immunity, to treating various hair and skin disorders – just a few leaves of Tulsi could prove to be an effective remedy for a bevy of ailments. According to Dr Ashutosh Gautam, Clinical Operations and Coordination Manager at Baidyanath, “The essential oils found in tulsi, effectively act on our respiratory system”. It is rich in antioxidants which help in mitigating stress, calm your nerves and manage conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure. “Tulsi has linoleic acid which is extremely beneficial for skin,” adds Dr. Gautam. Additionally, Tulsi leaves could also help boost your weight loss plans. Yes, you heard us. “5-6 tulsi leaves in the morning detoxify the body and increase metabolism,” writes Dr. Shikha Sharma in her book “101 Weight Loss Tips”. Many people do not like to chew tulsi leaves in India, in which case you can swallow them. Or have tulsi water or tea. You do not need to do much. Get hold of some tulsi leaves, put them in a tumbler of water overnight. Drink it first thing in the morning. You can also choose to start your day with Tulsi tea. Steep Tulsi leaves, and some freshly chopped ginger in boiling water and start your day with this rejuvenating drink. Here’s why the consuming tulsi leaves early in the morning may help weight loss: • Metabolism: Tulsi leaves can fasten your metabolism. Your body’s metabolic rate determines a lot of the calories you burn in a day. Tulsi leaves are known to boost metabolism. If you have a fast metabolism you are able to burn calories faster. • Detox: Tulsi leaves or Tulsi tea serve as great natural detox. The herb purifies and cleanses your body of all toxins. Detox has been linked to weight loss too. Cleansing your body from previous day’s toxins is the best start you can give your day • Digestion: According to Ayurveda, Tulsi teamed with ginger may do wonders for your digestive system. A smooth and clean digestive system is key for weight loss. Poor digestion can lead to weight gain, as we are not able to absorb and assimilate our nutrients properly. The process of waste elimination can also take a severe toll. This may lead to slowing down of the metabolic rate, which makes it more difficult to burn calories properly. Dr. Shikha writes in her book, that rwo teaspoons of tulsi juice(15-20 tulsi leaves) on an empty stomach in the morning may help in relieving constipation too! So what are you waiting for? Get a bunch of Tulsi leaves and make them part of your weight loss plans already.