Traditions in any country established over a long period of time require careful study. Discarding traditions by merely ignoring it is not the best way to move forward.
In India a plant named TULSI or Ocimum sanctum or Holy basil is revered by traditional women as divine deity which will protect her household and husband. Its presence is common almost every household in Northern India. However what is not remembered that it is an important herb which can easily treat common day ailments and if consumed regularly over a long period of time may induce immunity and acts as anti-oxidant. Since this plant is a weed like, it requires nothing except little sun and lots of water.
It is unfortunate that we are losing this tradition of keeping such herbal/medicinal plant in homes which is readily available for treatment of common cough and cold at the change of weather. It is particularly effective in cold if combined with mint leaves and in cough if combined with ginger. It can be applied to forehead either whole leaves or paste, to relieve headache.
There is a post advocating its various benefits and selling dried Tulsi tea leaves. I do not sponsor these sites but we may read it for other information: http://hinduism.about.com/od/ayurveda/a/tulsibenefits.htm and http://ayurveda-foryou.com/ayurveda_herb/tulsi.html. I am certain that green leaves are always more effective than dried/treated leaves.
Above is the picture of Tulsi (Holy Basil) leaves. A young plant with young leaves, is yet to bloom. After blooming its leaves would start to remain curved at the edges. This plant grows rather easily from seeds.
© Sandeep Bhalla.