Sunday, 30 July 2017

Gift a Tulsi plant: Live in harmony with nature

Gift a Tulsi plant: Live in harmony with nature Plants and trees are vital to life and are an integral part of our environment. They provide oxygen, conserve water, improve air quality, reduce noise pollution and help control climate, to name a few. Nature is not called ‘Mother Nature’ for nothing. Nature is life-giving; it nurtures. Nature provides us with food, water and medicines. And, we need to look after it and live in harmony with it. The green cover in the country is fast disappearing in the name of development. Ongoing construction activities clear land and forests of trees. Deforestation is a major contributor to climate change, which directly affects five components of the environment: water, air, weather, oceans, and ecosystems and adversely affects human health. Hence, the disturbed ecological balance needs to be restored. One way to do this is by planting more trees. Another way to create awareness about preserve and protect our environment is by gifting plants. Choose medicinal plants such as Tulsi. We often hear of tree plantation drives in the country. So why not a campaign to gift a tulsi plant? Tulsi is a plant, which is common to most households. There is a saying in Sanskrit: “Tulanaa naasti athaiva tulsi” meaning that which is incomparable in its qualities is the tulsi. It has both spiritual and health significance. The health benefits of Tulsi are known to all since ancient times. It has a multitude of beneficial actions in the body such as antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-pyretic, anti-allergic, immunomodulatory, diaphoretic, adaptogenic, anti-stress, neuro-protective, cardio-protective, anti-diabetic, anti-hypercholesterolemia, anti-hypertensive, anti-carcinogenic, chemopreventive, radioprotective, to name a few. Gifting plants is environment-friendly. It is a gift for many occasions, be it housewarming, birthdays, weddings, etc. You can also give plant saplings as a return gift for birthdays of your children. This is one way by which you can instill in them the need to look after the environment right from an early age. Gift potted plants instead of gifting flower bouquets or other gifts. Choose Tulsi plant or any other medicinal plant such as Stevia. These are long-lasting gifts. To control the alarming increases in non-communicable diseases, it is important to change our lifestyle and live in harmony with nature by protecting the environment. The proximity with nature helps in the inward spiritual journey and shifts one from the sympathetic (disturbed) to parasympathetic (relaxed) mode described by lowering of blood pressure and pulse rate and rise in skin resistance. A balance between the sympathetic and the parasympathetic modes is required for optimum health and well-being. Dr KK Aggarwal National President IMA & HCFI

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