Monday, January 17, 2011

Tulsi: Holy Basil

Our plant behind the house in Chidambaram

Dried Leaves for Tea

Many have heard of this wonder plant, sacred and useful, Tulsi: Ocimum sanctum (Syn. O. t


There are many varieties of Tulsi - a variety of basil, whose Genus itself has 40 odd varieties. The most common cultivars are Krishna, Vana and Rama and some say that it has been used for over 5000 years in India.

This plant is easy to grow in a warm climate. It is a perennial that reseeds itself in hot climates and can be grown as a summer annual in more temperate areas such as the Bay Area.

The plant, which some say to be a reincarnation of Krishna is adored and adorns many Indian households, most giving the plant a special alter style pot and offering flowers and other such puja items to the plant as they would other religious icons.

Tulsi is used as a immune booster, to fight off coughs and colds, for relaxation and stress-relief and as a digestive-aid.

You can eat a few fresh leaves a day, or add them to your water for fragrance. Or, most commonly, you can dry the leaves and prepare a tea. You can also infuse the leaves into honey to use.


Meredith said...

I could use some of that! Will you be bringing it back with you?

plants people said...

You can actually get it at any Whole Foods or other natural food store. Look in the tea aisle - there's a brand called " Organic India" they have a few different varieties - plain tulsi, tulsi ginger, chai tulsi, etc...!!

Let me know what you think !

imagineur said...

ScarletSage ( and some of the other herb/organic stores have Holy Basil (Tulsi) in tincture & potted plant form (summer).

Nice article. Staved off the annual flu/cold this past week with Tulsi tea.