Scientific Name:Ocimum tenuiflorum
About this Herb:Tulsi is native to India, where it often graces shrines and homes as an aromatic perennial shrub. Tulsi is grown as an annual herb in temperate climates. The Tulsi plant is pleasing to the eye, with an upright, open and branching form. The fragrance of the leaves is also quite attractive-spicy and complex, often resembling clove. The taste is excellent, especially when the dried leaves are brewed into tea. The flowers of purple or blue occur on multiple upright racemes.
Common Names:Thai Holy Basil, Kraphao, Holy Basil, Tulasi, Divine Basil, Sacred Basil
Uses:Tulsi has been used for thousands of years for its diverse healing properties. It is considered to be an adaptogen, balancing different processes in the body, and helpful for adapting to stress. Marked by its strong aroma and astringent taste, it is regarded by some as a kind of "elixir of life" and believed to promote longevity. Tulsi extracts are used in remedies for common colds, headaches, stomach disorders, inflammation, heart disease, various forms of poisoning, and malaria. Essential oil extracted from Karpoora tulsi is mostly used for medicinal purposes and in herbal cosmetics, and is widely used in skin preparations due to its antibacterial activity. For centuries, the dried leaves have been mixed with stored grains to repel insects. Used on a regular basis as tea or tincture, Tulsi is likely to prove prophyllactic against the negative effects of environmental toxins, including cancer. The plant is also richly endowed with bioavailable antioxidants, vitamins A and C, and calcium.
Applications:Tea: Steep leaves in boiling water for 2 to 5 minutes. You may add honey, sugar or milk as desired. Drink at least one cup per day. Is also good iced.
Tincture: Soak leaves and freshly washed roots in drinking alcohol for at least 24 hours. Drink ¼ cup per day.