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Tulsi / Holy Basil

Botanical Name: Ocimum sanctum

Parts used medicinally: Leaves

Tulsi is considered one of the most sacred plants in India and is highly revered in Ayurvedic medicine. Its adaptogenic properties are utilised by many herbalist today as a protective remedy against the negative effects of stress.

The tulsi plant is an ancient native of India. Here it is considered to be a powerful and sacred plant, hence it’s other name Holy Basil, and for over 3000 years has been used in India for prayers, meditation and spiritual purity. In ayurvedic medicine it is categorised as a rasayana, a herb that nourishes a persons growth to perfect health and promotes long life.
 
Many herbalists today use tulsi as an adaptogen, a herb that aids in combating the negative side effects of stress. The fragrant shrub is particularly useful in cases where chronic stress has an adverse impact on focus and concentration. In cases like this it is often combined with other herbs that aid brain circulation such as rosemary, in order to bring about clarity of thought and ‘clear the fog’ of the mind.
 
It is also considered to be an excellent herb for the respiratory system. Herbal infusions are regularly consumed in conditions where there is a build up of mucus and inflammation in the airways, such as common colds, hay fever and asthma.

DID YOU KNOW?

  • Tulsi is in the mint family and is a close cousin of the culinary basil we so often use in our pestos!
  • In Sanskrit, the word Tulsi means ‘matchless one’ which almost certainly is reference to its prominent place in Hinduism.
  • Traditionally, all parts of the plant were made use of including the flowers, seeds and roots.

Tulsi & ME

  • If you’ve got the gift of green fingers, why not try growing holy basil? Just like culinary basil, it prefers hot sunny conditions and well-draining soil.
  • Try a tulsi infusion. Add 1 tsp of dried leaf to 1 cup of hot water, cover and let infuse for 10 minutes before straining and drinking.

If you are pregnant/breastfeeding or on drug medication, be sure to consult with a professional before trying these remedies.

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