Tulsi - More Than Just a Tasty Tea

If you have visited me at the medicinal herbs garden, I have likely "encouraged" you to taste and compare the two different types of tulsi that are growing there. If you've asked me about herbs for making a tasty tea, hot or iced, I've likely steered you toward including tulsi in the blend. If you've asked me about herbs for lifting your mood, supporting your immune system, or calming anxiety, I've likely introduced you to tulsi.


Also known as Holy Basil, Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum) is called the "Queen of Herbs" and is considered a sacred plant to Hindus, cultivated in Hindu homes and around their temples. Tulsi is native to India and can be found growing in and around Hindu homes and temples there as well as throughout southeast Asia. Where it grows as a perennial, it can be considered an invasive weed!


Tulsi has been a preeminent herb in the Ayurvedic tradition for thousands of years, to support the body's safe and healthy response to physical, emotional, and environmental stress (yep, an adaptogen). According to the Organic India website, it was "chosen for its broad-spectrum health-supporting properties" and "because it works synergistically with other Ayurvedic adaptogenic herbs such as Turmeric and Ashwagandha". It's worth checking out!


So, why my focus on tulsi now? I've been a bit obsessed with researching herbs that other countries are using to deal with COVID-19 and its new variants, focusing on areas that don't have enough vaccinations available to slow its spread and the majority of their population has historically (and currently) relied heavily on botanical/folk remedies. Tulsi has surfaced several times in different geogr