What is Tulsi?
Have you heard of Tulsi? This little-known herb is slowly gaining in popularity but in India, where it is commonly grown, it’s revered as a sacred herb with many benefits, including working wonders on relieving stress.
It’s considered the holiest of plants by Hindus and is used in Ayurvedic medicine and treatment. Tulsi is known by not one, two or three but by more than four other names – all of them hinting at its ‘wonder properties’. You may find Tulsi referred to as Holy Basil, as Mother Medicine of Nature, The Queen of Herbs or The Incomparable One.
Native to India and Africa, Tulsi, or Ocimum tenuiflorum, is an aromatic perennial plant part of the Lamiaceae family. There’s said to be 108 varieties of Tulsi. Each variety of Tulsi has a slightly different look, taste and smell and when combined, create a perfectly balanced herbal infusion with an array of health benefits.
What’s the difference between Tulsi and Basil?
Although Tulsi and Basil share similar aromatic qualities, they’re actually two different plants (Ocimum tenuiflorum and Ocimum basilicum). While basil is commonly used to zest up cuisine, Tulsi leaves are typically used for health solutions.
Why “the Queen of Herbs”?
Tulsi has a strong feminine plant essence and is considered “The Queen of the Herbs” for her restorative and spiritual properties. Also spelled Tulasi or Thulasi, Tulsi has traditionally been used to support a healthy response to stress, natural detoxification, and restore balance and harmony.
As Tulsi travelled west along the early trade routes from the Orient to Europe, it became known to the Christians as “sacred” or “holy” basil as is reflected in its Latin botanical name, Ocimum sanctum. They hailed Holy Basil as “The King of Herbs” instead of as a queen, and Holy Basil became routinely included in legends, offerings and worship rituals and was looked on by many as a gift of Christ.
The Queen and her History
For more than 5,000 years, Tulsi has been worshipped in India for her sacred and restorative power. Hindus view her as a goddess (a manifestation of Lakshmi) in the form of a plant bestowed with great spiritual powers. According to legend, no amount of gold could outweigh Krishna’s power, but a single Tulsi leaf placed on the pan in loving devotion tilted that scale.
In India today, it is still traditionally grown in an earthenware pot in every family home or garden and the leaves are used to make a delicious and refreshing tea.
Ancient Herbs for Modern Life
Modern research has classified Tulsi Holy Basil as an adaptogenic herb. This means Tulsi is literally on a mission to bring the body to homeostasis, or balance. Adaptogens have been shown to support the body’s healthy reactions to stress.
Adaptogenic herbs have been used in the Ayurvedic tradition for thousands of years to promote and maintain wellness. Many adaptogenic herbs have been referred to by herbalists as rejuvenative herbs, qi tonic herbs, rasayanas or restorative herbs. They help the body adapt to environmental, physical and emotional stressors, support normal functions and restore balance.
High cortisone levels and stress are interlinked, so finding a way to decrease cortisone is one way to combat stress. Drinking Tulsi tea, a brew made of the green leaves of the Ocimum Tenuiflorum plant, can lower cortisone levels, restoring a feeling of calm. Furthermore, a 2014 study in The Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine, shows consuming Tulsi has a positive effect on physical, chemical, metabolic and psychological stress. The report states:
Tulsi has been found to protect organs and tissues against chemical stress from industrial pollutants and heavy metals, and physical stress from prolonged physical exertion, ischemia, physical restraint and exposure to cold and excessive noise. Tulsi has also been shown to counter metabolic stress through normalization of blood glucose, blood pressure and lipid levels, and psychological stress through positive effects on memory and cognitive function and through its anxiolytic and anti-depressant properties.
In India, Tulsi has traditionally been celebrated for its therapeutic effects on the body, mind and spirit. You’ll find Tulsi given the place of honour directly in front of temples and homes, and it’s widely known as the number one remedy for a range of ailments. Grandmothers will reach for some leaves at the first telling signs for a soothing cup of tea, as Tulsi has been known in Ayurveda for being an effective remedy for fever, coughs and colds.
ORGANIC INDIA’s Tulsi
Always sacred, always organic, always cherished, Tulsi is the foundation of our company. Our Tulsi infusions are created with the intention of preserving and protecting the herb and serving it to you in a form that is as nature intended.
We use the 3 varieties with the most potent in adaptogenic quality, rich in antioxidants and immune stimulating.
- Rama Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum)
- Vana Tulsi (Ocimum gratissimum)
- Krishna Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum)
At ORGANIC INDIA, we operate from a place of interconnectedness and oneness, working to be of service to our community and raise the collective vibration of the planet. The essence of our brand is to be a vehicle of consciousness, and we let our hearts lead the way. From field to tea cup, our infusions empower Indian farmers, promotes sustainability and inspires health and wellness to anyone who drinks it.
Our infusions are not only delicious and organic, they are nature’s perfect rejuvenative. Tulsi aims to balance and restore the mind, body, and spirit. By choosing ORGANIC INDIA, you are investing in mother nature and a heart centred company set to prove that business and values can peacefully coexist.