Tulsi tree or Tulsi plant is also known as “holy basil” because of its beneficial and medicinal properties. This plant is deeply revered in many parts of the world, and especially in the Indian subcontinent, it is considered a very sacred plant. Tulsi tree is also used in many ceremonies and offerings related to Indian deities.
Tulsi tree has been used for many centuries for the benefit of mankind, this is the reason this holy basil is also called the “elixir of life”. The word Tulsi means the “incomparable plant”, which is quite apt for its description because this plant has so much to offer, that it is hard to compare it with any other plant.
In Indian tradition, it is believed that this holy basil tree keeps the evil spirits and the negative spirits away. It is also associated with Goddess Lakshmi, and it is also believed that this sacred tree brings good luck and prosperity in the house. This is the reason that most of the Indians plant tulsi tree in their house and worship it daily.
Tulsi Tree Basic Description
Tulsi tree belongs to the family “Lamiaceae” and the genus “Ocimum”. Lamiaceae is also known as the mint family which has over three thousand species of herbs, shrubs and trees. The tulsi tree is a small size herb or sub-shrub which can get as high as 1 meter. It has multiple branches and a distinctive pleasant aromatic odor.
The leaves of the tulsi tree are elliptic to elliptic-oblong in shape, and they are about 3 to 6 cm in length and 1 to 3 cm in width. These leaves generally have entire or serrate margins; they are cuneate at the base, and obtuse to acute at the apex. The petioles are also quite small with an average length of about 1.5 cm.
The flowers of Tulsi tree are quite small, and they are dark green or purplish in color. They generally grow in small compact clusters on the cylindrical spikes of the plant, and they do not have any stalk. The flowers are very small in size and they are generally about 5 mm long, the fruits are also small and the seeds are dark in color.
Ocimum tenuiflorum is considered to be native to the Indian subcontinent, and it is found in abundance in the Himalayas, Malaysia, and other tropical and subtropical parts of Asia. Although it is now widely cultivated in various places all around the world for its beneficial, herbal, and medicinal properties.
Benefits Of Tulsi – Holy Basil Tree
1. Tulsi or holy basil is one of the most used and prescribed adaptogen herbs. Adaptogens are the herbs that can help and assist your body to regulate your stress. They work according to the requirement of your body and they do not let your stress response to get too high or too low. Thus, they keep the stress levels in check.
2. Tulsi is also very beneficial for the health of your heart; it can protect you from many heart issues. Its effectiveness in keeping the heart healthy has been concluded through many studies.
3. Tulsi leave essential oil has shown its effectiveness in lowering cholesterol levels in the blood. It also has amazing antioxidant properties and its regular use has shown great benefits for many people.
4. Tulsa has antibacterial and antiviral properties which make it very effective for protecting the body against the effects of the seasonal changes, viral fevers, cough and cold.
5. Holy basil leaves contain many essential nutrients including Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Iron, and it contains fibers too. It is a great aid for your digestion and overall well being.
6. Tulsi is an excellent remedy for regulating the blood sugar levels in your body, daily consumption of tulsi water also helps in facilitating the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats in the body.
7. Consuming tulsi water daily improves bowel movements and it also keeps away the acid refluxes and other gastric issues like acidity and constipation.
8. Holy basil is a great remedy to detoxify your body, it helps the body flush out harmful toxins and maintain optimum hydration.
How To Grow Tulsi tree – Holy Basil Tree
Tulsi tree can be easily propagated from its seeds. If you want to grow tulsi at your home you can buy fresh seeds from a nursery or garden, or else you can harvest seeds from a mature tulsi plant. For that you have to scrap some of the dry seed pods from the plant, you can grow tulsi plant from seeds throughout the year but the best time for growing tulsi tree is the monsoon season.
Rub the dry seed pods with each other gently on your palm to separate the tiny black seeds. Tulsi tree or Holy Basil tree grows quite well in loamy and fertile soil with good drainage. So for the soil mix, you can take 60% organic compost and garden soil, and 40% fine sand or river sand, and mix them well to make the soil mix.
Now take a small pot with drainage holes at the bottom to start the germination process. Fill the pot with the potting mix that you have just prepared and make it moist by spraying some water on it. Now sprinkle the seeds on the surface of the moist potting mix and then again cover the seeds with a fine layer of the same potting mix.
Now pat this top layer of soil mix gently to let the seeds hold their position in the soil. Now again spray some water on this layer of the soil, make sure you only spray gently, the top layer should not get displaced while watering. You can additionally cover the pot with plastic sheet or a polythene for better germination result, as this helps to seal the moisture.
The good thing with sealing is that you would not be required to water regularly, you should keep the pot in a bright and moist area away from direct sunlight during the germination phase. After a period of around one week, you will notice beautiful bright green shoots emerging out of the soil. Water them lightly to maintain the moisture.
After a period of about two weeks, the new shoots and leaves will grow to a length of around 1 inch. And after a period of one and a half months, these beautiful and medicinal herbs will grow to 5 to 7 inches in length. At this time you can transplant these plants individually to their permanent abode with the help of a gardening tool.
Holy Basil Tea – Tulsi Tea
Tulsi tea is a great refreshing herbal tea that will provide you multiple benefits. This tea will help to reduce stress levels in your body and it will also remove anxiety. It is quite an easy task to make this tasty and beneficial beverage.
Although there are many ready to make tulsi tea options available in the market, making fresh herbal tea with fresh leaves has its own benefits. Let us have a look at this process with a few simple points.
1. Take a saucepan and add one and a half cups of freshwater into it, switch on the flame and let the water heat for a minute or two.
2. Now add five to six fresh tulsi leaves and cover the pan with a cover, and let the water boil for some time.
3. You can add sugar and a few mint leaves for taste, let the water boil on a low flame for about 8 to 10 minutes. This will let the water imbibe the virtues of the holy basil leaves.
4. After the water gets boiled properly switch off the flame and strain it into a cup, if you do not like sugar and have not added it, you can add some honey for taste.
5. Now your tulsi tea is ready for consumption, for best you should drink this tea on an empty stomach in the morning.
Benefits of Holy Basil Tea – Tulsi Tea
1. Tulsi tea has the true essence of the tulsi leaves, which have the ability to maintain proper blood glucose levels in the body; as such it is very helpful if taken regularly.
2. Tulsi is also known for giving relief in fever and curing respiratory disorders; it is a natural remedy for asthma as it relieves chest congestion and allows the person to breathe easily.
3. Holy basil tea helps in curing many skin disorders; it naturally purifies the blood, so having a warm cup of Tulsi tea in the morning is a great way of having good and healthy skin.
4. Holy basil tea is a very good source of vitamin K, a regular cup of fresh tulsi tea can provide you your daily dose of vitamin K, and thus prevents vitamin K deficiency.
5. Tulsi leaves have a very refreshing and aromatic fragrance, as such holy basil tea can serve as a good source of mouth freshener, and it also helps in maintaining dental hygiene.
6. Holy basil tea is also a great way to defy age, as it is rich in antioxidants, it also boosts metabolism and thus helps in a healthy weight loss for people with weight issues.
Availability of Holy Basil Online
There are three main varieties of Tulsi tree – Rama Tulsi, Krishna Tulsi, and Vana Tulsi. All these varieties are used for making herbal and medicinal supplements. These supplements are already very famous and they are getting more and more popular as people are moving forward towards a healthy herbal way of life.
In addition to these supplements, tulsi tree leaves are also sold in the form of dried loose leaves, powder of the dried leaves, and in the form of tea for ready usage.