We transplanted the Tulsi babies into the garden last week. We grow about one thousand plants of Tulsi in our garden each year, which makes Tulsi the biggest crop in the herb garden.
Although very known amongst yogis and herbalists, Tulsi is not known to the average person that I meet in the market. I sample the Tulsi tea iced frequently, so people get to know this wonderful plant. I also bring Tulsi plant so people can meet it in its living form.
Being part of the mint botanical family or Labiatae means that Tulsi has a square stem, and its leaves grow opposite to each other. Like all other mints, it is an aromatic herb that eludes the warmth that it contains. The leaves are broad and open, and their color is green with a tint of silver. Tulsi leaves contain lots of water. We get to harvest the Tulsi three times each season. Each harvest will yield about one hundred pounds of fresh Tulsi. But after drying and stripping the leaves from their stem, we will be left with about 10 pounds of dried tulsi tea. Tulsi keeps a balance between the water element and the fire element.
Tulsi was brought to the US from India, where it is considered to be a sacred plant. You can meet it sometimes under the name holy or holy basil. In Hinduism, Tulsi is regarded as an embodiment of the Goddess Lakshmi, the Goddess of abundance, fortune, and prosperity. She is the wife of Vishnu, the preserver and protector of abundance. A Hindu household is considered incomplete if it does not have a Tulsi plant planted in its garden. The homemaker creates a small temple to Lakshmi nearby the Tulsi plant and burns incense around it twice a day.
In the Ayurvedic tradition, Tulsi was used for over 3000 years. The name Ayurveda was given to the ancient healing tradition of India. Ayurveda translates to “wisdom of life” and is an attempt to bring about the union of physical, emotional, and spiritual health – a state of harmony with the universe. The daily use of the herb is believed to help maintain the balance of the body’s chakras. It is acclaimed as possessing Sattva or purity and as capable of bringing on goodness, virtue, and joy to humans.
Tulsi is considered an excellent noninflammatory herb for the cardiovascular system, improves blood circulation, is a powerful antioxidant, and balances blood sugar.
Herbalist David Winston uses Tulsi for “stagnant depression,” a type of depression that follows a traumatic event after which the person feels that his life is stuck and revolves around the trauma.
Interns that worked in the garden alongside the Tulsi plant told me that they felt emotional after spending a couple of hours near the plant.
One of my clients who drank Tulsi tea every evening before bed told me that he started having a vivid dreams experience.
Tulsi is an adaptogenic herb. Adaptogens were defined during the late 50th as herbs that allow the body to adapt to adverse physical, chemical, or biological stress. When the body experiences stress, physical, emotional, or environmental, it releases cortisol into the bloodstream. Cortisol activates the body’s “fight or flight” mechanism. While this process is critical to the body’s survival in an acute situation, if stress becomes an ongoing condition, it depletes the body, weakens the immune system, and speeds up the aging process. Tulsi was found to reduce stress hormones in the blood.
Tulsi also has an immunomodulating activity. This means it will enhance the immune system if the body needs it, but it will also suppress it if it is overstimulated.
Tulsi can remind us of the abundance we have in our lives. When we acknowledge the richness and fullness of life, stress levels decline, and we can face the challenges in our journey with courage, joy, and an open heart.
We love our Tulsi tea and Tulsi-infused honey. Lion’s heart tea is our tea blend that aims to promote courage, joy, and love. It brings Tulsi together with other herbs known to open the heart and uplift the spirit, like Lemon Balm, Rose, Chrysanthemum Morifolium, Hawthorne flowers and leaves, and Motherwort.
Open your heart and let Tulsi give you the gift of abundance,
In the Herbal Shoppe you can find Tulsi Tea, Lion’s Heart Tea, and Tulsi Infused in Honey.