No, not that one… I know what you’re thinking, especially as I write this from British Columbia. I’m talking about another prolific green, leafy plant, known for its stress relieving benefits. Tulsi, or holy basil (Latin name: Ocimum Sanctum), has been revered in India for over 5000 years as a purifying and healing plant and is taken in various forms, as a decoction, steeped in hot water, applied as a poultice to children’s cuts or scrapes and also as a natural remedy to bring down a fever. It’s claim to fame? It is a known adaptogen, minimizing your body’s stress response so you feel both less stressed as well as more energized. In Ayurveda, Tulsi is known as a rasayana, i.e. something with nourishing and health giving properties.
Why am I going off about Tulsi? Well, we’re in that transition time between spring and summer. Here in the northwest, the weather seems to continuously turn from warm to cold, dry to rainy. It’s as if the seasons cannot decide what to let go off and where to proceed. This in-between time is one where it’s common to experience colds and congestion, especially if you consume a lot of dairy in your diet. Tulsi, with its blood thinning properties i.e. improves circulation; and is also able to clear phlegm and congestion from your system. It could be a really good herb to include in your regimen right now. Plus it tastes good, well in my favorite way of taking Tulsi, as a tea.
I used to think it was quite grassy, but since tasting the most delicious tulsi chai ever at Yoga House, a lovely yoga studio in Mumbai, India I’m a convert. This morning, I had some Tulsi Tea with Ginger and it was a warm, soothing way to start my day. I should also mention that tulsi is a great caffeine free alternative for both a morning or an all-day beverage.
I love darjeeling tea with a bit of cardamom and ginger (hearkens to my Indian roots), but since having a little one, caffeine is something I must minimize. And let me tell you, it’s challenging, especially when your partner is having a love affair with his new at home espresso machine! 🙂 Ah well… A little bit of coffee is not a harmful thing, as long as (as a teacher of mine once said), “You drink the drink, and not let the drink drink you.”
Beverage for thought. 🙂
Ps. This post is not sponsored by Organic india, that is just the tea I have and it is probably the most well-known brand of organic tulsi tea available here. Plus, i like to talk about things i like :-).
Pss. to learn more about herbs and herbal medicine, check out this site.