One of the most time honored and sacred plant medicines, the adaptogenic Tulsi herb, or holy basil, wins the hearts of the world over with uses in Ayurveda and beyond.
Tulsi, also known as holy basil, has been used for over 5,000 years in Ayurvedic practice, being relied upon for both spiritual practice and balanced wellness. It is perhaps the embodiment of plant-spirit medicine, being both a historically medicinal herbal ally and a deeply spiritual plant companion in many homes in India and in Hindu culture. In the beliefs of Ayurveda, tulsi is one of the very special herbs that can influence and align mind, body, and is still used this way today with a wide and dedicated following.
The Tulsi plant today is used medicinally as an adaptogenic herb – a building, strengthening and nourishing plant tonic that helps those most in need of stress support long term. As many can relate, stress can come from a variety of factors, and prolonged stress not only impacts our physical health, but our emotional health and even spiritual health can suffer because of prolonged exposure to stress. Tulsi is one of my absolute favorite herbs for those who have felt stress seep deeply into their psyche. They may be feeling spiritually murky, despondent, or emotionally hopeless, or physically debilitated from exposure to stress. Tulsi is strong and rejuvenating enough to support this kind of deeply heavy and saturating stress, and resonates on each of those healing levels to build one back up from a feeling of stressful debilitation.
There are many varieties of Tulsi, one of the most common being Ocimum tenuiflorum, but you may also find O. sanctum, and O. gratissimum, used in tulsi products. Each has a similar therapeutic undertone with slightly different uses historically.
Benefits of Tulsi
The Many Ways to Enjoy Tulsi:
Tulsi is traditionally consumed as a tea, and I still prefer this method above all others when enjoying tulsi. It has a beautifully aromatic aroma, and when imbibing in a warm cup of tulsi tea it practically feels like you’re drinking a hug in a cup. Numi’s Gratitude Teasan is a decadent blend using organic tulsi along with other adaptogenic herbs, and is the perfect blend to introduce yourself to the therapeutic magic of Tulsi.
You can also use fresh leaves of tulsi as a garnish, or consume it in powder or capsule from from your local health store. If you’d like to expand your sensory experience with tulsi one step further, consider planting a tulsi plant in your home or garden and make it part of your sacred healing space.