Tulsi, I just have to sing about it…

Posted on August 9, 2013. Filed under: Herb(s) of the Week | Tags: |

Ah yes, I’ve been enjoying me some fresh Tulsi tea a whole lot lately and it’s been something to sing about.

Tulsi Flower

Tulsi Flower (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tulsi, aka Holy Basil, (Ocimum sanctum/Ocimum tenuiflorum)  Family:  Lamiaceae

I have to say the time I’ve spent with Tulsi has been eye opening.   Sometimes you can know about a plant but haven’t quite discovered its real magic yet.    Like the difference between knowledge and the beginning of true wisdom.

Typical Information

Here are some of the bits of Tulsi information….

In typical  herby speak it is considered to be: diaphoretic, febrifuge, nervine, antispasmodic, antibacterial,  analgesic, adaptogenic and antioxidant

Toning down the polysyllabic addiction problem some herbalists have you can think of it as by what it has been seen as traditionally:

  • Helping with stress
  • Improving memory and concentration
  • Good for respiratory problems
  • Aiding with balancing blood sugar levels and cholesterol
  • Easing IBS and gastrointestinal issues
  • Soothing minor aches and pains including headaches
  • Helping fight infections and such
  • Potentially lowering blood pressure

You can also use the juice externally for insect stings and skin diseases as well as rashes and fungal problems.    And as ear drops for ear infections.

(Which is actually pretty similar to a lot of the Mint family and especially many of the herbs we think of as culinary, or Italian seasonings, like Basil proper, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme for some examples.)

But Tulsi special magic is something more complex…

The Spiritual Side of Tulsi

In Ayurveda, it is not just thought of as an herb aimed at improving physical health and vitality but also valued for aura cleaning and helping to balance the chakras.  It is said to be sacred to Vishnu and often used in daily prayers.

As well as considered to be a potent dream herb to increase the vividness of dreams as well as your recall of them.   Which is not often mentioned as such but I’d consider it a nice shamanistic dreaming aid myself.

Three are One

Recently, I saw some folks online discussing how they had used Tulsi to aid with emotional issues but how they hadn’t really appreciated it for the ability to help with more physical problems (like insomnia in that case) until recently and how impressed they were by it.

That is one of the interesting things about herbalism is how different plants have different strengths and affinities.  Not only for particular physical aspects but in a more broader philosophic sense of  physically, emotionally and/or spiritually supportive and healing.

And that is where I had the realization of what it is that made Tulsi special once I truly got it and connected to it.   There may be many herbs better at any one of those aspects, but I find Tulsi to be very evenly balanced and supportive across all three.  The physical, spiritual and emotional aspects are all connected powerfully in this plant.

For example, it is an important part of a blend I use in retuning my nervous system.  You know how when life seeming gets out of way and you react too strongly to simple things?  I see that as times when you need to re-tune a bit and I use a blend of Passionflower (classic Nervine), Tulsi (to harmonize and apply cross the three aspects of physical, emotional and spiritual self), Eleuthero (classic Adaptogen)  and Licorice (another Adaptogen and formula harmonize) that call Harmonizer Blend.   Then I have  a cup a couple of times of day, each day until I feel more settled.

It’s that subtle cross support of three aspects in one herb which makes Tulsi such a marvel.

And, of course, something to sing about…. 😉

“Tulsi” (to the tune of Maria from West Side Story and with apologies to Stephen Sondheim, Leonard Bernstein, et. al.)

“I’ve just drank a tea made from Tulsi,
And suddenly I’ve found
How wonderful a sound
Can be!
Say it loud and there’s music playing,
Say it soft and it’s almost like praying. ”

Tulsi, love ya babe!

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8 Responses to “Tulsi, I just have to sing about it…”

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Another plant with an amazing range of properties, aren’t herbs just brilliant? I’ll now think about it anytime I hear Maria played on the radio!

Half the fun of writing the post was the song for me. 😉


Try it as a pineapple limeade with half a bunch of tulsi in the bottle for a cold infusion. I juice fresh pineapple and squeeze several limes. Add ice cubes and tulsi…This is bliss on a hot summers day. Needs no sweetening.
Some day, over the tulsi, skies are blue…

Did’nt know Tulsi had so many aspects to it. I only knew it as the sacred Basil from Indian temples.

The harmoniser blend sounds lovely!
Tulsi is very special isn’t it. My own zen kitty is named after her.
Now I need to go and google the song, I don’t think I know it!

Thanks Lucinda. The blend is pretty amazing I find, in no small part due to Tulsi. :-0

Oh, you’ll probably like the song.


Ooh, I recently got some tulsi based tea based on this post. The Harmonizer Blend sounds rad, too. (:

Tulsi is way awesome in many blends. 🙂


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