Herbal teas have been around for centuries. Drinking herbal teas offer many different healthy and well being benefits.The calming practice of drinking tea can be incorporated into a part of your morning or night routines. There is just something soothing about sipping a warm tea that gives us a moment to be mindful of what is around us and to simply breathe and relax. Drinking teas is something that you can do to nourish your body and your mind.
Basil is an aromatic herb that is utilized in many tasty recipes, but there is more to this herb than pesto and curry. It belongs to the mint family and can be sweet or hot, stimulating or calming. These properties are indicative of the mint family of herbs. They have strong aromatic oils that make them a perfect herb to use for culinary, aromatherapy, skin care and medicinal products. There are many variations to basil such as Sweet basil that is cultivated in the Mediterranean and Holy Basil, which is an herb found throughout Asia. Both are of the same family but have different uses.
Today, I am covering Holy Basil or Tulsi, an aromatic plant of the mint family (Lamiaceae). It is native to India and has spread as a cultivated plant throughout the southeast Asia. This herb has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years and is considered sacred in the Hindu religion. Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum), like others in its family have aromatherapy purposes and is used to help promote calmness and mental clarity as well as relieve stress and fatigue, but there are additional uses for this herb. Basil Tea, also known as Tulsi Tea, has been used for centuries in Asian countries to combat colds, coughs, upset stomachs and to bolster the immune system. It’s benefits have been passed down from generation to generation and can be found in many historical documents.
Ayurveda, a spiritual approach to medicine, sees the daily use of Tulsi through out the world as ” a testament to Ayurvedic wisdom and provides an example of ancient knowledge offering solutions to modern problems.” (Cohen, M. 2017). This approach to medicine uses the ancient knowledge and practical uses of herbs as a benefit to modern society. Tulsi is one of the most widely used herbs in an Ayurveda arsenal. It is often refered to as the Mother of Herbs or the Queen Herb. One way of people around the globe use Tulsi is by turning the leaves into a tea to promote many physical and mental ailments. Ingesting Basil Tea is said to have calming effects much like of practicing yoga. (Cohen, M. 2017) This tea and herb is often used in spiritual practices throughout Asia.
Basil Tea is a warming, subtle tasting herbal tea. It is not caffeinated and can be used at the onset of colds, to calm upset stomachs and daily to help strengthen your immune system. You can consume this daily without becoming dependent on the caffeine that is in coffee and traditional green and black teas. It will not keep you up at night, but instead could help you calm and get a good night’s sleep. You can purchase Basil Tea/Tulsi Tea in stores and online or you can brew your own from your garden. Holy Basil is a perennial that can be cultivated in your backyard herb garden. August in my area is when this herb is perfect for harvesting. If you have fresh Holy Basil on hand, you can make this herbal tea at home.
- 2 1/2 Cups Water
- 2 Tablespoons Holy Basil Leaves, torn
Bring your water to a boil. Turn off the heat and add the torn basil leaves to the pot. Let steep 3-4 minutes. Strain the leaves and serve.
I drink this without sugar or milk. It can be sweetened with fresh honey or you can also add grated ginger to this tea to calm upset stomachs. Some people stir the tea with a cinnamon stick to enhance flavor.
Abhay, Mishra, Sarla Saklani and Subhash Kothiyal. Medicinal Value of Neem,Tulsi & Shisham:A Specific & Combinative Study: Anti-inflammatory and Antibacterial Potential of Indian rosewood, Indian lilac and Holy basil. Lambert Academic Publishing, 2012. Print.
William , Wagner, MD. The Holy Basil Supplement: Alternative Medicine for a Healthy Body. 10. 2010. Print.
Cohen, M. (2017). Tulsi – Ocimum sanctum: A herb for all reasons.
“*Statements herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, and are not intended to treat or diagnose any disease or health condition. It is also recommended that patients check with their doctors before taking herbs, to ensure that there are no contraindications with prescription medications.”