One of my all-time favorite medicinal herbs is holy basil or tulsi. A perennial with lovely purple blooms and a spicy aroma is tulsi (Ocimum tenuiflorum). Not to be confused with sweet basil, a spice that is frequently used in cooking.
Tulsi, commonly referred to as holy basil, is a traditional herb that has been utilized for ages in Ayurvedic therapy. It can be used in a number of cuisines and is renowned for its various health advantages. Its health benefits include improving digestion, reducing stress, increasing the immune system, and supporting weight loss. It can be sprinkled on food, used as a tea, or mixed into smoothies. Holy basil pesto, holy basil chutney, and holy basil tea are a few popular dishes.
This aromatic herb is indigenous to Southeast Asia and India. It has a distinct, sweet-spicy scent and a strong, peppery flavor. The round, glossy green leaves can reach a length of 10 cm. Clusters of purplish-white blooms are produced. Holy basil has a flavor that is stronger and more potent when cooked than Thai basil. It is frequently included in stir-fries, curries, soups, drinks, and other foods.
Because of holy basil's spiritual and religious significance in India, it has been given the term "holy." Tulsi is revered in Hinduism and is frequently grown in temple courtyards. Hindus give the plant special devotion because they see it as an earthly representation of the goddess Tulsi. It is frequently referred to as "The Queen of Herbs" and is said to have healing and protective properties.
Holy basil is surprisingly simple to grow! You'll need to buy some seeds and prepare the soil before you can get started. Make sure the soil contains a lot of organic matter and is well-drained. The seeds can then be planted in the yard or in a pot. I recommend a pot of you live in zone 8 or higher. Simply sprinkle the seeds on top of the soil. Keep the soil wet until you see your first signs of life in about 7 days. Provide lots of light if you're starting indoors. Tulsi likes heat but not a lot of direct sunlight. You can start harvesting the leaves of your holy basil plants once they have grown to a height of 4-6 inches. Enjoy your organic, fresh holy basil!
Having a holy basil plant is a wonderful way to breathe new vitality into the house or garden. Here are some tips to keep your holy basil plant healthy:
1. Give your holy basil plant plenty of sunlight by placing it there.
2. Regularly water your holy basil plant, making sure the soil is moist but not soggy. I recommend bottom watering.
3. Regularly prune/harvest your holy basil plant, removing any sick or dead leaves to encourage a bushier plant.
Keep an eye out for pests and illnesses on your holy basil plant, and take the proper measures if you find any.
These easy steps can help your holy basil plant stay strong and healthy. Have fun and good luck!
Holy basil plants do not like the cold! The second the temperatures drop you have to bring it in if not already in! Mature holy basil plants produce seed in the first year! To harvest holy basil seed, wait until the flowers on the basil plant have turned from purple to brown. Once the flower has dried, the seed should be ready to be harvested. Cut the flower head off of the plant into a paper bag or container with a lid. Gently shake the flower head to remove the seeds. Place the seeds in a paper bag or seed envelope and store in a cool, dry place until you are ready to use them.
I am delightfully assailed by the perfume that emanates from the holy basil leaves whenever I go past it on my porch or when I am harvesting my plant! Hence why Tulsi tea is my absolute favorite way to consume my favorite plant!
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