From the moment a client or colleague enters my office I surround them with a relaxing environment. Powerful healing crystals are strategically placed around the room to encourage strength and bring stress relief, Flower Essence Remedies and essential oils sit on the table between us, and every client that walks in my door is offered a warm cup of Tulsi Tea. There is rarely a day when you won’t find me having my own cup of Tulsi, either at the office or before bed – it’s one of my favorite daily rituals. I feel more relaxed and calmer in one cup.
Tulsi, also known as the herb, holy basil is most commonly consumed as an herbal tea. The leaves of holy basil are dried to make this soothing and flavorful tea, a flavor so unique you pretty much need to try it to understand it (in a good way). Even more importantly, tulsi helps your body respond to emotional and physical stress – so much so that I would probably drink it even if it didn’t taste so good!
Tulsi is not a new discovery as it originated over 5,000 years ago in India and regions of Asia. You’re familiar with basil as a cooking herb, but did you know there are approx. 40 varieties of basil and tulsi just so happens to be one of them? Tulsi and all basil are actually part of the mint family and there are many amazing nutritional benefits to be offered due the the active ingredient Eugenol which is present in the leaves of the plant. Tulsi also contains crvacrol and ursolic acid, which are anti-microbials and is rich in antioxidants.
Tulsi means “the incomparable one” in Hindu and it’s numerous health benefits explain why. It’s prized for its therapeutic aspects, and one of the most unique things about tulsi is that it is an adaptogen. I talk more about adaptogens here, but essentially adaptogens bring the body into balance, increase our resilience to stress, and help the mind and body cope with everything from disease to every day stressors.
In addition to being an adaptogen, tulsi:
- Helps maintain a healthy mouth it contains antimicrobials that fight germs and bacteria in the oral cavity, in turn it prevents bad breath and freshens the mouth
- Enhances adrenal function ideal for individuals who are anxious or frequently under stress as it helps to maintain cortisol levels in the body
- Improves digestive health by promoting healthy liver function
- Provides cardiovascular benefit from the abundance of magnesium in tulsi, which helps the blood vessels work properly and promote flow of blood. Regular consumption of tulsi has been shown to lower blood pressure and reduce cholesterol levels
- Is full of antioxidants that protect you from free radical that cause signs of aging. Antioxidants in tulsi tea helps fight these radicals and delay signs of aging
- Cleanses the body by stimulating liver and the tulsi plant is a diuretic and detoxifier which is also good for kidney cleansing
- Helps to lower blood sugar levels, daily intake of tulsi ensures that sugar in the blood is utilized for energy and can also be used to reduce the risk of diabetes
- Stimulates metabolism and promote healthy weight by accelerating fat burning potential
- Beneficial in treating headaches the aromatics in the tea may ease pain from migraine and stress related headaches
- Offers respiratory benefit, from mild colds to bronchitis, tulsi tea is an expectorant and cough suppressant. It also contains essential oils that relieve congestion and has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties
The good news, besides tulsi being very enjoyable in taste, is that it is also very accessible. I pick up a box of Organic India Tulsi Tea at my local Whole Foods or organic grocer about once a month, for less than $10. Tulsi tea is made from the leaves and blossoms of the holy basil plant and is brewed in the same way you would prepare traditional teas (you can also enjoy hot or cold) – start with a cup a day for two weeks to begin to experience benefits!
* Please consult your physician if you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant as there are indicaters it may have an anti-fertility affect