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More commonly known as holy basil (Ocimum Sanctum), tulsi-holy basil is a species of the Lamiaceae family. While culinary basil has many benefits of its own, the restorative properties of tulsi are beneficial for body, mind and soul.
After more than 5,000 years of use in its native India, tulsi is expanding to the United States as a go-to herb, and for good reason. From digestion to immunity, stress relief, mood enhancement and all bodily systems in between, tulsi will keep you balanced.
Why the funny name?
“Tula” translates to balance, while “si” means horizontal line. The two together emphasize an even level, that the body is balanced. Named after the Hindu Goddess, and known as the “Queen of Herbs,” tulsi truly means balance.
1. Health and Wellness:Tulsi has been used for thousands of years as an herbal tonic. Tonics are herbs that are safe to take daily over the long term. As a potent adaptogen, tulsi is believed to assist in the body’s ability to counter or adapt to physical, emotional, biological and environmental stressors. Herbalists believe adaptogens help maintain homeostasis while balancing all systems of the body.
Tulsi has numerous health benefits. Traditional uses of tulsi include immune, digestive, and respiratory system support.
Tulsi is also believed to be beneficial for cleansing and detoxing due to its antioxidant and diuretic properties.
2. Stress Relief: In traditional Indian medicine, tulsi is known as an intuitive herb. According to practitioners, this means it knowingly provides the body with what it needs. When ingesting tulsi, those that are overstimulated may experience a relaxing and calming effect, while those that are run down and lethargic may experience an uplifting and boosting effect. Whether stress levels are high, low or in the middle, tulsi knows what to do.
More recently, in an over-stressed, over-worked society, the most well-known use for tulsi has been stress relief. Studies who that tulsi helps lower cortisol levels (stress hormones), providing relaxation and rejuvenation for body and mind.
Tulsi’s powerful effect on the central nervous system makes it a effective assistant in achieving mental and emotional harmony.
3. Spiritual: Known as the “Incomparable One” in India, tulsi is believed to be spiritually life-enhancing in providing uplifted mood, positive energy, protection and balance. Traditional belief states that tulsi brings abundance and longevity to the mind, body and soul. Whether it’s planted in the garden, potted in the house or consumed in the body, Tulsi wants to nourish us.
As with all herbal medicines, quality is key when it comes to tulsi's benefits. While the current trend is to isolate compounds for their specific therapeutic quality, many herbalists believe whole herbs are more effective, founded on the belief that the sum of the parts of the whole plant is more balanced than any one constituent. Restorative properties of herbs are derived from the synergistic quality of plants.
Some products advertised as tulsi may contain other types of basil instead. What's more, studies have found non-organic herbal products grown in areas with high pollution to contain toxins, so it's important to purchase tulsi products grown in well-managed sustainable farms. Regenerative agriculture is a sub-sector of organic farming that goes beyond sustainable and organic agriculture practices in order to rejuvenate and rebuild unhealthy soils. Regenerative agriculture practices regenerate soil health and entire ecosystems, restoring vibrant health to the environment. Powerful herbs come from healthy soils. Healthy soils also grow herbs rich that are rich in microbial diversity, which help to achieve balance in the digestive tract.
In addition, regenerative agriculture practices keep carbon in the soil, our earth’s most powerful carbon reservoir, minimizing agricultural contributions to climate change.
Whether you’re looking to boost antioxidants, speed up digestion, enhance immunity or protect your body and mind from the harmful effects of stress, consider tulsi a go-to herb in your pantry for everyday care. From immunity to stress relief, tulsi will provide healthy, grounded, sustainable energy that you can count on.
Note: Do not use tulsi or any herbal medicine while pregnant or nursing, unless under the supervision of a medical professional. Do not use tulsi if you are taking medications to lower blood sugar, as the two may interact.
The benefits of Tulsi are nothing new to Organic India, whose entire tea line is built around the enchanting herb. Its whole-herb Tulsi Teas and herbal supplements are lovingly grown by small family farmers using regenerative agriculture practices, to restore the health of the land and ensure the highest quality harvests. Organic India utilizes whole herbs in its tulsi formulas. In honoring the divine intelligence of the earth, Organic India keeps herbal formulas as close to their original form as possible, bringing you the potency and balance of whole herbs.
While other Tulsi formulas may service a particular body type, Organic India’s tulsi blends are composed of Rama, Vana and Krishna Tulsi—a combination that is balancing to all body types.
Organic India’s 24 flavors of Tulsi Tea include blends that individually spark a desired flavor and response (i.e. handpicked rose petals for opening and soothing in the Tulsi Sweet Rose Tea, or turmeric & ginger root for digestion and circulation support in the Tulsi Turmeric Ginger Tea). Organic India also offers more therapeutically targeted formulas, such as Tulsi Sleep Tea and Tulsi Tummy Tea. If tea is not your thing, try the Tulsi-Holy Basil supplement to get your daily dose of this powerful adaptogen.
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