Holy basil is highly aromatic and produces a rich and full-bodied herbal tea. Upton Tea Imports describes tulsi tea in their catalog as having a complex and spicy character, and compares the aroma to anise, pepper, citrus, cinnamon, mint, clove, and spice. Tulsi is very helpful in increasing the immunity of the body. It helps in promoting the production of antibodies, in case of any foreign invasion in the body. It also helps in increasing the production of T helper cells that fight infections and antigens.
The benefits of Holy Basil are almost endless, and the Hindu religion has known this for hundreds of years. The use of Holy Basil to prevent and cure many ailments is not simply something that should be overlooked as some old wives tale, because the effects of this herb are very powerful. Holy Basil is reported to be valuable for a number of health challenges. There have been huge studies done in Russia where adaptogenic substances, especially siberian ginseng, were used in auto factories.
It promotes a healthy balance among your organs, especially of your digestive system, the heart, liver, and the lungs. It promotes healthy sets of teeth and encourages you to use oxygen efficiently. Diabetics can manage their glucose with the help of holy basil. Most of all, it protects yourself from radioactive damage. Tulsi is very effective in treating the cold and related disorders. It is a boon for respiratory tract disorders. It helps in treating all the disorders that are related to our throat.
Biological name of tulsi is Ocimum sanctum and in common English language it is called holy basil. This herb is commonly found everywhere in India. Plant height varies from 2 - 4 ft. It flowers in winter season i.e. about December to February. On a more practical note for us westerners, basil is great for helping digestion (works well against gas) and as a nerve tonic. It also is purported to increase memory and promote a clear mind. The key to growing basil is warmth; full sun and warm nights. Basil does not do well if the weather turns cold, and only transplant into the garden once all danger of frost is past and the soil is at leas 60 degrees. Space plants about 2 feet apart. Water carefully as over or under watering can affect the flavor. Pinch back often to promote new growth and bushiness.
Basil oil contains numerous chemical compounds, including: 1,8-cineole, alpha-pinene; alpha-terpineol, ß-pinene, camphene, camphor, cis-ocimene, citronellol, eugenol, geraniol, limonene, linalool, methyl chavicol, methyl cinnamate, myrcene, sesquiterpenes, terpinolene; terpinen-4-ol and y-terpineol. Basil does not retain its flavor well when dried or frozen; hence use it as soon as you pluck it from the plant. Medically it is useful to provide relief to sore gums, swish out the mouth often with strong basil tea. A basil leaf tucked into the mouth over the ulcer and kept there eases the pain.
Basil is often grown in pots and brought indoors because of its fly repellent reputation. Try adding a few sprays of basil into your floral arrangements to repel flies. The infusion is prepared of 1-2 spoonfuls of basil leaves, shredded, boiled in 250 ml of water. The tea is left to infuse 2 minutes. Drink 2-3 cups a day. It is recommended to drink a cup after every meal.