This tulsi tea recipe is another exotic tea for you to try. It’s warming and has some wonderful health benefits.
Ever heard of tulsi? How about holy basil?
Tulsi is the Hindi word for holy basil (Ocimum sanctum). It is revered by Hindus and there is a belief that when the plant grows in your yard it means God is present.
There are a couple variations of tulsi. Some have green leaves and others have purple ones. I have the purple holy basil variety.
Take a look at the leaves and flowers. They have this beautiful purple color. The color of the leaves fades over time, especially in this Caribbean heat.
I actually have two other types of basil in my kitchen garden.
This one is the common basil we are all accustomed to. It’s great in everything especially pesto.
Here’s a Thai basil plant. It has a more licorice-like smell and taste – very different to common basil.
Tulsi or holy basil has a more herbaceous smell and reminds me of clove.
That’s to be expected considering the main volatile compound in tulsi is eugenol. Clove, cinnamon, and nutmeg have high levels of the compound.
How to Make Tulsi Tea: Recipe
So how do you make tulsi tea?
Add 2 cups of water and 20 tulsi leaves to a pot and bring to a boil on low heat for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to steep for another 10 minutes. Serve hot.
You can use the flowers to make the tea as well.
Of course, you can also skip the pot and use these beautiful tea kettles and infusers from Amazon:
The tea made with these tea bags are also perfectly delicious and exotic.
You can sweeten and serve hot. But tulsi tea also tastes great chilled.
You can add a little grated ginger too when boiling the leaves. And add a tablespoon of lemon juice after steeping for a healthier tea.
Tulsi Tea Benefits
Holy basil is widely used in Ayurvedic treatments and has been used for thousands of years.
As you can expect, there are a lot of studies that explore the benefits of the tea.
This review from 2011 found the plant has the following properties:
It also noted the plant is traditionally used for treating anxiety, coughs, bronchitis, snake and scorpion bites.
See the benefits of ginger tea too!
An earlier study found the plant has more in vitro benefits like being:
The study pointed to eugenol – the main volatile compound in tulsi – as the compound responsible for many of these therapeutic benefits.
By the way, the research cited two animal studies where high levels of holy basil were found to negatively affect fertility. No adverse reactions have been reported in human clinical trials, but – even in Ayurvedic traditional medicine – it is not recommended for pregnant or lactating women.
My family have been using tulsi leaves for a very long time. In fact, my parents each chew 2 tulsi leaves and one neem leaf every morning before breakfast.
My aunt also swears by the leaves’ potential anti-cataract benefits. She believes it helped her eyes improve. But, this is all anecdotal.
Tulsi Tea Recipe
Simple Tulsi Tea Recipe
- 20 tulsi leaves
- 2 cups water
- Wash leaves thoroughly.
- Bring water to a boil.
- Add leaves and boil for 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat and allow to steep for 10 minutes.
- Sweeten and serve.