(KrishnaTulsi, Purple Tulsi, Shyam Tulsi) "Oh, Narada! Every house, every village, every forest, wherever the plant of Tulsi is grown, there misery, fear, disease and poverty do not exist." Krishna tulsi bears leaves that are mottled green and purple, more intensely purple as plants mature. This variety is relatively rare in India and is highly esteemed. Drinking tulsi tea in the morning is a fantastic way to help you cope with stress, whether environmental or internal, which may arise during the day. OM SHANTI OM
According to ancient folklore, the Tulsi (tulasi) plant is a manifestation of the Divine Mother on Earth, for the benefit of all creation. Tulsi is a gentle and easy-to-grow adaptogen, meaning that the tea of the dried leaves helps reduce the deleterious effects of stress, both physical and psychological. Enhances physical and mental endurance, increasing assimilation of oxygen and nutrients to the bloodstream. Strong antioxidant activity slows the aging process and helps prevent and treat cancer, heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, and dementia. Normalizes both blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Excellent wellness drink to help quit drinking coffee. Also used during sickness to help overcome cough, cold, flu and fever. Assists digestion and is good for treating any and all maladies of the digestive system. Tastes good and provides gentle stimulation to body, mind and spirit. Growing tea basils brings many blessings to the household!
A note on indoor germination and cultivation of Tulsi. Instructions are printed on every packet, but space is limited, so here is some more advice, to help assure your success. Sow the seeds in good quality potting soil, barely beneath the surface, and tamp well. Keep evenly moist, very warm and in the light until germination. Kapoor germinates in about 5 days, while Krishna and Rama can easily take 3 weeks to germinate. Once they attain their second set of leaves, thin seedlings to 2 inches apart. Keep seedlings warm and in the light, and water when the surface of the soil becomes dry. Watering too much during early phases will cause damping off, so this must be avoided. Individuate seedlings to their own pots when they reach about 3 inches tall. Most plants require at least 8 hours of direct sunlight per day for optimal growth, and Tulsi is no exception. Cool, wet, and shady conditions are not conducive to healthy development. Tulsi grows best in the summer garden or in a greenhouse environment. Lacking these conditions, a solarium or very bright south facing window may be adequate. Growing Tulsi during the winter will require grow lights. You can purchase T-5 growlights online that will work quite well. Keep the light 18 inches above the top leaf, and keep the light on the plants for at least 8 hours per day. Keep plants nipped back if they get leggy or go to flower very quickly. It works best to plant 1 plant per gallon pot. If the plants are potted up with organic compost, then they should have enough nutrients to stay healthy for some time. If they begin to yellow or look unhealthy, then fertilize once every 2 weeks with compost tea, comfrey leaf tea, dilute fish emulsion or other organic liquid fertilizer, or heap additional organic compost around the stems and water through the compost to feed the plants. This is a good way to keep some healthy individuals for worship or for ongoing harvest for fresh leaves or for tea.
Analysis of Tulsi cultivars: In the late summer of 2014 we undertook a sampling of 5 cultivars of tulsi in order to quantify the relative concentration of two of the main active compounds that are found in the plant. We picked the herbs in early flowering stage and carefully cleaned the samples of stem, then subjected them to analysis for content of Eugenol (responsible for the characteristic "clove" scent of good Tulsi) and Rosmarinic Acid (a caffeic acid ester that is partially responsible for the antioxidant and anxiolytic activity of good Tulsi). This was a "snapshot" analysis, because good scientific method would call for repeating the test throughout the growth cycle of the plants, but we did not have the resources to repeat the test. The eugenol content of Tulsi tends to be higher before flowering, and the rosmarinic acid content tends to be higher when the plant is in full flower to seed stage. This is why we were careful to balance the sampling so that all the types were in the same early flowering stage at sampling. Both Eugenol and Rosmarinic acid are expressed as dried wt in mg/g. Here are the results:
Krishna Tulsi: 4.90 Eugenol, 10.47 Rosmarinic Acid
Rama Tulsi: 5.60 Eugenol, 5.15 Rosmarinic Acid
Amrita Tulsi: 0.42 Eugenol, 11.27 Rosmarinic Acid
VanaTulsi: 8.89 Eugenol, 3.51 Rosmarinic Acid
Kapoor Tulsi: 0.74 Eugenol, 5.53 Rosmarinic Acid
Discussion: The results seem to support the common opinion that "Krishna" is the strongest medicine. However, in a previous test some years ago, "Rama" came out on top. We had a particular interest in seeing the results for "Vana" because it turns out to be the highest yielding in terms of leaf weight. This test seems to support the validity of using "Vana" interchangeably with the other cultivars, which is consistent with the traditional use of "Vana" as an admixture to tulsi tea blend. We were also very interested in seeing the numbers for "Kapoor" because it is not clear where this plant originated--it is not common in India and is very common in the United States. The results seem to indicate that "kapoor" is a valid Tulsi cultivar although it may be somewhat weaker medicine than the other types. When modeling agencies want to judge how photogenic a model is, they ask for a snap shot. We've done the same here. All the models win. Richo