(Rama tulsi, Holy Basil)
Family: Mint (Lamiaceae)
"Oh, Narada! Every house, every village, every forest, wherever the plant of Tulsi is grown, there misery, fear, disease and poverty do not exist." Much esteemed basil of warm climates. Purple stemmed. Highly aromatic plant of the Ayurvedic tradition. We have tested all varieties and found this one to be highest in medicinal compounds. Adaptogenic, antifungal, antibacterial and immune enhancing. Sow in spring, just below surface, tamp well and keep evenly moist, warm and in the light. 16 day germ time in warm soils. Tea basils have smaller seeds than standard culinary basils and they take longer to germinate. Best germination environment is in a good greenhouse or under lights, but it may be possible to direct seed in the garden if the soil is very warm. Does well in pots. If you live in frost-free zones, this will make a perennial bush to 4 feet. If you live in the temperate north, grow as an annual or bring indoors for the winter. Plant prefers full sun, fertile soil, and regular watering.
50 seeds/pkt., certified organically grown OM SHANTI 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!
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