How To Make Tulsi Tea From The Holy Basil Plant

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This article provides tips and a recipe for making Holy Basil Tulsi Tea
by Brett · All Zones · Medicinal Gardening · 0 Comments · July 16, 2014 · 20,153 views

Tulsi tea is made from the Ayurvedic herb tulsi, also called "holy basil." It is native to India where it is valued as an energizing beverage and sacred plant. Holy Basil is very easy to grow almost anywhere (significantly easier than sweet basil) and is a great and healthy option for making fresh herbal tea that you can drink on its own or blend with other herbs and/or sweeteners.

Holy Basil (Ocimum sanctum) is a distant cousin to "culinary basil" but is an entirely unique species with different medicinal properties. Holy basil has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years and is one of India's most cherished plants. More frequently consumed in India than coffee, holy basil or tulsi tea is an energizing drink that is most known and most often used to reduce cortisol or stress levels in the body, it is also used to treat lung and heart problems, digestive disorders, mental fog, colds, headaches, inflammation and other ailments. Chances are, if you've found this article you've already done research and know about the many benefits and now you want to know how to make tulsi tea...and it's very easy to do!

How To Make Tusli Tea

You can brew tulsi tea from fresh-picked leaves or from dried leaves. Fresh tulsi tea is very different from dried tulsi, but is still easily recognizable as the same plant. Of course, you can always customize your tulsi tea by blending it with other herbs such as mint, lemon grass, coriander seeds, anise seeds, vanilla powder, and others. You can also add honey, almond milk, stevia or other natural sweeteners. I use local honey. The more you use and drink tulsi tea the more you will become familiar with what herbs and sweeteners that blend well with it. Tulsi tea is caffeine free and can be safely consumed up to six times a day. For more benefits, you can increase the ratio of tulsi leaf to water and steep longer.

Whenever possible, choose fresh leaves over the dried form since it is superior in flavor. The leaves should look vibrant and be deep green in color. They should be free from darks spots or yellowing. When brewing from fresh leaves the aroma is much less suggestive of spice, and, as is typical of a fresh herbal tea, is significantly more vegetal. The dominance of clove in the aroma is still noticable, but more balanced with other aromas. There is also a bit of a muted peppery quality to the fresh and it also tends to leave a richer aftertaste.

From Fresh Leaves

Pick 10 to 15 holy basil leaves, then:

  1. Add the basil leaves to 1½ cups of water

  2. Boil for 10 minutes

  3. Strain and add natural flavors or sweeteners.

Alternatively, you can brew the fresh leaves by pouring boiling water over the leaves directly in a cup, and then steeping for at least 8 minutes.

From Dried Leaves

Snip approximately ½ cup fresh leaves from the plant. Use scissors to snip the leaves, one-at-a-time. This assures that you don't damage the plant so it can continue to thrive. Then,

  1. Spread the leaves of the holy basil, or tulsi, out on a baking sheet. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Bake the leaves on the central rack for 15 minutes. This dries them quickly.

  2. Stuff the dried leaves in a muslin or cheesecloth pouch. Tie the top of the pouch into a knot.

  3. Fill a teapot with 2 cups boiling water. Throw the pouch into the hot teapot and cover it. Let it steep for up to 5 minutes. Pour into a cup or mug. Flavor with honey and/or milk or enjoy as is.

If you have other customized Tulsi tea recipes you'd like to share feel free to contact me through my Gardenality profile and I'll add them with credits to this article.

You can buy live Holy Basil plants online at

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