Tulsi: Indian basil in Ayurveda

Tea with herbs

Tulsi, or Indian basil, is a plant that is valued in Ayurveda for its balancing and healing effects. Whether as a fragrant essence or a soothing tea - the herb is good for everyone and brings calm, clarity and warmth. If you are always struggling with stress-related symptoms or colds in your everyday life, this plant is just right for you. How exactly Tulsi works, how you can best take it and everything else you need to know, we show you here.

What is Tulsi actually?

The plant called tulsi is mainly found in south-east and south-west Asia. It belongs to the basil genus and is therefore also called Indian basil, royal basil or holy basil.

In India, the herb has a very high status and is often used in spiritual ceremonies. Legend has it that the Hindu goddess Tulsi hatched the plant to heal and protect people. The name Tulsi also means "the incomparable one".

As you can see, this spiritual herb is something very special. In Ayurveda, this plant is also very important, because thanks to its effect it is considered a rasayana, i.e. a herbal substance that is supposed to have a life-prolonging effect. But why is this actually so?

The effect of tulsi: to calm the doshas

In Ayurvedic medicine, tulsi is used to balance the three doshas. Especially in the case of stress-related complaints, Indian basil helps to release blockages and normalise blood pressure and blood sugar levels.

As it increases the Pitta dosha somewhat, the herb is used especially for Vata and Kapha disorders.

Soothes the Vata dosha: stress-reducing and clarifying

The inability to adapt to stress is associated with a high Vata dosha.

Tulsi can bring the three doshas back into balance. © Somnath - stock.adobe.com

Tulsi dampens increased Vata and thus also all complaints related to stress, such as stomach cramps, flatulence and digestive problems. The plant contains powerful antioxidants such as phenols and flavonoids and beneficial essential oils. This helps the body learn to cope better with stress.

Indian basil is also effective against mental stress. In turbulent times, it can happen that we feel tense and distracted. The herb harmonises and dissolves anxiety and helps us to find ourselves again. It calms a restless mind and brings back more clarity. It is also particularly good for memory and retentiveness. Free your body and mind from stress with this wonderful basil!

For Kapha disorders: against colds and inflammation

For Kapha disorders, basil can also bring healing. It has an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effect and therefore helps well with colds, coughs or fever. The respiratory tract is cleared and you can breathe more easily again.

But the plant is also an excellent dental care product and can help with inflammation of the gums or mouth area . As a rinse, it brings pleasant freshness and is good for oral health. Increased Kapha is thus no longer a problem.

Tulsi: intake and dosage

To benefit from the effects of Indian basil, the healing leaves of the tulsi plant are used.

There are different forms of intake

  • As a tea: To bring the doshas back into balance, the herb is consumed in the form of a cleansing tea.
  • As an essential oil: As an essential oil, basil is particularly helpful when it comes to calming the nerves and soothing the mind.
  • Tulsi leaves for dishes: Tulsi leaves can be added to salads or other dishes and are good for digestion and against flatulence. But be careful: The leaves should not be cooked with the food.
  • Chewing leaves: Even chewing the raw leaves of the plant can be effective. Indian basil is considered a miracle cure for cracked mouth and bleeding gums. If you suffer from an irritating cough or a feeling of fullness, you can also gnaw on the leaves.

By the way, an Ayurvedic secret tip is to take 5 leaves with some water in the morning on an empty stomach. This is said to improve the brain and memory. The simplest and most effective way is certainly to enjoy tulsi as a tea. That's why we will now show you how to give yourself a break with the hot drink.

Tulsi tea: cleansing and restorative

Mostly, Indian basil is taken in the form of tea. Tulsi tea is not only appreciated for its effect, but also for its good taste. It has a lovely, lemony note, but at the same time also tastes slightly peppery .

If you suffer from digestive problems, stress or a weak immune system, the drink is particularly beneficial. But the tea is also recommended for colds or high blood pressure. In order for the Tulsi tea to have an effect, you should drink 1-2 cups of it daily over a period of six weeks.

Ready-made tea blends are available in packaged form in shops. However, if you want to do yourself some extra good, get the tulsi leaves and prepare the tea yourself . It's very easy and can be expanded to your liking!

Prepare Tulsi Tea

For a nice cup of Tulsi tea, you need nothing more than a cup of tea:

  • 1 tsp tulsi herb
  • 200 ml water
Tulsi tea helps you regain your composure. © Arundhati - stock.adobe.com

Put the herb in a cup and bring the water to the boil. Pour the water over the herb and let the tea steep for about 6-10 minutes. That's it! Of course, you can also spice up the tea a little. Add about ½ teaspoon turmeric and 1 teaspoon ginger to make the tea even spicier and tastier!

If you specifically want to slow down a certain dosha, here are a few tips to make the tea work even better.

  • Dampen Kapha: For cold symptoms caused by excess Kapha, you can add a little honey to your tea. Alternatively, you can also stir in some ghee.
  • Balance Vata: If you wish for a clearer mind or suffer from stress-related digestive problems, you should dampen your Vata dosha a little. In this case, add some ginger, fennel and cardamom to the tea and drink it with meals.
  • For Pitta types: As a Pitta type, the tea can of course also be drunk. If you wish, you can enrich it with some rose petals and Brahmi.

We advise you to take the Tulsi tea after meals and before going to bed. Especially in case of depressive moods and anxieties, the tea is recommended as an evening drink, as it allows you to calm down pleasantly and thus brings a restful sleep.

Tulsi tea: how often should you drink it?

As with most things, it depends on the right dose. It is recommended to take the tea over a period of no more than six weeks. During this time, women can drink about 1-2 cups a day. Why only women? Well, men are advised not to drink the tea every day, as it may inhibit sperm formation and cause constipation in them.

But beware: The tea should never be drunk during pregnancy and breastfeeding!

However, if you stick to the recommended dose and avoid tea during pregnancy, there is nothing to stop you enjoying the stimulating hot drink!

Tulsi oil

Due to its essential fragrances, the plant is also occasionally used as a pleasant aromatic oil. However, a small dose is absolutely sufficient. Simply add one drop of Tulsi oil to about 50 ml of base oil and enjoy the pleasant scent. The mixture strengthens the body's defences and is a good support in case of infections.

Especially during or after work, the balancing fragrance can also provide more concentration and focused energy. It allows you to take a deep breath and soothes stressed nerves. In this way, the oil ensures that the mind becomes more focused again and work becomes easier.

If you notice an increased Kapha or Vata dosha and long for a little more balance for body and mind, this herb is the ideal solution for you. It brings the doshas back into balance and helps you to find the right balance again. Try it out and treat yourself to a soothing Tulsi tea!

Cover photo: © vm2002 - stock.adobe.com

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