Tulsi is an ancient ayurvedic herb that has been used and documented for it’s medicinal properties for at least 5000 years. Also known as Holy Basil, the plant has been used in India for treating cough, cold, asthma, bronchitis, digestive disorders, skin problems, ear and eye infections, fever, snake and scorpion bites. Scientific exploration and validation attests to the adaptogenic, antimicrobial, anti-diabetic, hepato-protective, anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic, radio-protective, neuro-protective, cardio-protective, and larcividal (mosquito repellant) properties of this incredible plant. A recent systematic review (Singh, Sharma, Dwivedi, & Sharma, 2012) concludes Ocimum sanctum (Tulsi) is a traditionally and clinically effective medicinal herb.
How can one plant affect your health on so many levels? Because it’s adaptogenic and immunomodulatory properties essentially make it a little leafy transformer- literally reacting to your body’s needs as necessary by stabilizing physiological processes and promoting balance. When you feel stressed and fatigued, Tulsi responds by strengthening your innate immunity: increasing interferons, interleukin 4, T-helper cells, and natural killer cells (Mondal et al., 2011). By fighting the adverse effects of stress and assisting with elimination of toxic metabolic byproducts, your cells are left with increased access to energy as your body uses oxygen more efficiently! Not to mention, participants in a double blind randomized control trial taking 300 mg of Tulsi extract had a significant drop in cholesterol as well (Mondal et al., 2011).
This is one powerful cup of tea, and to be real- I was quite shocked after doing my research. Typically when something is this good for you, it doesn’t always taste that great. However, put all the miraculous health benefits aside, and this is still my favorite hot beverage! Not only has Organic India created a luscious, sweet, and stimulating elixir, but they have been promoting self-sufficient and organic farming practices since the 1990’s by educating and establishing local farmers in northern India.
Enjoy steeping over the incredible health benefits, responsible culture, and delicately spicy aroma created when you sip a hot cup of Tulsi Chai Masala Tea. I like to pair it with bit of creamy almond milk for the perfect afternoon pick-me up!
Until next time,
Mondal, S., Varma, S., Bamola. V.D., Naik, S.N., Mirdha, B.R., Padhi, M.M., Mehta, N., & Mahapatra, S.C. (2011). Double-blinded randomized controlled trial for immunomodulatory effects of Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum Linn.) leaf extract on healthy volunteers. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 136(3), 452-456. DOI: 10.1016/j.jep.2011.05.012
Singh,E., Sharma, S., Dwivedi, J., & Sharma, S. (2012). Diversified potentials of Ocimum sanctum Linn (Tulsi): An exhaustive survey. Journal of Natural Product and Plant Resource, 2(1), 39-48. Retrieved from http://scholarsresearchlibrary.com/JNPPR-vol2-iss1/JNPPR-2012-2-1-39-48.pdf