For the last couple of months Elliot, myself and friends have been working on building a cabin ready to move in for August this year. While there are things I can’t help with, instead of kicking around doing nothing, I decided to kick rocks around to build herb and flower gardens to enjoy for the rest of the summer.
With the rain in June and heat following quickly after, the garden blew up fast. I was intrigued by Tulsi's tiny purple flowers and ate one. If you’ve ever drank tulsi tea, you know it’s sweet, earthy flavour. I was enthralled by the strength in this small, small flower. The flavour was so pure yet so powerful. I was in a tulsi trance, there’s no other way to describe it.
When I got home, I did some research on the plant and learnt a few things about it’s properties.
Tulsi is an adaptogenic herb, meaning it helps the body adapt to physical, environmental and emotional stressors.
There are 108 varieties of the herb, but two main ones which are Rama tulsi (green leaves) and Krishna or Shyama tulsi (red leaves)
It is anti-microbial and rich in antioxidants
I also learnt from my friend Celine who is an educated herbalist, that it’s good to cover tulsi while brewing it so you don’t lose it’s volatile oils. In her words; the volatile oils in tulsi give it its aromatic quality. These plant components also have positive effects on the nervous system as well as the Digestive system.
Celine has studied herbalism over the last 3 years at Pacific Rim College and we are inspired to do a series of interviews together on some plants we love. If you sign up for our newsletter, you will get first access to the series. I may even get to dyeing clothing in the plants we talk about!
Ever since the experience I had with this tiny tulsi flower, I’ve been drinking a small cup before bed most nights. I’ve had issues with sleep for my whole life, and after feeling the spiritual attributes of the plant, drinking it each night has helped me wind down, close my thoughts, set an intention and sleep with pleasant dreams.
Here is an excerpt from an article about the history of tulsi that I found really inspiring:
"For more than 5,000 years, Tulsi (also known as Holy Basil) has been revered as one of the most sacred herbs in India, infused with restorative power. Hindus view Tulsi as a goddess (a manifestation of Lakshmi) in the form of a plant bestowed with great spiritual powers. According to legend, no amount of gold could outweigh Krishna’s power, but a single Tulsi leaf placed on the pan in loving devotion tilted that scale. In India today, Tulsi is still traditionally grown in an earthenware pot in every family home or garden and the leaves are used to make a delicious and refreshing tea.”