This is a herb that grows easily in Far North Queensland where I live, especially in the Wet. It is a beautiful and useful addition to any garden with its green and purple hues.
Tulsi or Holy Basil is used widely in South East Asia as both a herbal medicine and also in cooking, especially in Thailand. The dried leaves are used to repel insects from grains.
In India , it is used in holy ceremonies, being sacred to the Goddess Lakshmi, wife of Vishnu, the god who preserves life.
Tulsi is used for a variety of ailments being considered a herb that balances the different processes in the body and is helpful for adapting to stress. As a tea it is traditionally given to children for stomach aches. Taken with honey, it is reputed soothes coughs and fevers, helps asthma and reduces congestion. The herb is also reputed to lower sugar levels, optimise blood pressure and provide pain relief . The juice can also be applied to insect bites, ring worm and skin diseases.
To make a refreshing and relaxing cup, pick a few fresh leaves, pour boiling water on them and let them brew for five minutes. Add lemon and honey to taste and it is best not to drink more than two cups a day.
Sarah Isaacs, Naturopath
Ph (07) 4085 0054