Holy Basil

Space Needed

1.5 SF/Plant

Background

Tulsi (aka Holy Basil, and officially as Ocimum Sanctum or Ocimum tenuiflorum), is an powerful, aromatic plant native to the Indian subcontinent. There are several cultivars throughout the the Southeast Asian tropics. Long revered as a strong ( yet pleasant tasting) medicine, Tulsi is so revered for it’s myriad actions/applications as to be called the “Queen” of herbs in Aryuvedic medicine.

Medicinal Value

Tulsi is a remarkable, balancing (adaptogenic) herb.  There are many documented uses including; stress reduction, immune enhancement, promoting longevity, improving metabolic oxygenation, increasing endurance, fighting infections, and improving digestion. It also provides powerful support for proper adrenal functioning.  Tulsi is also a rich source of bioavailable vitamins and minerals. There are several varieties; “Krishna” and “Rama” produce the highest (desirable) Rosmarinic and Eugenol, compounds but all varieties provide gentle, powerful, healing and preventative properties. 
 

Ornamental Value

Tulsi (Holy Basil) is attractive and loosely shrubby and will grow between 2’ and up to 4’ tall in optimal conditions.

Cultivation

Krishna and Rama can easily take 3 weeks to germinate.  Once they attain their second set of leaves, thin seedlings to 2 inches apart. Keep seedlings warm and in the light, and water when the surface of the soil becomes dry.  Individuate seedlings to their own pots when they reach about 3 inches tall.   Tulsi likes 8 hour of full sun.  Cool, wet, and very shady conditions will create stunted plants. It loves  fertile soil and consistent moisture and occasional doses of organic fertilizer.

Harvest & Keeping

Harvest continually (but not excessively) as leaves develop for consumption as desired. Snipping off flowers as they appear will encourage bushier growth and greater yield of leaves.  Dry leaves, even the entire plant including roots for later consumption. 

Precautions

Tulsi  MIGHT slow blood clotting; avoid using for 2 weeks before scheduled surgery.

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