When we started growing Tulsi, 7 years ago, we had no idea it was a Hindu Goddess in plant form, considered sacred and worshiped for over 5,000 years.  Thriving in our tropical conditions, this divine aroma begged to be investigated.  Native to India, it's the primary herb of Ancient Ayurveda known as "The Queen of Herbs."  When introduced to Christian's, they named it Holy Basil.  In the class of Adaptogens, alternative medicine calls it "a highly intelligent herb." 

Adaptogens help normalize body functions, boost immunities and deal with stress.  It helps relieve anxiety or boosts metabolism and energy levels.  However your physiology needs adjusting...it knows.  Grown in every Indian home, Tulsi tea brings spiritual enlightenment. Roughing it in the tropics, the epic storm of 2008 brought weeks of non-stop rain and destruction.  People were flooded out of their homes, roads turned into rivers and drowned livestock floated out to sea.  Mudslides busted water pipes and we felt pressure in the lines weaken, until they ran dry. 

Ironic and abundant, clean drinking water fell from the sky.  Placing buckets under the roof, we lived off of rainwater for over a week.  Meanwhile, several hundred Tulsi bushes thrived in the nutrient rich, non-stop rain.  Welcome to Floodtober, the peak of Costa Rica's rainy season.  Holding my arm out under the falls, collecting tea cups full, I prepared hot Tulsi over a flame and found contentment, amidst chaos.  And we've been growing it ever since– faithfully!


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Comment by Suz Lipman on August 14, 2013 at 8:21am

What a great post! I have African basil, which the bees love. I wonder how closely related these plants are?

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