Monsoon Wellness: How To Use Holy Basil For Health Benefits

As the monsoon rains drench the Indian landscape, bringing a welcome relief from the summer heat, our kitchens often transform to embrace the season's unique flavours and health needs. One herb that stands out during this time is the holy basil, or tulsi, revered in Indian culture for its medicinal properties and spiritual significance. Remember the comforting aroma of tulsi leaves in your mother's kitchen as she brewed a soothing cup of herbal tea during a rainy evening? This monsoon let's explore how we can use this sacred herb to enhance our meals, drinks, and overall well-being. 

Tulsi Tea 

A hot cup of tulsi tea is perfect for monsoon mornings. Boil a handful of fresh tulsi leaves in water for about 10 minutes. Add a teaspoon of honey and a dash of lemon juice for added flavour and health benefits. Tulsi tea is known for its immune-boosting properties, helping to ward off common colds and flu that are prevalent during the rainy season. It's also a great way to start your day with a warm, aromatic, and healthful beverage. 

Tulsi Kadha 

Kadha, a traditional Ayurvedic concoction, is a potent remedy for monsoon-related ailments. To prepare, boil tulsi leaves with ginger, black pepper, cloves, and a pinch of turmeric. Sweeten with jaggery if needed. This powerful brew helps in boosting immunity, relieving congestion, and soothing sore throats. It’s a natural way to stay healthy during the monsoons and can be consumed daily. 

Tulsi Pesto 

Give your traditional pesto a desi twist by incorporating tulsi. Blend fresh tulsi leaves with garlic, pine nuts (or walnuts), parmesan cheese, olive oil, and salt to taste. This tulsi pesto can be used as a spread on sandwiches, a topping for pizzas, or a sauce for pasta. It's a unique and flavorful way to add the benefits of tulsi to your meals, combining Italian and Indian culinary traditions. 

Tulsi in Curries 

Incorporating tulsi into your curries adds a distinct flavour and numerous health benefits. Finely chop tulsi leaves and add them towards the end of cooking to retain their freshness and aroma. Whether it’s a simple dal tadka or a rich paneer curry, tulsi leaves can enhance the flavour while providing antibacterial and antiviral properties. It's a simple yet effective way to boost your daily diet with tulsi. 

Tulsi Chutney 

A tangy tulsi chutney is an excellent accompaniment to Indian snacks. Blend fresh tulsi leaves with coriander, mint, green chillies, garlic, and a squeeze of lemon juice. This chutney pairs well with pakoras, samosas, and even as a spread for sandwiches. Not only does it add a burst of flavour, but it also brings in the health benefits of tulsi, making your snacks both tasty and nutritious. 

Tulsi Infused Water 

Keep yourself hydrated with tulsi-infused water. Add a handful of tulsi leaves to a jug of water and let it sit for a few hours. This refreshing drink helps in detoxifying the body, improving digestion, and keeping your skin healthy. It’s an effortless way to incorporate tulsi into your daily routine, ensuring you reap its benefits throughout the day.