Tulsi Tea

The annals of Indian Ayurvedic history are resplendent with praises of Tulsi or the holy basil. The Puranas chronicle the myriad applications and health benefits of this miracle plant, considered holy in both Hinduism and Vaishnavism.

Indeed, its inexorable association with the Puranas illustrates just how important the plant was at the time. Unsurprisingly then, Indian mythologies offer innumerable theories around the naming of this plant. Vaishnavite legends attribute the birth of Tulsi to the Samudra Manthana (the cosmic dance of the ocean). It was said that Tulsi sprung out of the bottom of the ocean as Amrit (the elixir of life) containing miraculous properties of regeneration and healing.

It was also one of the eight herbs mentioned in the Vedas that were used for every Vedic ceremony and ritual. It was also easily available, which earned it the moniker Sulabha in ancient texts. Even today, most rural homes in India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka feature a Tulsi plant right in the middle of the courtyard.

But beyond its towering religious significance, Tulsi is also the herb that has been hailed as the magical medicinal plant used to treat everything, from external wounds, fever, and toothache to arthritis, glaucoma and cardiovascular disorders. What other herb can you name that heals all diseases, but Tulsi, which when literally translated stands for ‘matchless’ or ‘incomparable’?

So how is this herb consumed? Since Indian cuisines don’t quite experiment with basil beyond using fresh leaves as garnish, the most prevalent way of taking Tulsi is by brewing tea.

The curious part about Tulsi tea is that it doesn’t actually use tea leaves. About a handful (15-20) of fresh Tulsi leaves are washed and soaked into a pan of boiling water for about 15 minutes until the water starts to take on a yellowish-green hue. The drink is then strained and served in a tumbler. At times, lemon and cloves can be added to make the drink more potent and lend it a sharp taste with a hint of sweetness and spiciness.

Nutritional Value



per serving
  • Fat
    19 g
  • Protein
    12 g
  • Carbs
    40 g
  • Fiber
    10 g
  • Sodium
    0 g
  • Others
    0 g
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