Let me start off by saying that we have been drinking this tea virtually every night for the past two years. In fact, previous to discovering Tulsi, we rarely drank tea in the evenings and now we can't go a night without it. I don't know what it is but after that first pot we were hooked. And with our nightly ritual I have developed quite the relationship with Tulsi. It is not like you drink it and your life immediately changes, but something about her (Tulsi is now a 'she' to me) sinks into your system, and becomes such a part of you that you become lost without her. Ahhhh, Tulsi.... Though drinking tea isn't quite yoga related, I felt compelled to share our nightly ritual. Tulsi tea is especially beneficial this time of year where cold and flu's run rampant and the short days affect our mood and well-being. Here especially in the Rocky Mountains as we approach the winter solstice, the world starts getting dark by 4:30 pm and by 6:00 pm it feels like it is time to go to bed. On top of that we are currently in a deep freeze where all you want to do is wrap your cold hands around a warm mug of tea and feel it soothe you from the inside out. Such the perfect time to drink something that keeps you healthy, calm and nourished. Please keep in mind I am not a nutritionist, or herbalist, and I have not been paid by any manufacturer of Tulsi tea. These are simply my opinions and experiences.
So what is Tulsi tea? It is also called Holy Basil and has been used in the Aryuvedic medicine for centuries. One of the main uses of it is for stress-release. Here is a brief list of the numerous benefits of this fantastic herb:
- Tulsi is a powerful adaptogen. Adaptogenic herbs are used in stress-reduction because it helps the body to adapt to stressful situations as well as calming the adrenals and preventing inflammation.
- Boots the immune system, helping to prevent colds and flu.
- The calming effects of the tea can aid in better sleep.
- Supports the joints and high in magnesium.
- Eases upset stomachs.
- Helps maintain healthy metabolism.
- And many, many more benefits!
How to prepare:
I have tried a few different brands of Tulsi but by far my favourite is Organic Traditions. It comes in a large, reseal-able pouch and the tea is loose. (No tea bags) I usually do two large tablespoons for a regular sized teapot. And then I let it steep for at least 10 minutes. Usually 15-20 minutes, the stronger it is, the more benefits in my opinion.
The taste is hard to describe if you have never had it before. Maybe, sort of a light and vague peppermint with a natural sweetness. I really love it and never need to add any honey or other sweeteners. We recently have been mixing it with Lemongrass tea from Organic traditions. Lemongrass has similar calming and health benefits of Tulsi and the two blend nicely together. You can find Tulsi blended with other teas but we prefer to keep it simple with just the Tulsi or with the lemongrass.
So on these cold winter days and nights, I invite you to create a new ritual of drinking this lovely herb. I swear it has helped to keep us sane while parenting a pre-schooler as well as keeping sickness at bay. Enjoy and please share your experiences!