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Herb Profile: Holy Basil Varieties

tulsi

Holy Basil has been revered for its medicinal value throughout India for thousands of years. Ayurvedic texts describe Holy Basil as a pillar of holistic herbal medicine and a goddess incarnated in plant form (the mother medicine of nature). Many traditional Hindus worship an alter bearing a Holy Basil plant that is placed in the courtyard of their home or in another prominent location. Today Holy Basil remains one of the most cherished of India's sacred healing plants. The leaves smell of peppermint, cloves, licorice and/or lemon.

There are three types of Tulsi sold by Mountain Rose Herbs: Krishna, Rama, and Vana. Rama and Krishna are of the same species. All varieties belong to the mint family and are cousins of sweet basil.

 

holy_basil_krishna1

Krishna (Ocimum tenuiflorum) is known for its medicinal value and peppery crisp taste. The plant has dark green to purple leaves, stems, and blossoms. It is cultivated in the Indian plains, as well as private homes and gardens around India, and is named after the blue skinned God as the dark purple leaves resemble this color.

holy_basil_rama

 

 

Rama (Ocimum tenuiflorum) is known for its cooling and mellow flavor. The plant has green leaves, white-to-purplish blossoms, and a green or purplish stem. It is cultivated in the Indian plains, as well as private homes and gardens around India.

 

holy_basil_vana

 

 

Vana (Ocimum gratissimum), aka. "forest type", is known for its fragrance. The plant has green leaves and stems, with white blossoms. It is found in the Himalayas and plains of India, grows wild in Asia and Africa, and is used medicinally there as well.

 

 

Click Here to learn more about this amazing plant!

 


Topics: Our Farms, Herbalism, Specialty Ingredients, Tea & Herbal Drinks

Christine

Written by Christine on September 6, 2013

As Products Manager, Christine Rice has been working with the botanical goodies at Mountain Rose Herbs for over 14 years. With a Certificate in Aromatherapy from The American College of Healthcare Sciences, she works closely with the essential oils and hydrosols that we offer. She connects with the aromatherapy industry through our National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy business membership and contributes on working committees with The American Herbal Products Association. In addition to her love for aromatics and blending essential oils, Christine can be found gardening and exploring the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She enjoys canning and preserving food, knitting when she has time, and keeps busy with her energetic daughter.

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