Tulsi (Holy Basil)
Indian Queen of Herb Buyer's Guide

What is the difference between the three types of tulsi? Can we drink it organic?



Tulsi, also called holy basil, is a popular healing herb grown in homes and temples all across India.

This amazing herb is caffeine free and has a variety of health benefits. In India's Ayurvedic healing tradition, it is one of the most important plants and is used as both a general tonic and as medicine for a variety of conditions.

In this article, I will explain the different varieties and where to buy them organic.

Three Different Varieties

The three varieties differ from each other in color and appearance. They have different flavor profiles, and according to Ayurvedic tradition, have different healing properties as well.

Rama

It has green stems and green leaves. It has a mellow herbal taste and is most commonly found in China, Brazil, Eastern Nepal and southern India. It is the most common domesticated form of tulsi.

Krishna

It has bold purple leaves and stems and a more pungent taste than rama, often described as “peppery” or “spicy.” This variety is relatively scarce compared to the other two varieties.

The Krishna variety is said to be especially beneficial for clearing actions i.e. clearing throat infections, soothing nasal lesions, earache and skin infections.

Vana

It is the undomesticated, wild version of th herb. It grows wild in the Himalayas, India, Asia and Africa. Additionally, it is often grown in the garden along with its more cultivated cousins.

Commercial Tea

Tulsi teas may contain a single variety or a mixture of all three varieties. They may also be flavored with fruits and/or spices, or combined with other medicinal herbs.

For example, tulsi tea with jasmine is recommended for colds, while tulsi tea with peppermint is recommended for digestion.

Organic Tulsi Tea

Tulsi was one of the first Indian crops to be certified organic.

Organic India is the best-known producer of organic tulsi. Their tea is certified organic by the USDA, the EU and India. The company also works with small farmers and villages to strengthen traditional communities across India.

They use all three types and come in a dizzying array of flavors. If you are looking for quality, their products are an excellent place to start.

Here are a couple of reasons why organic is superior:

  • No pesticides: The herb is grown organically without chemical pesticides. Chemical pesticides can kill harmless and beneficial insects as well as pests. They can also contaminate water supplies.

  • No chemical fertilizers: Fertilizers can contaminate groundwater, rivers and streams.

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