Benefits of Tulsi and Tulsi Ice Tea

by Helene Dsouza on May 15, 2013

You might have heard of the Tulsi plant before and some of you know it better then any other herbs in this world. Tulsi or Tulasi is also widely known as Holy Basil. Yes this is correct, the Indian Tulsi is a much stronger flavored and sweeter variation of the common “Italian” Basil. The shrub emits a refreshing aroma which enthralls your senses in an instant. Yet the Tulsi has some more plus points, including some health related advantages. Oh and let’s not forget that the herb has some important religious meanings. The benefits of Tulsi are numerous and one here in India couldn’t imagine living without it. It’s omnipresent!

Benefits of Tulsi and Tulsi Ice Tea #drinks #recipe masalaherb.com

We have a million Tulsi shrubs growing in our little garden patch. Ok maybe I am exaggerating but there are at least over 50 plants growing individually. Wherever there is little space or where the most of water falls, a new seedling emerges, which in turn has a fast growing rate. In the same time more of those hairy but wonderfully smelling plants emerge. All those Tulsi plants in just 2 years! They are the progeny of our first green Tulsi shrub, which didn’t make the last rains when a mango branch fell on it.

A friend, who usually comes at least once a year to visit us in Goa, was smitten by the vast amounts of green holy basil decorating our garden. She was excited by the freshness and sweetness around her and she proclaimed with her spiritual knowledge, that the plants protect the surrounding and help the garden to stay pure. She is not the only one harboring this belief. In India the Tulsi is considered to be one of the holiest plants. Hinduism teaches us that the herb is the incarnation of the deity Lakshmi.

Benefits of Tulsi and Tulsi Ice Tea #drinks #recipe masalaherb.com

One thing is crystal clear, the benefits of tulsi are copious! Tulsi has been used in the traditional Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years, which proofs again it’s importance in every humans life here. When taken in as a tea, it can assist your health in different ways.

    • Tulsi helps you to relax and cope with stress, it soothes your being.
    • Tulsi promotes longevity due to the huge amount of included antioxidants in the plant
    • Tulsi lowers blood sugar levels and is so suitable for Diabetic Type 2 patients
    • Tulsi also decreases Cholesterol levels

Benefits of Tulsi and Tulsi Ice Tea #drinks #recipe masalaherb.com

Tulsi is known to harbor antibacterial properties and hence the Holy Basil has proofed to cure ailments such as….

  • common cold – clears excess mucus and helps in the healing process
  • stomachache – soothes indigestion and works as a natural painkiller
  • earaches – concentrated Tulsi juice may assist in the healing process
  • urinary infection – The slimy Tulsi seeds are known to sooth painful urination
  • repairs cells during cancer radiation (Although this still needs to be confirmed!)
  • Insect – Poultice of fresh leafs and roots reduces the itching and irritating swelling

Now, we have been hearing here from everybody, locals family members and other Indians, that the Tulsi plant is a natural Mosquito repellant. We, my husband and I completely doubt this! Since we have more Tulsis growing in our garden we have a horde of new born mosquitoes torturing us everyday and mosquitoes are sitting on the tulsi leafs. So what the heck? I believe this might have applied in the past but nowadays I believe insects are much stronger and they might have adapted to natural insect repellants.

You might recall my Falooda article from the past. Falooda is just another name for Basil Seeds and it is in the same time a famous Asian and Middle Eastern beverage. In the article I explained that one could turn those seeds in seconds into slimy tapioca like pearls. The same applies for the Tulsi seeds but since those seeds are much smaller in size, they don’t produce that much of a slimy cover around the core. You can use the Tusli seeds instead of common Basil seeds in Cold Beverages.

Benefits of Tulsi and Tulsi Ice Tea #drinks #recipe masalaherb.com

But today I decided for my new favorite homemade Ice Tea flavor. You don’t have to guess to know that it is flavored with Tulsi leafs, however I did add some black tea (or you might prefer Green Tea) leafs too, to transform it more into a commercial style Ice Tea, such as the popular Lemon Ice Tea or Peach Ice tea. The heat has still not subsided here and I am a huge lover of Ice Teas. The Tulsi is quite sweet in the tea and I usually don’t add much more sugar but my husband does love an extra sweetness punch. Maybe a note of bitterness can be tasted and a hint of the Italian Basil is coming through and some kind of Mint type as well. Understanding the unique flavor can be a challenge. I ll just say it tastes how a Tulsi is suppose to taste. Maybe you should get a hand on some, taste it and then let us know in the comments section what your experience was.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Tulsi Ice Tea
 
Author:
Recipe type: Beverage
Cuisine: -
Serves: 2
Cook time:
Total time:
 
A refreshing and healthy Tulsi Ice Tea for hot summer days
Ingredients
  • handful fresh Tulsi leafs or 1½ Tablespoon dried flaked Tulsi leafs
  • 1 Teaspoon Black or Green Tea leafs
  • Sugar or Honey to sweeten
Instructions
  1. Bring the water to a boil and steep the herbs in water for 5-10 minutes. Strain, sweeten and let it cool a bit before keeping the tea in the fridge for further cooling. Serve with Ice enjoy.

Benefits of Tulsi and Tulsi Ice Tea #stepbystep #recipe masalaherb.com

 

 

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I am Helene, the author behind Masala Herb! My aim is to show you an incredible world full of surprises. Food, Culture and Travel are my forte and that's what I enjoy. Follow my Food and Travel adventures and learn some incredible things! Now in the beautifull Indian coastline state, Goa.

{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

dassana

i love tulsi tea. i make it like the way you have made and have it chilled. i have read as per kirlian photography, the tulsi and neem plants have a very large aura (don’t remember how many sq metres in area) which purifies the whole surrounding near them. they also give ozone. btw even no insects or mosquitoes come near neem trees.

Reply

Helene Dsouza

Their Aura is very pure too, completely white without other energies. yeah I remember reading this in an old book about India, many years back. But at that time I had no clue what tulsi was. We have a neem tree too and one is standing in the neighboring compound, exactly from where all the mosquitoes are streaming in. So that’s why I don’t think that they actually repel mosquitoes. At least here the buggers are really strong.

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Nancy/SpicieFoodie

I have never tried tulsi tea but from your description it sounds like one I would love. Also wouldn’t mind having a plant to grow — to bad I kill all my plants, lol. Thanks for sharing Helene.:)
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Helene Dsouza

lol you kind of sound like me. At least now I am getting better with the planting story. ^.^ Maybe I can get you some seeds one day, tulsi isn’t that complicated to grow otherwise. The seeds pick up quickly and as long as there is no frost they grow fine.

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Eha

This is great – I know we can easily get dried tulsi leaves here in Australia, yet I have never tried the tea! As I hugely believe in natural therapies and have to admit to quite a few of the ‘ailments’ enumerated, this will be bought and tried soonest. Thank you, Helene !

Reply

Helene Dsouza

Oh yes you get that in Australia? Let me know how you liked it after your first tea try.

Reply

CCU

Tulsi reminds me of Tulsi Das, the great Indian poet
I would love to make this ice tea, sounds delicious!
Cheers
CCU

Reply

Helene Dsouza

lol you are cute. hey, I d make you some if you come over.

Reply

kitchenriffs

I don’t believe I’ve ever had tulsi. Sound terrific! And when the weather is hot, iced tea is so refreshing. Perfect recipe – thanks.

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Helene Dsouza

You ought to try it out, I am so sure you would enjoy it John.

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Gomo | cHowDivine.com

I’ve never tried tulsi. I’ve had Thai holy basil many times in Thai cuisine, but I think it’s a different variety. I would love to try this tea. It looks so refreshing. Thanks for the informative post Helene!

Reply

Helene Dsouza

I am not sure, the articles online are a bit confusing. it might be that the thai holy basil is the same as our tulsi after all. We ll only know if we compare them =)

Reply

Sandra’s Easy Cooking

I am drinking right now tea from dry basil, and I love the strong aroma. I do use basil one for culinary uses and leave under the lid for minute or two longer. I don’t know if I tried before Indian basil. Either way it’s very delicious and nutritional herb and tea. Great post and wonderful pictures!

Reply

Helene Dsouza

Thank you Sandra. Oh and I so agree, the aroma is mesmerizing and so refreshing after a long day. =)

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mjskit

I’ve never heard of Tulsi. The way you describe it I know that I would love it. The plant doesn’t even look familiar. Probably too dry of a climate here. It sounds delicious and you just reminded me that I need to go make a pot of tea. Wish I had some Tulsi leaves!

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Angie@Angie’s Recipes

I have never heard of or had tulsi. Now I am totally intrigued.

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Kiran @ KiranTarun.com

I can’t find the Indian tulsi here, but the dried version definitely beats any other summer beverage. Love your clicks!

Reply

Gourmantine

Great post Helene, never tried Tulsi tea before, but would love to get my hands on some (even if it would be only dried variety).

Reply

Helene Dsouza

Ah maybe that could be solved in the future. Let’s see what I can do, and in case I ll let you know. ;)

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Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen

What perfect timing, I’m just discovering Tulsi and all it’s benefits!

Reply

Helene Dsouza

It’s a very useful herb and in fact its quite versatile. You could add it to a salad as well or how about a pesto? i am getting creative again ^.^

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Kitchen Belleicious

i would love to try this! It looks so refreshing and beneficial

Reply

Helene Dsouza

You should try to get a hand on it during summer, it’s really super refreshing.

Reply

Malli

I’ve heard so much about the nutritional value of Tulsi but never heard of Tulsi tea….sounds and looks so soothing!!

Reply

Helene Dsouza

You need to give it a try then ;)

Reply

Nami | Just One Cookbook

I’ve never tried Tulsi Ice Tea, so it was nice to learn something new! I love your drink shot – you successfully seduced readers to try this recipe with your gorgeous photos. ;)
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Minnie@thelady8home

I miss Tulsi here – it is of course the holiest plant we have, and we are often deeply connected to it in a spiritual way. Tulsi is excellent for allergies and I love drinking tea with the leaves.
Minnie@thelady8home recently posted..2 Minutes eggless cupcakes – super moist and delicious.My Profile

Reply

Helene Dsouza

yeah I missed it too in Europe. I wonder if it would survive the cold. I had forgotten to bring seeds to europe last year. Next time I ll take some to france instead of the austrian apls, they might have more chances to survive in the french climate.

Reply

Charles

Hi Helene, I don’t think I’ve heard of tulsi before – yet another delightful sounding thing you’ve introduced me to! Could you make a pesto with it I wonder?
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