by Bekah Kropp, Education Specialist at Big River Farms

hand planting small sprig of basil

This growing season you may have received several small packages of dry Tulsi basil tea in your CSA share grown and harvested by BRF farmers Mallory & Lucas of Yawelyahsi-Yo Farm. It is one of my favorite herbs to drink with raw honey, either hot or iced. This herb is a part of the basil (Lamiaceae) family. It makes a delicious tea that has a hint of licorice in the flavor. Tulsi is grown as an annual herb in Minnesota and is hardy to zones 10 to 12. It grows abundantly throughout SE Asia, especially in India. It is one of the most celebrated and sacred Ayurvedic herbs, which is a system of Eastern medicine that originated in India 3,000 years ago.   

Tulsi has many benefits for the body, mind, and spirit, offering support on both physical and subtle levels. Some of the benefits of Tulsi include: 

  • Helping the body cope with stress, providing mental clarity, and supporting overall rejuvenation
  • Supporting the lungs and promoting healthy, uncongested breathing
  • Promoting healthy circulation  

How to prepare Tulsi Tea: 

  1. Put 2 tsp of loose leaf Tulsi into a tea bag or a tea ball strainer
  2. Pour 12-16 oz of hot water (180 degrees F) over tea leaves
  3. Steep for 8-10 minutes in hot water (you can brew for longer for a stronger flavor and medicinal benefit)
  4. Sweeten with raw honey or organic maple syrup to enhance the flavor of the herb
  5. Drink the tea slowly and relax

Originally published 9-20-22 via Big River Farms Harvie

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