I met her on a sticky summer afternoon seven years ago. The community garden T volunteers at was green and lawless, a proper August jungle. It was one of my first visits there — I was falling for him, yes, but the plants drew me under their spell, too.
I could point out the mint, the rosemary, the zinnias. Your garden basics. I grew up on Beatrix Potter and Lucy Maud Montgomery, after all.
But she was my first plant love, and she pressed her shape into my heart so I would never forget.
Sultry, spicy-sweet: she seduced me with her scent. A woman in green velvet beckoning me into her sanctuary. Candles lit behind parted curtains. Good fortunes to be told. Clarity to be found. And protection: a deep knowledge of safety. Some of her many gifts.
Holy Basil. Ocimum tenuiflorum. Tulsi. She is known by many names, but tulsi sounds best to my ear.
Many cultures celebrate her as a life-long ally for vibrant health.
In my own practice, I use tulsi mostly for focus and concentration in my creative work, but she is also my favorite ally for anxiety.
In our home, tulsi is everywhere. Dried and stuffed in jars, hanging by strings — for tea, for tincturing, for everything. I love to walk through the garden during her growing season and pinch off a leaf just to hold. Her scent alone brings me home. And honestly, I haven't met a person yet who doesn't have an affinity for this seductress.
TULSI ROSE TEA
For dreamers who want to call in some doing.
I blended this tea to sip on when I want to call in clarity and creativity. Even just the aroma calms me down, sparks my senses, and makes my heart skip a beat all at the same time.
It's a soulful combination: while tulsi parts the curtain of cobwebby mental fog, rose helps us in gently opening our hearts so we can more fully step into our stories. Cardamom, cinnamon, and ginger transport your senses and step up the warming and stimulating effect of this tea.
Mix 2 heaping tsp of tea in 8 oz. just off-the-boil water, steep, covered, 10 - 20 min. A french press dedicated to tea works great. Strain and drink as desired, or a few times a day when wanting to call in clarity and creativity.
A note on blending your own teas: I recommend mixing up a mason jar or so of a recipe at once so you've got it around to use as you like. I typically use a kitchen scale to use to measure for accuracy when I'm making a recipe for the first time or making tea for someone else. But often, unless it's a strictly medicinal tea where dosage is important, I often eyeball portions instead of measuring.
1 part dried tulsi / holy basil *
1 part dried rose (any type, organically grown)
1/16 part cardamom
1/8 part cassia cinnamon chips
1/16 part dried ginger
*avoid if pregnant or trying to conceive