Attentive Thinking with Holy Basil

Samantha here! You guys know my stance on herbs: always a good idea. Some herbs are better known than others. Here’s one that might be new to you.

Sacred Basil, Tea Basil

Holy Basil, Ocimum sanctum, also known as Sacred Basil or Tulsi, is delicate and sweet. It’s well-suited to our cool northwest climate, growing well without greenhouse cover. The 6-inch spikes bloom with delicate purple trumpets in July and are an excellent nectar source for pollinators.

Holy basil makes a comforting, sweet cup of herbal tea and, as you can guess by the name, has cultural and religious significance, being used as a medicinal as well as spiritual aid.

Holy Basil Tea (2)

For me, tea time is a simple reminder to… relax. Relaxing should be an easy reflex, but for many of us it’s not (moms, you feel me). The ritual is about turning my busy off, and turning my calm on. Rubbing herb leaves between my fingers, hearing the whistle of the kettle, breathing the fragrant steam of the cup. Tea time is the most attentive I feel in my thoughts all day.

Holy Basil Tea (1)

Sure, it’s easy to skip—we all have something more important we could be doing—but I’ve learned that the price of not brewing is too high. In 20 minutes, a few ounces of green leaves and some hot water solve every problem. A great day is reflected on and thanked. A bad day is released and learned from. Puzzles resolve. Inspiration strikes. Without tea, I am a jumbled, confused mess with baggage from yesterday and no resolve for tomorrow. That just won’t do.

Combine with tea basil with mint to aid digestion. Combine with chamomile to help you sleep. Make time. You won’t regret it.

Holy Basil Tea

  1. Strip the leaves and flower spike from one stem (about 6 to 8 leaves) for each 8 ounce cup.
  2. Steep in very warm but not boiling water for 4 to 6 minutes, depending on how strong you like your tea.
  3. Remove leaves and flower stalk from the cup and add a drizzle of raw honey or a splash of citrus.
  4. Relax.

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