Last year, I fell in love with growing herbs in my home garden. For those of us who are interested in both the culinary and the medicinal uses of herbs, growing your own supply just makes sense. Herbs can be very expensive when purchased from a store, especially if you only need to use a small amount at a time. There is nothing quite like consuming or using fresh herbs that you have grown yourself in your own garden, especially if you grow them organically.
Last year, my two favorite herbs that I grew in my garden were lemongrass and sweet basil. I enjoyed many a stir fry dish and drank delicious tea (both hot and cold) made with lemongrass. I even made an alcohol-based tincture from the lemongrass, which I found to be not too difficult to do once I learned the basics of how to make it. With the sweet basil, I put it in fresh salads, made basil lemonade, enjoyed it with fresh homegrown tomatoes, added it to dishes, and made some dairy-free pesto sauce with it, which I kept in my freezer and enjoyed during the long cold winter months. In my opinion, there are fewer tastier things from the garden than fresh sweet basil!
This year, I am growing both sweet basil and lemongrass again, but I also decided to add holy basil (otherwise known as “tulsi”) to the herbs growing in my herb spiral as well. My interest in tulsi began with trips to the health food store, where I would often notice Tulsi Tea for sale on the shelves. Curious about it, I did a little bit of research and learned that it is classified as a tonic and an adaptogenic herb.
If you are unfamiliar with adaptogenic herbs, they are essentially a class of herbs that help to bring about overall balance to the body and to restore vitality. Both David Wolfe, the world class expert on super foods and super herbs, and Rosemary Gladstar, a well known herbalist, highly recommend this super herb. Holy basil grows wild throughout India, and has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for more than 3,000 years. It is claimed that holy basil helps our bodies to deal with stress and inflammation, among a plethora of other conditions.
Always the experimenter, I decided to grow holy basil and discover its benefits for myself. Never having tried it in any form before, the first thing that I noticed was the taste. Unlike any other basil that I had tried before, it has a very unique flavor, but it tastes delicious. Like other basils, it smells wonderful. So far, I have made the fresh leaves into a tea twice. While I can’t say that tusli has changed my world already, I can say that it has given me a feeling of relaxation upon drinking the tea. I suppose that if I were to consume some on a daily basis, I would likely notice additional benefits.
I plan to make this wonderful herb into a homemade tincture before the season ends, and I hope to post instructions about how I made it.
This post is shared at Healthy, Happy, Green & Natural Party Hop