Holy Basil, also known as Tulsi or as the botanical Ocimum tenuiflorum and Ocimum sanctum is native to parts of Southern India and South East Asia. It is used extensively across India in the practice of Ayurvedic medicine and for spiritual purposes.
In Ayurvedic medicine it is know to help treat colds, headaches, stomach disorders, inflammation, heart disease, various forms of poisoning, and malaria.
As a food ingredient the dried herb is very popular in Thai cuisine where it is often called 'Thai Holy Basil' (known locally as kaphrao). You will find it in many traditional Thai dishes so look out for it when you next indulge in your favourite Thai dishes!
In aromatherapy Holy Basil purifies and cleanses the air and is thought to support our respiratory, nervous and digestive systems.
It can also be used as an 'energiser' in room diffusers it is thought to stimulate the creative receptors in the brain when working (a good one to sneak into the office!).
Given its typical high yields of eugenol, Holy Basil Oil may be compared as a cross between Clove and traditional Basil.
Except during the monsoon season cultivated basil is distilled throughout the year. With the end of the monsoon season in the plantation region a new crop is expected soon. The wild crop is expected in the winter season between December and March. The herbage obtained depends on various factors and so it is not possible to predict the oil quality that will be produced.
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