Here in New England, this is the kind of day we wait for all winter long – brilliant sun, azure skies, no clouds and temps forecasted near 50. A glorious day for walking!
This morning I am delving back into the herbal world to share an interesting tisane that I’ve been enjoying as my evening cuppa lately.
Ocimum tenioflorum, commonly called Holy Basil and known in India as Tulsi, meaning “the incomparable one” in Sanskrit.
There are 2 types of Holy Basil, one with light green leaves and one with dark. I have prepared the darker variety, also called purple leaf probably because the leaves have a purplish tinge to them.
Many Hindu families have Tulsi growing in pots outside the entrance to their home. The Tulsi plant is venerated as a goddess and every year a ritual is performed marrying her to the god Vishnu. This ceremonial marriage is called Tulsi Vivah and it signifies the end of the monsoon season and the beginning of the Hindu wedding season.
Tulsi has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic remedies. Studies have shown its benefits in quite a few conditions ranging from regulating blood glucose to pain relief to reducing cholesterol levels. I’ve also read that its great for easing stress.
I steeped the leaves for 8 minutes in boiled water. The amber liquor has a distinctive clove, anise/licorice aroma which carries over into its taste.
Sweet and spicy pepper notes mingle with a hint of cinnamon and fruit. I bet this would be lovely iced.
I’m looking forward to a warmer time when iced drinks will be regularly enjoyed.
The fresh air is beckoning….enjoy your weekend!
“When we emerge into the bright landscapes of the sun everything looked brighter, and we felt our faith in Nature’s beauty strengthened, and saw more clearly that beauty is universal and immortal, above, beneath, on land, in heat and cold, light and darkness.” ~John Muir