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Holy basil tea, a flavorful hot brew or iced drink, is made from the leaves and blossoms of the revered tulsi or holy basil plant.
Also known as tulsi tea, the popular herbal brew originated in India thousands of years ago and is known for its rich antioxidant and adaptogenic properties that promote wellness and longevity.
These properties support the body's natural defense systems at the cellular level and fight against germs, stress, and disease. Drinking tulsi herbal tea on a regular basis is thought to "rejuvenate the soul" by helping to balance metabolism, promote physical and emotional endurance, and enhance thought processes.
Since it is not made from the leaves that are picked from the tea bush, Camellia sinensis, tulsi tea is not technically a tea, in the traditional sense.
Rather, it is an herbal infusion or tisane, which is brewed in the same way you would prepare cup or pot of black, green, oolong or white tea.
Recognized for its taste and health benefits, the botantical contains hundreds of compounds known as phyto-chemicals that work together to create strong antioxidant, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and immune-enhancing properties.
Tulsi is often referred to as the "queen of herbs" and has been an integral tonic of India's holistic health system of Ayurvedic medicines. In fact, the health benefits of the tulsi plant's leaves have been documented as early as 5000 BC.
The medicinal tea can be made with any or all of these three types of tulsi plants: Rama, Krishna and/or Vana. The leaves are often blended with tea and/or other herbs and fruits for added flavor when brewed.
Tulsi is caffeine free like other herbal infusions and contains vitamins A and C, calcium, zinc, iron and chlorophyll. Click here for more on the health benefits of this centuries-old beverage and tonic: Tulsi Tea.
If you are thinking about drinking tulsi tea on a regular basis to address medical concerns or as a preventive measure, be sure to first talk with your doctor. It is important to always consult a healthcare provider any time you are considering the use of herbs or supplements for wellness purposes.