Holy Basil

Issue published September 2020

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Letter from the editor

When I think of holy basil, the first thing that comes to mind is the smell of walking through a field of open-pollinating holy basil flowers at a local herb farm that I like to visit. If you have never had the pleasure of smelling fresh holy basil, it is one of the most unique and enchanted scents you can find, just delightful. For this reason, it’s an herb I encourage you to get to know in its fresh form. And, the good news is, holy basil is easy to grow in most climates!

One of the many things this pandemic has taught me is the importance of using herbs that are readily available to me in my growing region. With shipping delays, supply-chain issues, and some of my go-to herb suppliers closing down entirely, I’m reminded that the convenience of receiving herbs from far-flung areas of the world might not be something I can count on forever. Luckily, holy basil has become a dear friend of mine in my own garden, and it is one I have been relying on throughout these recent months.

With its adaptogenic and nootropic properties, holy basil can help with the stress that we are all undoubtedly feeling given the current state of the world. As a warming bitter, it can also help us with sluggish digestion, which can happen as a result of ongoing stress. Holy basil is a spiritual helper as well, which you might have gleaned from its name alone. You don’t even need to consume it to experience its many benefits. As a hydrosol or essential oil, I find it incredibly grounding and stabilizing in this very unstable world. One of my favorite ways to use holy basil is in the bath. Mixing fresh or dried holy basil leaf with Epsom or Himalayan salts can create a comforting oasis of safety and relaxation. When I am having a particularly overwhelming day, I will also drink a simple infusion of holy basil while in the tub. The steam coming off the cup and from the bath is enough to put me into a relaxed trance.

In the articles below, you will be introduced to the many benefits of this magical herb and have the pleasure of reading our authors’ favorite go-to recipes. I hope that this issue encourages you to get to know this herb on a deeper level and inspires you to use it in new ways. Our herbal allies are needed now more than ever, and holy basil is up to challenges we face.

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Articles

Ocimum sanctum Monograph
Tulsi Coloring Page
Holy Basil: Divine, Dynamic Protection Plant
Growing Tulsi
Tulsi: A Versatile Star
Tulsi in Aromatherapy

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