Originating in India and across south-east Asia, Tulsi, also known as Holy Basil, is renowned for its religious and spiritual connotations and is often grown around Hindu temples. It is widely consumed as a food, drink and in a therapeutic setting.
The leaves as well as the seeds have important roles in traditional Ayurveda and other health traditions, with the leaves commonly used in fever management, including in children, in respiratory and digestive upsets, and fluid retention. It is also used in Thai, Vietnamese and Indian cuisines wherever in the world these are consumed.
As you inhale over a cup of tulsi tea you cannot mistake the clove-like aroma of the eugenol, a key constituent of this aromatic herb. The clove taste comes through on the first sip too with the rest of the flavours lemony, slightly camphorous pungency with a touch of eucalyptus. It is immediately uplifting with a pleasant heady effect.