What is Tulsi (Holy Basil)?

"The Queen of Herbs" - is the most sacred herb of India. Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum), although also known as Holy Basil, is a different plant from the pesto variety of Basil (Ocimum basilicum). Tulsi has been revered in India for over five thousand years, as a healing balm for body, mind and spirit, and is known to bestow an amazing number of health benefits. ORGANIC INDIA is pleased to offer Organic Tulsi, for the first time, as a stress-relieving, energizing and delicious tea. For our ORGANIC INDIA Tulsi Tea Collection we utilize a proprietary combination of 3 varieties of Tulsi: Rama Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum), Krishna Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum) and Vana Tulsi (Ocimum gratissimum). Each variety lends its own distinct and characteristic taste that contributes to the delicious flavor and aroma of our blend.

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What are the health benefits of Tulsi?
Tulsi is rich in antioxidant and renowned for its restorative powers, Tulsi has several benefits:

* Relieves stress / adaptogen
* Bolsters immunity
* Enhances stamina
* Provides support during cold season
* Promotes healthy metabolism
* A natural immuno-modulator

"Modern scientific research offers impressive evidence that Tulsi reduces stress, enhances stamina, relieves inflammation, lowers cholesterol, eliminates toxins, protects against radiation, prevents gastric ulcers, lowers fevers, improves digestion and provides a rich supply of antioxidants and other nutrients. Tulsi is especially effective in supporting the heart, blood vessels, liver and lungs and also regulates blood pressure and blood sugar." Dr. Ralph Miller, former Director of Research for the Canadian Dept. of Health and Welfare.

Tulsi helps reduce the ill effects of many allopathic medicines and has proved to be beneficial for people of all ages.

How can Tulsi offer so many health benefits?
The unique chemistry of Tulsi is highly complex. Tulsi contains hundreds of beneficial compounds known as phyto-chemicals. Working together, these compounds possess strong antioxidant, antibacterial, antiviral, adaptogenic, and immune-enhancing properties that promote general health and support the body's natural defense against stress and diseases. The essential oils in the leaves of Tulsi that contribute to the fragrance and refreshing flavor of Tulsi Tea, are a particularly rich source of valuable phyto-chemicals.

What is an adaptogen?
An adaptogen is an agent that helps the body adapt more efficiently to stress. Adaptogens reduce the intensity and negative impact of the stress caused by mental tension, emotional difficulties, poor lifestyle habits, disease and infection, pollution and other factors. Tulsi is one of the most effective adaptogens known.

What are antioxidants?
Antioxidants slow down the process of excess oxidation and protect cells from the damage caused by free radicals. When cells are attacked by free radicals, excess oxidation occurs which damage and destroy cells. Antioxidants stop this process. The cellular damage caused by free radicals can be responsible for causing and/or accelerating many diseases. Tulsi is rich in antioxidants and is recommended to guard against free radicals and protect from damaging excess oxidation.

What is an immuno-modulator?
An immuno-modulator is an agent that balances and improves the immune response of the body in fighting antigens (disease causing agents such as bacteria, viruses, microbes, allergens etc.) and maintaining health.

How soon can I expect to see results from drinking ORGANIC INDIA Tulsi Teas?
Some of Tulsi effects are quite immediate, while others develop gradually after weeks of regular use. For example, you may feel more relaxed and energized after the first cup. Although Tulsi has many specific effects on different body systems, its main benefits arise from its impressive general capacity to assist the body's natural process of healing and maintaining health. Tulsi overall health promotion and disease prevention effects are powerful, but often subtle. For example, you may simply notice that you do not seem to be bothered by stress or common illnesses, such as colds or flu, nearly as often as before. Or you may notice that you generally tire less easily. As with many other herbal supplements, it usually takes at least a week or so of consistent use for the body to experience major benefits.

Tulsi has been revered in India for over five thousand years, as a healing balm for body, mind and spirit, and is known to bestow an amazing number of health benefits

Why haven't I heard of it before?
Tulsi has been known and honored in India for over five millenia for its remarkable healing properties. Similar to Guayaki Yerba Mate or Rooibos, which were little known a few years ago, Tulsi is at the forefront of today's herbal medicine. ORGANIC INDIA is the first company to bring Tulsi to the West as a delicious tea (6 varieties!). Tulsi sales grew by over 200% last year industry-wide. Tulsi is the next "big" herb according to many, including Ed Smith, founder of Herb Pharm, in the January, 2005 Delicious Living Magazine.

Why are there two names, Tulsi and Holy Basil?
Tulsi is the common and well-known name for this plant in India (and in many Asian countries) where it originates. The Latin name is Ocimum Sanctum. Tulsi is of the same botanical family as Basil, whose Latin name is Ocimum Basilicum. (Similarly, tomatoes, green peppers and eggplants are all of the same botanical family, as are cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli and brussel-sprouts, even though each is a very different and distinct plant) What is common is the genesis Ocimum, but somehow the Sanctum (sacred or holy) of Ocimum Sanctum was put together with the Basilicum (Basil) of Ocimum Basilicum and the name Holy Basil was created. This name, Holy Basil is commonly used for the Tulsi plant in the west.

What makes these products different?
ORGANIC INDIA works with thousands of farmers and wild crafters in India, directly supporting and training them in ethical wild crafting, organic and Biodynamic agricultural practices. For the Tulsi Tea Collection, we work with hundreds of family farmers who own their own land and grow our unique varieties of Tulsi - Holy Basil on their own land. Over 1,500 farmers, harvesters and factory workers are employed during the harvesting and processing of Tulsi. ORGANIC INDIA pays the farmers a generous premium over market price for the Tulsi. The company also provides all materials and finances needed to adhere to the rigorous requirements to maintain USDA and other international organic and Biodynamic certifications. This unconventional business model guarantees the livelihood for the farmers and their families year-round. At the beginning of 2005 we achieved our Biodynamic certification through Demeter for the Tulsi farms in Azamgarh.

What will Tulsi-Holy Basil do for me?
Tulsi is known as an adaptogen, helping our bodies "adapt" to different forms of stressors (environmental, physical, mental, emotional). Tulsi works for each person differently depending on what his or her body needs. Drinking Tulsi Tea promotes a sense of well-being, relieves stress, supports immunity, strength and stamina, provides relief from cold, fever and flu symptoms, and strengthens digestion and a healthy metabolism that may promote weight loss. This herbal panacea is The Herb for Our Times!

How many cups of ORGANIC INDIA Tulsi Tea do you recommend per day?
Tulsi Tea can be enjoyed throughout the day, from morning to night. However, even one cup of Tulsi Tea a day is beneficial. During times of illness, the quantity and the strength of ORGANIC INDIA Tulsi TEA can be increased to quicken recovery.

If I have cold or flu symptoms should I consume more Tulsi?
Tulsi has been used for thousands of years to prevent and minimize the symptoms of colds and flu, to support upper respiratory health, reduce fevers and promote overall health. When utilizing Tulsi Tea to lessen the duration of colds or flu, it is suggested that you increase the amount and strength of the tea you consume. Suggested use: 2-3 tea bags per cup of tea, 3-6 times per day.

Is Tulsi safe to use during pregnancy and lactation and with children?
During pregnancy and lactation, one should always consult a primary health care provider before using any herb or herbal formula. In India, eating fresh Tulsi leaves and making tea with Tulsi leaves is common with women during pregnancy and lactation. Tulsi is considered safe for use with children over the age of 2. You should consult your primary health care provider for use with younger children. Most children love Tulsi Tea!

Do ORGANIC INDIA Tulsi Teas contain caffeine?
Tulsi is naturally caffeine-free. However, some of our blends contain Black Tea and Green Tea, which do contain caffeine. Please check the individual Tulsi Tea pages in the website and/or the individual packages to see caffeine content.

Does Tulsi Tea have any side effects?
You might notice that you feel much better! If you need more energy and don't want caffeine or sugar, Tulsi will gently support and strengthen your energy. When feeling stressed or anxious, many report a gentle, soothing effect to their nervous systems and notice a greater clarity of mind! Tulsi Teas are considered very safe by modern scientific standards. In fact, Tulsi helps reduce the ill effects of many allopathic medicines and has proved to be beneficial for people of all ages.

Are there any contraindications?
According to traditional use and the modern research of Tulsi, it is generally considered that there are no contraindications for most people/constitutions and/or life circumstances and that it may be used daily for its health benefits. Not every herb is right for EVERY BODY - listen to yours, and see if Tulsi works for you. Always consult a primary health care provider whenever you have concerns.

Place one teaspoon or tea bag of ORGANIC INDIA TULSI TEA per cup in a pot or cup and pour freshly boiled water over the leaves or teabag. Infuse for two to five minutes to suit your taste. A longer steeping time, such as five minutes, yields a stronger tea with more beneficial properties. Add a natural sweetener and/or milk if desired. Summer Tulsi Tea tip: Tulsi makes a delicious and refreshing cold/iced tea. Add a touch of fresh mint to beat the summer heat! Double the strength when serving iced.

Can ORGANIC INDIA TULSI TEA be taken with milk?
Yes, all our blends can be taken with milk. Most people enjoy our blends that include black tea, like our Tulsi Chai Masala and our Tulsi Original Tea, with milk and sweetener. The herbal blends and Tulsi Green Tea are most often enjoyed just as they are. Tulsi is naturally delicious, slightly sweet, and a little spicy. Children especially love our Tulsi Tea with milk & sweetener.

How long can I store Tulsi Tea?
We recommend that you consume the product within three years of the manufacturing date. Store in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.

Can I prepare Tulsi Tea at home from my own Tulsi plant? Yes, of course. However, most households have only one type of Tulsi usually Rama Tulsi. Krishna is less common, and cultivated Vana Tulsi is fairly rare. ORGANIC INDIA has created a unique blend of all the three varieties with their complimentary health benefits. We cultivate our Tulsi from seedlings every year and harvest it at an optimal time, right after first flowering, when its aromatic and beneficial oils are at their peak. Older plants do not yield the best tea. In addition, Tulsi plants grown in polluted urban areas may be chemically contaminated. We grow our Tulsi in non-polluted remote locations in rich organic soil to produce the healthiest plants possible.

Why do you call your collection Teas?
ORGANIC INDIA TULSI TEA blends are herbal teas, prepared as an infusion from freshly boiled water. Herbs prepared this way are popularly known internationally as herbal teas.

Tulsi has been used for thousands of years to prevent and minimize the symptoms of colds and flu, to support upper respiratory health, reduce fevers and promote overall health.

Does ORGANIC INDIA offer any other products?
In addition to our delicious Tulsi Tea Collection, we offer herbal supplements, bulk herbs, organic spices, specialized organic foods and an ever-expanding line of high-quality organic products. We are the largest growers of organic Tulsi in India, with a sustainable business model and fair trade practices.

Why should I use Organic Products?
There is more and more evidence that chemical based fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides are extremely harmful to our health. Conventional agriculture relies heavily on chemical fertilizers and toxic pesticides, which are harmful to human health, and which enter the food supply, penetrate water sources, harm the livestock, deplete the soil, devastate natural eco-systems, and contaminate the foods grown for the general public. In addition to which, there are over 7000 artificial and/or chemical preservatives and additives permitted in non-organic food including colorings, stabilizers, fillers, residual antibiotics, hydrogenated fats, etc. none of which are permitted in organic foods.

Eating organic is also the only way to ensure that you are not ingesting GM/GE (genetically modified/genetically engineered) foods, which are not permitted in organic foods.

Certified Organic products are tested to guarantee that they are free from all toxic agro-chemicals. Certified Organic means a sure way to trust that the foods you purchase are pure, safe and uncontaminated. ORGANIC INDIA is a global leader in promoting organic foods and health products and in supporting sustainable agriculture, wild crafting and village/tribal communities in India. Our commitment is to offer the highest quality certified organic products available today.

*The above documents are quote from Organic India.