Tulsi or Sacred Basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum) is an aromatic plant native throughout the tropics and widespread as a cultivated plant. It is considered to be an adaptogen, helpful for adapting to stress. Some of tulsi’s main chemical constituents are oleanolic acid, ursolic acid, rosmarinic acid, eugenol, and carvacrol. Recent studies suggest that tulsi serves as a pain killer due to its high concentration of eugenol.
Marked by its strong aroma and astringent taste, Tulsi has been used for thousands of years in Ayurveda for its diverse healing properties. It is regarded in as an “elixir of life” and believed to promote longevity. Extracts made from the leaves and flowers are used for headaches and stomach disorders. Tulsi can also be taken as a tea to combat the common cold or used as an essential oil to ward off infection. In certain Vaishnavite Hindu groups, it is revered as sacred.
There is so much growing in my garden that I decided to blanch it, drain it, and mix it with shredded coconut, rice milk and honey to make this delightful treat.
Sweet Tulsi Pesto
You will need:
2 cups fresh tulsi leaves and flowers, boiled for 5 minutes in water and drained
1 spoonful coconut oil
1 spoonful local, raw honey
¼ cup shredded coconut
4 Tablespoons rice milk
Blend these together in a food processor and enjoy your healing food. It tastes wonderful on ice cream, toast, cornbread, or fresh apple slices.
 Therapeutic Uses of Tulsi and a note on Eugenol. P. Prakash and N. Gupta, Department of Biochemistry, Seema Dental College & Hospital, Rishikesh, Dehradoon , India.
Lisa Mase is a whole foods cooking educator, translator, and herbalist with a passion for words and nourishment. Lisa writes about healing foods, mindful eating, and cooking traditions on her blog Harmonized Cookery.