Recently, while at a Whole Foods looking for rose hips, I discovered a sweet rose Tulsi tea.  It is absolutely delicious, with a flavor that is subtle, naturally sweet, and very soothing.  Through research, I was delighted to discover it also has deep religious significance in Hinduism.  Known as “holy basil” in India, Tulsi is revered both for its medicinal properties, which range from helping one cope with stress to preventing malaria, as well as its place in Hindu mythology right along with Krishna and Vishnu.  It is a very old herb in India, found in ancient sacred scriptures from 5,000 years ago.  So inspired was I with my new-found treasure that I composed some haiku about Tulsi tea.

Dearest Tulsi tea
Indian holy basil
Thousands of years old

Revered for so long
Found in almost every home
Throughout India

You are also wild
Medicinally magic
And spiritual.

Throughout time you’ve touched
Fevers, coughs, stomach ulcers,
Digestion, tension

With healing effects;
In your natural existence
We find medicine.

Purple up-reaching
Stems, you help our bodies breathe
Better, less nervous.

Sacred, dark Krishna Tulsi
Is used for worship.

Only you could tip
The scale when Krishna was weighed
In gold, legend says.

Vishnu, too, loves you
Each year in ceremony
You two are married.

This marriage opens
Marriage season for others
In mid-October.

In Varanasi
You are worshipped with Hindu
Gods and Goddesses.

People wear your stems
Strung around as necklaces
Beaded in worship.

The label “Tulsi”
Means “the incomparable one”
A natural treasure.

I found you one day
In a sweet rose Tulsi tea
Traveled from quite far.

In this Tulsi tea
Rose petals and chamomile
Mix so soothingly.

Breathing you in first
Fills the senses so fully
A sweetness with depth

A subtle but full
Taste, moves beyond the borders
Of just this one cup.

You deepen spirit
Body, mind, and sacred script
So beautifully.

Something eternal
In your taste, also loving,
Infused with healing.

I am delighted
To have found you, “queen of herbs,”
I sing your praises.

Purple open palmed
Plant, I wonder if you know
What we think of you.