Sip a Cup of Tulsi Tea to Soothe Your Stress

Sip a Cup of Tulsi Tea to Soothe Your Stress

Today’s look at the herbal tea favorite, Tulsi, is a combination of two previously published articles and a YouTube that we have updated. 

Tulsi is cultivated for religious and traditional medicine purposes, and also for its essential oil. It is widely used as a herbal tea, commonly used in Ayurveda, and has a place within the Vaishnava tradition of Hinduism, in which devotees perform worship involving holy basil plants or leaves.            (Wikipedia)

Tulsi and Stress – by Kelly Gold

Originally published Nov, 2009

Kelly Gold is a nutritionist and dietitian interested in the correlation among tea, health, and nutrition. Although food is the main lesson in class, tea is often on her mind and she hopes to share the glories of tea and the relationship between tea and the body.

We all feel stress differently; headaches, body aches, diminished energy, anxiety, and even depression are common symptoms.  But why go through all that when we can relax with a warm cup of Tulsi tea?  That’s right; take a deep breath and a little sip into a happier, relaxed state.  Tulsi tea is on the forefront, along with rooibos and yerba mate, of the new old teas.  Tulsi tea has been used in India for thousands of years for its healing powers.

Tulsi tea – also know as Holy Basil tea (Ocimum tenuiflorum)does not come from the Camellia sinensis tea bush like white, black, green, and oolong tea, so it is not considered a true tea.  Tulsi tea is made from the leaves of the Tulsi Basil plant.  The plant is rich in antioxidants as well as adaptogen agents.  These agents are used to help our body adapt to stressors (physical, mental, environmental, and emotional). 

When we become stressed, our adrenal glands produce stress hormones to help our body cope.  Adaptogens help the adrenal glands by responding to the body’s needs more effectively and efficiently.  The adrenal glands shut down quickly when stress levels cease or decrease, but help the body to regulate more than stress hormones.  They also regulate the metabolism, help stimulate the immune system, and are connected to our “flight-or-fight” response.  With all of these factors considered, it is even more apparent why it is so important to have the adrenal glands working efficiently.

The Flavor of Tulsi as a Tea

As Tulsi tea resonates on your taste buds, you can savor its unique light and slightly spicy flavor.  Tulsi tea has the smooth capacity to fulfill the sweet and spicy desires of the mouth.  It comes in the natural basil flavor as well as many others, such as raspberry, mango, and orange.  With its combination of taste and adaptogens, it is no wonder Tulsi tea has been used for thousands of years for its ability to foster relaxation.  Are you ready to enjoy a cup?

A Poem to Tulsi by Rebecca Dovespike

Originally published on T Ching April 2010.

Rebecca Doverspike

Rebecca Doverspike graduated from Beloit College with a degree in Literature and Religious Studies. She currently works at a non-profit cafe in Appleton, WI and spends her time trying to translate the stories she hears of people’s lives into reflective prose. As a long time coffee lover, she’s really enjoying exploring the world of tea and contributing to a community of writers on this lovely subject.

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

We discovered this helpful video about growing your own tulsi on YouTube. 

About The Author

T Ching

The editorial team at T Ching covers announcements and events that we want to put forward to our tea-loving community. We like to add our own voice into developing the content library along with our brilliant and creative team of contributing writers.


  1. Michelle Rabin

    Excellent suggestion especially during the flu and cold season. I tend to forget about tisanes as I keep the faith with camellia sinensis. I’ll be sure to pickup some Tulsi next time I’m at the market.

  2. Fr. Patrick

    Thanks so much for the additional information about Tulsi. I’ve tried only one variety of it which comes from one of T Ching’s regular contributors Tracy Monson of EssenchaTea Shop in Cincinnati, OH (and I’m one of her regular customers when I get down to the BIG city from Dayton :).) Her variety is called Tulsi Apple Pear Iced and it really does make a great iced tea for summer but also has a great taste hot as well (something not all teas can say). As we know it’s not truly an actual “tea” and I was aware of many of the antioxidant properties of Tulsi but I didn’t know about the adaptogens way of helping the adrenal glands to function at a more optimal level. I do enjoy my cup, in fact the last time I was in the store I purchased an 8 oz. container of it (the apple and the pear pieces offer a nice extra natural sweetness to the brew). Thanks again for the information and as always, keep drinking what you like.

    Blessings to you all,
    Fr. Patrick

  3. Lisa b

    Just the smell alone of a good tea will calm you! Some teas are amazing this way to calm us through the sense of smell and taste…. ahhhh… nothing like a awesome cup of tea!

  4. Sandy M. Bushberg

    Ocimum sanctum (Holy Basil) is indeed a wonderful medicinal herb. It’s primary use in Ayurvedic medicine, as Kelley has indicated, has been for the mind and nervous system. It is also used for depression to help improve mood and clarity of thinking. It has traditionally been used to dispel cloudy thinking caused by drugs. In addition to its use as an adaptogenic herb as Kelley has already stated, it is also used as a carminative, an antiviral and a galactagogue.

  5. Alexa

    ooh–I want some more Tulsi :)

  6. sasaaya Precious Teas

    It functions as an ayurvedic drug. It Reliefs the Stress in mind. I appreciate you sharing this Tulasi information.


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