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Tulsi, Queen of the Herbs

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In my last post I shared some sweet basil recipes with you, not only because they were savory and delicious, but also to lead up to this very moment: your introduction to another member of the basil family. We all know that members of the same family can exhibit wildly distinct personality traits, and that’s certainly the case within the mint family of herbs! Tulsi, also called Holy Basil, is the rich and spicy one in this herbal grouping.

Tulsi is a small, bushy treen shrub adorned by unique lavender-hued flowers. Native to Southeast Asia, this herb has a long history within Indian health practices and has been used particularly within Hindu cultures to promote holistic wellness. The warming, clarifying nature of Tulsi oil gives it a protective feel; some liken it to a marriage of sorts between Basil and Clove oils. But I like this description better: the aroma of Tulsi resembles something like a blend of Cinnamon Bark, Peppermint, Clove, and Basil - with a touch of licorice! Now that’s an enticing aromatic profile, if ever there was one. Note that dōTERRA® Tulsi is packaged in a precious 5 mL bottle, matching the preciousness of the steam-distilled Indian flower buds and leaves contained within.

The aroma of Tulsi is calming, making it perfect to diffuse with other relaxing oils when it’s time to wind down for a night of repose. This Deep Sleep diffuser blend brings to mind the beckoning of rich, soft bedding at the end of a satisfying day.

Deep Sleep

• 2 drops Tulsi

• 3 drops Sandalwood

• 1 drop Vetiver

In Sanskrit, a classical language of South Asia, Tulsi means “the incomparable one.” The long Ayurvedic use of this plant and its oil has revealed cleansing properties and benefits to the skin, which can be easily tapped into by mixing a drop of Tulsi into your lotion before applying. Leaning over a bowl of hot water enriched with a drop or two of Tulsi, along with a towel to create a nicely ventilated head tent, makes for a soothing steam facial. Remember how I described Tulsi as a marriage between Basil and Clove oils? Recalling that Clove is commonly used for mouth hygiene, it makes sense for Tulsi to provide an ideal base for natural mouthwash: just add one drop to two ounces of water, then swish and gargle.

The nature of Tulsi oil blends well with citrus and floral oils such as Bergamot, Clary Sage, Geranium, and Lemon. This Queen of the Herbs is perfectly complemented by such pairings, as evidenced by this royal diffuser blend!

Queen’s Garden

• 2 drops Tulsi

• 2 drops Bergamot

• 1 drop Geranium

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed helping you get acquainted with Tulsi, also known as Holy Basil, the warmer and spicier member of the mint family. Even as you begin putting the tulsi plant’s purifying and supportive capabilities to work in your own home, this ancient herb continues to be heavily relied upon around the world as a respiratory, digestive, and general wellness booster. Now all that remains is to calm, clarify, and uplift with sacred and respected dōTERRA Tulsi.