Holy Basil

Botanical name: Ocimum tenuiflorum

Some other names: sacred basil, tulsi, kaphrao

How to grow it:

Holy basil is a perennial in warmer areas but is probably better planted as an annual in more temperate climates. The bush can get large (I’ve seen them almost 2m high) and leaves become a less tender if the plant isn’t regularly pruned and flowers removed.

Prefers full sun but will handle a little shade, moist, well drained soil. Doesn’t handle drought or frost well – keep it well watered for best results.

Great plant to grow in a pot – you can move it to shelter it in the cooler months and get a longer harvest.

Propogation is generally by seed, though I prefer to buy seedlings in spring. If you allow a plant to go to seed, you’ll find it popping up all around your garden.


Holy basil contains vitamins A, B & C and volatile oils that have many herbal actions. High in calcium, magnesium, zinc & copper.

Regular consumption of basil is thought to strengthen your immune system.

In the kitchen

Holy basil is not used in cooking widely – it’s a little strong in clove aroma for most dishes.

IT’s greatest use is as a delicious and highly nutritious tea – commonly known as Tulsi.

Description full, Medicine, Pots & containers, Tea

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