As soon as you step into the garden at Kauai Farmacy, you find yourself surrounded by a myriad of flourishing herbs. Some brush against your arm as they reach out into the pathway, some rest timidly upon the ground, seeking shade and privacy, while others meet you eye-to-eye with brilliant shades of blossoming flowers. Each day these plants grow, while each season catalyzes a transformation in each of our plants— some hail the sun during our summer months, while others praise the rain of our wet winters. The one herb who remains consistently vigorous and resilient, however, is Tulsi.
Throughout the year, Tulsi is the only herb who holds its place at the top of our harvest list. Not only does Tulsi love to grow in our herbal paradise, we love to share the wealth by incorporating it into almost all of our tea blends. And when I say “Tulsi”, I mean at least seven varieties of Tulsi! And when I say “at least”, I do so because our happy bees are constantly cross-pollinating and creating brand new Tulsi varieties! So, when you see Tulsi listed as an ingredient, you are receiving a diverse blend of Tulsi varieties and thus a wholesome approach to its medicinal qualities.
Known as an herbal adaptogen, Tulsi literally helps us ‘adapt’. Perhaps this is why Tulsi tends to grow independent of season changes and its environment— actively prospering regardless of influences, environmental factors and pressures. In our bodies, Tulsi nourishes the adrenals, thus supporting our ‘fight or flight’ responses, ability to react to stress and the imperative role of hormonal regulation in the adrenal gland. As our adrenals are replenished and supported, we are better able to adapt to whatever comes our way.
The relationship between Tulsi and human has existed for thousands of years. As our environment has evolved, systems have changed and cultures have blended, Tulsi has been by our side. Highly revered in the Ayurvedic tradition of healing, Tulsi or Holy Basil is known for its protective and immune-boosting qualities. You will often see a Tulsi plant growing beside the door of a temple or home in India, intentionally placed to impart protection and health for those inside. Similarly, when we consume Tulsi in our bodies, it not only helps protect against toxins and radiation in our surrounding environment, it helps rid free radicals that may be causing blockages and disease.
Tulsi is all about presence—about coming back into ourselves and our center when everything around us seems to be spinning. Tulsi helps us see through the haze into what really matters and clarify our intuition. In acute doses, like one would receive using a Tulsi tincture or hydrosol, a deep breath is often experienced, as if Tulsi enters our body to “part the clouds” and clear the way for appropriate action.
The signature Tulsi-induced deep breath also offers insight to Tulsi’s affects on the respiratory system. Helping prevent, fight off and clear up respiratory afflictions, Tulsi has an affinity for opening up the lungs and restoring balanced breathing.
In Hawaiian culture, the breath is considered an expression of life energy. The bridge between our external and internal world, each breath marks that exact moment of existence— as we inhale our surroundings and exhale our intention. The more aware of our breath we are, the more present we are. Thus, Tulsi not only helps us adapt to our current surroundings, it helps us be present for it too.
This season we were enamored by the bounty of our Tulsi flowers. Delicate, alluring and all shades of purple, Tulsi flowers filled the air with a sweet earthy aroma and attracted a flurry of honey bees to share in the abundance. It was clear that the mana, or life force, of the plant was focused within the flower. With the intention of sharing this potent medicine with you, we delicately hand-selected and harvested Tulsi flowers from our garden and created a seasonal, small batch Tulsi Flower Tincture.
As the energy of the plant was concentrated in the flower, or top of the plant, this special Tulsi Flower Tincture acts specifically on the upper part of our bodies also. Felt as an expansion through the chest and head, Tulsi Flowers impart clarity of mind and alacrity of heart.