Type of plant: Shrub growing up to 2 feet with green or purple aromatic leaves and small purple flowers
Part used: Leaves and flowering tops
Method of extraction: Steam distillation
Data: Also known as holy basil and tulasi, basil tulsi originated in north India and is now widespread throughout southern Asia. It is used in Ayurvedic medicine and medicinal teas. Basil tulsi is so valued that it has acquired the moniker “the elixir of life.” The plant is considered sacred in Hinduism and offered to the god Vishnu in his many forms. The leaves are seen as representative of Lakshmi, consort of Krishna. The plant is often found outside Hindu homes.
Principal place of production: India
When buying look for: Colorless to pale-yellow liquid, with a warm, green, spicy aroma
Therapeutic properties: Antibacterial, anti-infectious, antiseptic, antispasmodic, calmative, carminative, pectoral, restorative
Therapeutic uses: Muscular spasm and contraction, respiratory conditions, cystitis, intestinal spasm, parasitic infections, cramps, menstrual cramps, menstrual problems, headache, migraines, mental and physical fatigue
Blends well with: Bay laurel, bergamot, black pepper, cardamom, cedarwood, clary sage, coriander seed, frankincense, geranium, ginger, immortelle, lemon, lemongrass, mandarin, marjoram (sweet), myrtle, niaouli, orange (sweet), oregano, peppermint, plai, rosemary, sandalwood, spearmint, spikenard, thyme linalol, turmeric
Precautionary advice: May cause irritation on highly sensitive skins; a skin patch test is advisable. Avoid use in baths and showers, and always dilute before use. Avoid during pregnancy and while breast-feeding.