A Tramp in the (Organic) Garden

Seeds, Smack Talk and Assorted Gardening Madness in South Pasadena, Los Angeles

Friday, August 03, 2007

Holy Basil or Tulsi or Ocimum sanctum

For one and a half years I had these holy basil or tulsi seeds, which I got primarily because they are supposed to keep away mosquitos, and I'm always attracted to grow plants that are spiritual in nature. Holy basil or tulsi is grown outside Hindu temples, and after I went to India, this had special significance for me. When I was in Kerala, the guide at our hotel wore a fresh stem of holy basil tucked behind his ear every morning, and as the day passed, I would watch it wilt and fade, but not lose it's spirit. Sweet and pungent, holy basil plants are often worshipped and taken care of by the family and have a special place outside a Hindu household...or so I read. This year I grew a few outside my back porch in the earth, and one in a pot outside the front door. One of my first rituals when returning home from work was to light an incense and place it in the pot of holy basil. Now the plant in front of my home has long flowered and gone to seed, and the leaves are yellow. This weekend I will harvest the seeds to plant the next generation...

PS- Holy basil or tulsi has many medicinal values as well and is an ayurvedic herb- for respitory problems, coughs, colds, stress, skin ailments, and is supposed to reduce cholesterol.


At 30 March, 2008 13:56, Anonymous Lynn said...

Since I have a lot of holy basil growing in the greenhouse, I'm going to see if it will help with an ear infection I have gotten at the end of a bout with the flu.

At 05 August, 2008 07:39, Blogger Jacqualine Marie said...

I came across your blog looking for someone in LA to discuss organic gardening (I have a teeny space) and I have to ask this one question for now. Where did you get those fabulous shoes? I have more important things to discuss later but , really, they are gorgeous. Thanks!

At 05 August, 2008 13:24, Blogger Loretta said...

Whoah- I got those basket flip flops at Koi in South Pasadena, actually! They are on Fairoaks, and they used to be part of this cluster of stores with Mars and Rue de Mimo. Rue de mimo (awesome, addictive jewelry section) and Mars have since moved a block up to Mission to a larger space. Have fun shopping!

: )

At 05 August, 2008 19:31, Blogger Jacqualine Marie said...

Thanks for the response on the shoe question. I guess we know where I'll be shopping! Now, onto my original interest - Is there a difference between Holy Basil and the common variety that most of us are accustomed to? My mother always grew basil in NY along with tomatoes. Now in LA, I found it difficult to locate organic basil seedlings (Whole Foods, finally). I have not had luck with it, although through my youth organic was not a concern, and therefore the basil seemed to thrive. This year, so far, mine has been eaten by something very hungry. Any suggestions? I am determined to keep basil going throughout the year and will resort to a few indoor plants but want to be completely chemical free (indoors and out). Advice?

At 21 August, 2008 01:29, Blogger vrajesh said...

nice post,i had made a link to this post.thank you.


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