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Tulsi, Temperate - Holy Basil
Ocimum africanum

Garden Care

Tulsi is part of the basil family so it will grow the same as most basil.  I find that it is more cold tolerant then most.  Tulsi will reseed itself prolifically.  I start seeds early in the season in the greenhouse to give them a head start.  However, if you plan your garden space in the fall, you could sprinkle seeds on the surface of your selected location and they will likely come up in the late spring.  No need to cover, they need their light to germinate.  It will take longer for them to mature if you seed them.  Average moisture and nutrients, maybe a bit extra nitrogen for the leaf growth. 

Harvest & Parts Used

Cut down the leaf with or without flower to about 4" inches from the ground.  Tulsi gets dusty and needs a wash and spin dry (salad spinner) before she hits the drying chamber. I use all of the aerial parts of the plant. Usually you will get 4 harvest per season. . 

Drying & Storage

Bunch it together on trays and dry at 95-105.  Tulsi takes longer to dry than most leafy herbs. I give it about 3 days. Test it, if the leaf crumbles off the the stem easily it is ready. Store it in airtight container and burp it for a couple extra days and make sure all of the moisture is gone. It will keep well for 2-3 years in a plastic bag in a cool dark location. 

Medicine Making

Tulis is one of the local favorites at the Great Basin Apothecary.  It makes the most fabulous tea.  This is a very fragrant plant and the flavors really show through with this lovey.  I like the clove spice finish in the flavor.  It is also great as a vinegar and for making an oxymel.  This is one of the most versitile herbs in the garden.  The adaptogenic properties make it a powerhouse daily tonic addition that all individuals could benefit from.  

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