Basil leaf tea is generally associated with the pleasantly sweet Italian herb, basil. Holy basil, on the other hand, is hailed in Indian cultures for its stress-relieving and nutritious properties. These aren’t to be mistaken for Thai basil, which is distinguished by its licorice-flavored strains.
The holy basil plant is harder to find in America. It’s also important to preserve the purity of its nutrients and minerals, if you intend to make a healthy, soothing and delicious tea. We’ll be using it in this article, however all kinds of tea herbs will work just fine.
How to dry your holy basil leaves
Tulsi is the Indian term for holy basil. We recommend storing it in powdered form, because it’s ready to use each day, as needed. It’s very easy to scoop a couple of tablespoons into a kettle of boiling water and enjoy the benefits.
First, you must dehydrate the tulsi leaves in a dehydrator for herbs. As you know, this kind of herb can be hard to find, which is why many people grow it in their own garden. Drying it yourself will help save you money down the road, and allow you to enjoy it all year ‘round.
Harvest your basil leaves during a cooler time of day, where they aren’t heavily exposed to the sun. Next, clean them thoroughly with water. This is extremely important, and can be done by immersing them one-by-one in a clean kitchen sink, then rinse them a second time.
Naturally, wet herbs take longer to dehydrate. Lay them on paper towel and actually press another piece of paper towel on them to absorb moisture. Lay them out again with a bottom and cover layer of paper towel.
Place your tulsi leaves sparsely across your dehydrator trays, leaving space in between. This will help ensure even drying, as any moist sections will eventually develop mold and spoil your herbs, as well.
Finally, set your vegetable dryer machine to its lowest setting (generally about 90 degrees F) and dry for about 6 hours, at first. It could take anywhere from 12-24 hours in total, and you’re looking for a completely dry and brittle result.
Turning basil leaves into tulsi powder
At this point you should have a plentiful supply of dry basil leaves. You don’t want blend and turn them into powder yet, as they’ll last for up to 3 years, when vacuum-sealed and kept in a cool, dry pantry.
We recommend taking a 2-4 week supply and grinding it into powder for regular use. This way, you’re no oxidizing the entire batch every time you open it up to use it.
Making your basil leaf tea is very easy from here. To keep things pure, you could simply steep or boil your herb powder directly in water, or even add some honey or sugar. If you’re using Italian basil, it’s not required, as you’ll quickly realize why its sweet flavor is used so frequently in Italian cuisine.
Tulsi benefits and regular use
It’s hard not to make unsubstantiated claims while talking about the health benefits of holy basil. However, in terms of stress reduction and blood regulation, it’s said to have a profound balancing effect on cortisol levels. It’s also regularly used in cancer and acne treatment, and is said to harmonize hormones to natural levels.
It has an amazingly high level of Vitamin K, with one cup of tea providing more than 30% of the daily recommended value. While a preventative is often less attractive than a cure, you can rest easy knowing that you’re supplying your body with an abundant supply of nutrients that most of us are deficient in.
Tulsi juice and syrup are commonly enjoyed as a whole-food source of many compounded nutrients and minerals. You’ll find amazing ingredients online, many of which use specific kinds of holy basil.
A fruit dryer machine is an excellent way to prepare herbs from your garden and keep them fresh for many years!