Holy Basil

Posted to Subscribers on 1 March 2011


Dear Subscribers,

Some of you are asking me to organize better. It takes time and that is a priceless commodity these days, but this email will be in two parts. The first is about seed swapping and the second about tulsi seeds.

I will be posting a page on LandscapingRevolution.com about this, but here is the short version:


In a time of unprecedented agricultural degradation and financial chaos, people are showing their concern and capacity for problem solving. This web site offers people a chance to obtain heirloom seeds through a seed savers exchange. People are also encouraged to offer seeds for free. You can visit the site and see how it works and whether or not you will find something of value there for your own garden.

However, I also want to put in a few words for those who have been dedicated to the environment for decades, who have sometimes made great personal sacrifices to develop seed banks and exchanges and whose livelihood and ability to continue the work also require support and financial inflow. So, while this is a great idea, I hope it prospers at the expense of industry, not local farmer's markets and places like Horizon Herbs or United Seed Savers or B&T World Seeds or many others!

Tulsi: the Domino Effect

This brings me to part two, tulsi.

This morning I opened the latest shipment from Horizon Herbs and was confounded first by the invoice and secondly by the packets. After a bit of muddle, I sorted out what happened. There are now four types of holy basil seeds in the set. To keep it simple, Vana is still Vana . . . however, and this can explain lots of other problems with words, all the other varieties have gone in for new identities. For the record, vana basically means "wild" or what the French call sauvage, not savage but rather natural or unspoiled (as opposed to cultivated).

As we know, Krishna was dark so the purple tulsi was originally named Krishna, but now they sourced an even darker tulsi and they want to call it Krishna instead of the one that used to be called Krishna. No comment? I will comment. Richo apparently had a free hand here but I would have left things as they were and named the new even darker one Krishna Supreme or Krishna Transcendent or Krishna Extra Dark . . . but Richo didn't ask for input so here's what he did.

The new variety is Krishna. What used to be Krishna is now called Rama and what used to be Rama is now called Kapoor. Did you really want to know? These are very, very popular and I'd be remiss if I didn't say something.

All these varieties are medicinal, i.e., high in eugenol which also means they are good insecticides. All are suitable for spiritual and ritual use, and all can be dried and used to make tea or extracted and used to make an herbal wine that is an aid to digestion, blood sugar regulation, and sleep! Tulsi is a nervine and calming to vata.

There are no pictures yet of the new Krishna tulsi in full bloom. Unfortunately, the seeds are not free, but like I said . . .

For the record, tulsi is available in capsules on ayurvedicbazaar.com. It is also available in essential oil, my brand which is called Tulsi and another brand which is called Holy Basil. There is also the ear oil . . . and, of course, soap!

Many blessings,



Copyright by Ingrid Naiman 2011



Ayurvedic Herbs







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Copyright by Ingrid Naiman 2010

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