We are experiencing heavy rains for the past one week and all types of fevers,flu and cold are spreading rapidly.Not to be left out,MIL and me fell prey to the 'deadly cold and cough'.Yea,deadly coz I feel I can even withstand a fever but stuffy nose,watery eyes, sore throat,headaches,sneezes and coughs are surely not my things.Worst of all when ever I catch a cold[or rather it catches me..] I don't recover that quick.The suffering continue for more than a week.The doses of antibiotics are long over and no food is palatable.The doctor always assures me that I will be up and ready in a couple of days but that never seems to happen.
This time we did not want to take a chance by waiting for it to leave me as I am set to travel to China this week.I didn't want to find myself detained at the airport because of these symptoms and needed something extra apart from those powerful antibiotics that my physician had prescribed.
Tulsi to the rescue!!!!!
Tulsi or Holy basil is one of the many herbs growing in mom's backyard.The backyard is not a large garden,just a small space which houses a couple of coconut trees,a few curry leaves plants,two varieties of jasmine and other flowering plants,aloe vera,some other herbs for which I don't the English names and lots and lots of Tulsi plants.
Holy basil, which is scientifically called Ocimum tenuiflorum,is a miracle herb and is referred to as the 'elixer of life' in Ayurveda.
Tulsi has so many medicinal properties and is known to cure everything from minor coughs and cold to stomach disorders ,heart diseases and even treat malaria.Recently I read that it can even prevent the 'famous' swins flu virus[Source].It helps boost the immunity and increases the body's defense mechanism.
When I came to know this news of tulsi preventing Swine flu virus,I was in China and immediately called up mom and asked my parents to take a couple of leaves regularly.I am glad that they are still following this ritual.
Anyways,back to topic,with all the symptoms of cold ,I wanted something soothing to drink.Coffee tasted bitter and I did not find tea palatable.I was complainig to mom about my pathetic condition when she suggested of Tulsi tea!
This tea was a really comforting drink and I felt warm and relaxed.My throat defiantely felt better.The sharp taste of Tulsi blended well into the tea.I decided to drink this regularly and now I really feel a lot better.
For this wonder tea you need:
Tea bags/tea dust/tea leaves
Sugar/honey to taste
- Heat water in a pot along with the tea dust/bags/leaves and tulsi leaves.
- Turn off the heat when it come to a rolling boil and let it steep for 5 minutes.
- Strain into a cup.
- Add milk and sugar/honey.
- Stir and sip.
The quantity of tulsi leaves used is a personal choice.Some varieties of tulsi are very sharp tasting and hence just a couple of them will do.Adjust it to your preference.
Similarly,if you don't like milk it can be omitted.
If you have tulsi plants in your neighborhood ,give this tea a try and you will be surprised by the fresh tastes it leaves behind.
Sample it even if you don't have a cough or cold for there are many a health reasons to consume this wonder plant.
Updated 11/8/2011 - This also goes to Reva @ Kaarasaaram who is hosting my event Herbs and Flowers in my platter with the theme - Basil
Here is another tasty drink that can be prepared using Tulsi - A tangy Herb lemonade
Labels: Ayur Amrit, Cooking with herbs / flowers, Grandma's Remedy, Herbs, Winning Warmers