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Plants - Holy Basil 'Holy (Sacred) Green' and 'Holy Red'

Holy Basil - Ocimum sanctum

Holy Green:

Holy Green Basil has a long tradition of use in Ayurvedic medicine and is a well-known sacred plant, a respected medicinal herb, of the Indian subcontinent. Green Holy Basil, also known as Ram Tulsi, is a green variety of basil with the same attributes as Red Basil. 

As a medicinal herb it is used to prevent colds and flu, and cleanse the respiratory system of infection. The oil is used as an antioxidant, relieving aches and pains.  In India, Hindus grow Tulsi as a religious plant in their homes and temples and use its leaves in routine worship.
Recent scientific studies suggest that both the Green and Red varieties of Holy Basil may aid in lowering blood pressure, helping liver functions and reducing the risks of diabetes.
In addition to being a sacred medicinal herb, this Basil is also a potent natural pest repellent and companion plant. The oils naturally repel mosquitoes and house flies, giving it another reason to keep this plant in and around your home.
Holy Basil, a wonderful medicinal herb, has a distinctive anise-seed aroma, similar to Thai Basil.  The slender leaves and hairy purplish stems and flower bracts give off a musky scent, described as having hints of cloves and mint.  This basil makes a great container plant. And, as we understand it, has a very important place in Hindu culture.  
Grow Holy or Sacred Basil plants indoors.  Extra care must be taken to insure that you have success.  Follow these tips to get the most out of your basil. Light:  Holy Basil needs a lot of light.  Place in a window that will allow at least 6 hours of sunlight, preferably facing south.  Otherwise, these potted plants may need to be grown under fluorescent lights. With this type of lighting, basil plants will need about ten hours of light for healthy growth.
Fertilizer:  When growing indoors, give it a shot of organic fertilizer at half strength to maintain pH levels. Water:  Holy Basil is not tolerant of water stress; make sure pots provide adequate drainage. Soil:  Well-drained, nutrient-rich soil.  A soggy soil will lead to root rot.

Holy Basil is also a potent natural pest repellent and wonderful companion plant for your home and garden!


Holy Basil is a wonderful plant to plant near your kitchen windows or doorways, not just for its use in your favorite dishes, but because this culinary herb has terrific natural pest repellent properties! Said to effectively keep house flies and mosquitoes away, planting Holy Basil near entryways to your home, rubbing it on your skin and clothing, and planting it around your yard and patio will help reduce the amount of unwanted summer pests. Planting it in your garden will also keep destructive pests like thrips, white flies, and aphids away from neighboring plants. Holy Basil blooms are also very attractive to butterflies and other useful pollinators.

Holy Basil is said to increase the health and flavor of many vegetables like asparagus, bell peppers, cabbage and especially tomato plants when companion planted together.  For best results, do not plant Sage or Rue near your Holy Basil, as this is said to inhibit the plant’s growth and flavor. Instead, grow Chamomile near your Holy Basil plants to encourage its success.

Called the "queen of herbs" in India, holy basil smells like double-bubble gum and tastes surprisingly candied. Known as a rich anti-oxidant, that offers stress relief and replenishes spent adrenals.


'Holy Red' Basil, also known as 'Sacred Red' is a basil plant with a long tradition of use in Ayurvedic medicine, and a well-known sacred plant of the Indian subcontinent. Among herb plants, Holy Basil has been called the “Incomparable One”, the “Queen of Herbs” and “The Elixir of Life.” 

Red Basil, also known as Krishna Tulsi in India, it is a purplish-red strain of Tulsi, identical in growth and culture to its verdant counterpart, Green Holy Basil.  Both have spiritual and medicinal value.  Used as a medicinal herb to prevent colds and flu, this sacred herb has the ability to cleanse the respiratory system of infection. The oil is used as an antioxidant, relieving aches and pains.


**Sassafras's Note:  In prayer while trying to think of things that Grandpa (Cherokee/Natchez) used for spider bites to help Marilyn I remember he used to make a poultice from leaves and roots of Holy Basil whenever we were stung or bitten when I was a child - usually this was either a bee or wasp sting or a unknown spider bite, although once when I got into the red ant pile he did this as well.  Besides Holy Basil he would use tobacco as well or instead.


The Holy Basil 'green' that I have used as an adult came in a capsule form in a brown bottle found at a local health food store.  It looks rather resinous in the capsules.  The aroma when sniffed is very sweet and I always feel a sense of calm after taking a couple of capsules, always useful when times get stressful.  Even sniffing the aromatic scent from the bottle gives a calming effect!

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