Tulsi Sleep Tea
I first became interested in Tulsi Sleep Tea while recently harvesting some of our holy basil. Holy Basil, sometimes also referred to as Tulsi, is a good herb to get to know.
There are several varieties of Tulsi, or Holy Basil. We have grown six of them, I believe. Once planted, we have been delighted year after year as the plants have self-seeded, providing us with fragrant plants, and the opportunity to harvest the leaves for tea.
I’d been experiencing difficulty going to sleep, and while I knew that holy basil was good for relaxation, stress relief, and as a general adaptogen, I wanted to have a pattern to make my own Tulsi Sleep Tea from. I wanted to know what flavors blended well, and then I desired to play around with what we currently grow. At some point, I will make my own blend.
For now, I simply make a blend of Holy Basil (Tulsi), Anise Hyssop, and Lemon Verbena. They make a soothing beverage hot or cold.
I Ordered Some Tulsi Sleep Tea
For sleep inducement, the commercially produced Tulsi Sleep Tea is the standard I wish to pattern my own blend off of.
I ordered a box of Tulsi Sleep Tea off of amazon.com. I noticed that the tulsi sleep tea uses a blend of tulsi herbs, not just one. When we grew the tulsi varieties, we noted different flavors and fragrances from the various types.
Some of the tulsi leaves gave off a vanilla-like aroma, some were more spicy! Since it has been a couple of years since planting so many varieties, I cannot remember which ones were more spicy, although I seem to recall that the Temperate variety was the mildest and possessed the nice vanilla-like aroma.
If in Doubt, Look It Up
This super useful post , written by a holy basil expert, associated with Strictly Medicinal Seeds, which is where we order our holy basil seeds from, explains the different varieties, their properties, and flavors. I found I was right about the variety–he says that the Temperate variety smells like tutti-fruity, I say vanilla, but either way, it’s very pleasant!
You Say Bah-zil, I Say Bay-sil, It’s All Basil!
I’ll go into more about the varieties in a future post. I did learn from the above-referenced post, that the spicy aroma/flavor of the tulsi comes from the eugenol compound–the same present in cloves. When I pass through the garden and chew on a leaf, my tongue goes slightly numb. That’s from the eugenol (ever used clove oil–eugenol–for a toothache? Same thing).
Back to our Tulsi Sleep Tea
The tulsi sleep tea contains two types of tulsi–the Krishna and the Vana. I know the Krishna is prized for its medicinal properties and is, according to the post above, the preferred type grown in India.
The Vana is the most common type used in teas such as the Tulsi Sleep Tea. Note that there are many types of tulsi teas, not just the tulsi sleep tea.
When I make mine, I plan to use the Temperate variety, because it just tastes so nice! I have heard that each variety of holy basil is useful medicinally.
Components in Tulsi Sleep Tea
Besides the two Holy Basil varieties, the tulsi sleep tea contains:
- Chamomile (promotes relaxation)
- Cardamom pod (I’m guessing for flavor–it has a warm, subtly spicy flavor, but not hot)
- Peppermint (This one surprised me, as peppermint can be elevating, not relaxing, but it adds a subtle flavor that balances out the spices)
- Dwarf Morning Glory (I have learned all of my life that all parts of the morning glory are toxic. Now I learn that they have many health benefits, including stress reduction, brain protection against amyloid plaques, digestion, and more. *mind blown* This post cites some of those benefits, and also notes that if you take too much morning glory, you can get a trip similar to LSD. Wow. I think I’ll not be making my own blend of that one)
- Ashwaganda (one of the best herbs for stress relief and to reduce cortisol. There are many studies supporting this, including This study, referenced on PubMed)
- Gotu Kola (Various health benefits, including stress relief and relaxation)
- Stevia (Just to make life sweeter)
How does Tulsi Sleep Tea Taste?
That’s basically what you want to know, right?
What does it taste like?
Who wants to drink something that might be healthy, but tastes like swamp water?
Thankfully, tulsi sleep tea does not taste like that!
I found the Tulsi Sleep Tea delicious and mellow. It tastes smooth to me, and I love the undertones of the cardamom.
For me, I added a bit more Stevia powder. Yes, I could have done without, as the stevia already contained in the Tulsi Sleep Tea added a hint of sweetness. I just wanted more.
I am not even a girl who likes her tea super sweet–for me, there’s a fine line between too bland and too sweet, especially if using stevia powder.
(Side Note on Stevia)
We have tried many brands of stevia powder, and have settled on one that I buy in bulk from CC Nature on amazon.com. It is slightly higher in price than a couple that I’ve found in bulk, but not by a lot.
I literally bought a one or two-pound bag of another brand, because the reviews were great and so was the price. We’d just gotten spoiled, I guess, by the CC Nature brand, because no one, and I mean no one, liked the new stuff. I try to sneak it into oatmeal, in minuscule pinches, but at this rate, that jar will last us until I turn 75! And, no, it’s not just around the corner for me!
Making the Tulsi Sleep Tea
Brewing time recommendation is similar to other herbal tea blends, 5-10 minutes. I do tend to steep mine for longer, which gives a stronger flavor, but that is not necessary.
- Steep as recommended
- Add honey or stevia, or preferred sweetener
- Bottoms up!
Purchasing Tulsi Sleep Tea
Tulsi Sleep Tea is available at Amazon.com, as well as other online retailers. You may also find it locally, at a health food or herbal retailer.
While researching the original Tulsi Sleep Tea, I discovered Other flavors of the tulsi tea, and, while not the Tulsi Sleep Tea, they are also calming. These flavors include Tulsi Ashwaganda and Tulsi Honey Chamomile. The Organic India Brand also offered at least eight different Tulsi tea flavor blends.
Does it Work?
That is the main question of the hour–does the Tulsi Sleep Tea actually help you to sleep?
As I mentioned previously, I was experiencing terrible insomnia a couple months ago—to the point of seeing a doctor about it. When that provided no help whatsoever, I decided I’d just try other routes, because I absolutely needed my sleep.
I used the Tulsi Sleep Tea several times, but not every night. I did notice a calming effect, not like a drowsy-inducing, but just a relaxing feeling. Bottom line, I slept, so while that is not anything scientific, I tucked it into my toolbox.
I have actually used this tea at other times of the day. Because I enjoy the flavor, I’ll even make myself a cup in the morning, if I need a little calming start right off the bat. Like I said, it doesn’t make you drowsy, just relaxed.
(A couple other medicinal teas I use frequently are the Stinging Nettle —Nature’s Antihistamine Herb, as well as another herb we grow, Anise Hyssop Leaves for Refreshing Herbal Iced Tea)
Holy Basil/Tulsi is an herb that is gaining awareness in the Western world. People in India caught on thousands of years before we did, and have been using holy basil medicinally for centuries.
It’s very healthy, an excellent adaptogen, and is another herb that, like Ashwaganda, helps our bodies to deal with stress, reducing cortisol. This article, among others, lists the many health benefits of holy basil.
With all of these reminders, I’m left here wondering why I don’t partake of this wonderful herb more often. Considering this, plus the excellent flavor, I’m signing off to go make myself a cup of some Tulsi Sleep Tea.