Tulsi, Temperate — Holy Basil (Ocimum africanum) seeds, organic

(4 customer reviews)

$2.95$26.10

Family:  Mint (Lamiaceae)

Annual, harvest at 40 days and ongoing to frost

Note to those wishing to grow their own tulsi tea.  Unless you live in a very warm zone, are a very experienced propagator, or are particularly attached to growing the tropical-type tulsis (Krishna, Amrita, Rama and Vana) then I really council you to grow this temperate tulsi instead.  The germination is far easier, the growth faster, the productivity  greater, and the overall experience more likely to bring happiness.

(Temperate Tulsi)  The plant is a bushy annual tea basil with small leaves, purple flowers, powerfully aromatic.  This plant is of East African origin, and India is right across the way.  Among all basils (including Ocimum basilicum) in my experience, this one is the shortest season, most frost-hardy cultivar. I’ve also seen these self-seed over the seasons, which is unusual among basils.  We tested this cultivar and confirmed the eugenol marker, then ran it for genetic analysis to identify it as Ocimum africanum.  This is the holy basil my wife and I grow for ourselves to make into tea.  We find it very satisfying, with aroma most appealing.   Traditional usage (Ayurveda): stress, anxiety, heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, and dementia.  Drinking tulsi tea in the morning is a fantastic way to get started.  Prepare a flat of potting soil or a fine seedbed in spring and scatter seeds on surface, then press in and keep evenly moist and warm until germination, which is rapid.  Transplant or thin to 1 foot apart.

Packet contains 50 seeds
1 g contains ~1,580 seeds
5 g contains ~7,900 seeds
10 g contains ~15,800 seeds

Certified Organically Grown

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5 out of 5 stars

4 reviews

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What others are saying

  1. One person found this helpful
    mariecantu88

    Easy growing plant with a gorgeous scent

    mariecantu88 (verified owner)

    I can’t say enough good things about this tulsi. It grew beautifully in my PNW 8b herb garden (in a cool rainy summer), the bees were obsessed with its flowers (to the point where I would stagger my flower head removal so there were always at least four plants in bloom for them!), and the scent was my favorite in the garden – strong, sweet, and almost marshmallow-y. The flowers and leaves both made delicious tea and powerful tincture, and only now at the beginning of October am I thinking about taking the plants out before frost. They still look amazing and are blooming continuously though! This lovely plant has a permanent place in my herb garden now.

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    • Christine (verified owner)

      I have not had good fortune with my tulsi seeds in my hot, dry Mediterranean climate. Is it normal for them to drop small black poppy like seeds now?

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hi Christine,
      The tulsi normally keeps its seed inside the pericarp, it doesn’t uaually drop, and the seed is somewhat smaller than a poppy seed, and black. If you strip the seedhead you can rub it between your palms and you will see the real seeds.
      Richo

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  2. Question

    Karen (verified owner)

    I started my Ocimum africanum a bit late, so I didn’t get much harvest from it before it began to flower. I thought I’d try letting it go to seed, but now I’ve had to clear the bed. I kept all the plants. My question is — can I use the flower and seed stalks for tea?

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Yes!

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  3. Question

    Brock (verified owner)

    Ok so when you say Ocimum africanum, do you mean Ocimum x africanum?

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      People don’t like to see the x and in this case O. africanum is an accepted name so we’re going with that.

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  4. Question

    Andrew Legge

    So the Tulsi variety that I’ve grown is O. sanctum or O. americanum, and those seem to be the varieties offered by the seed companies I buy veggie seeds from. Do you know if there is a lot of variation in the medicinal qualities of the various varieties? Thanks!

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    • 2 out of 2 people found this helpful
      Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      Hi Andrew,
      Well, what you’ve been offered is probably the so-called “Holy Basil” which has been misnomered so many times as to approach absurdity. But the plant itself is very nice. We have now identified this as “Temperate Tulsi” to try to give it a functional name, and the Latin is Ocimum africanum, not Ocimum sanctum or Ocimum americanum.
      Richo

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  5. blazej

    Great Tea Herb!

    blazej

    thank you for the seeds!

    Nice seed germination and growth. Very aromatic with a sweet note. Makes great tea when used fresh. I boil water, allow the water to cool for a few minutes then i pour the water over the herb, which has been placed in a mason jar, i cover the jar and allow to steep for at least 30 minutes. I even sometimes wait until it cools and then i have a real strong tea. I sometimes combine with fresh lemon balm as well!

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  6. One person found this helpful
    Mistie Clark

    Mistie Clark

    I am in love with this. I purchased the Lifeline Medicine packet and I am very happy that I did. The Holy Basil is by far one of my favorites. The smell is the mix of a sweet grass and fruit. Beautiful!!!

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