Ocimum tenuiflorum, Holy Basil, Purple Tulsi
Clusters of small pink/mauve tubular flowers. Olive green/brown/purple oval pointed, hairy and slightly serrated leaves that have a very pungent scent and flavour. Sacred herb of the Hindu. An important medicinal herb. Culinary; used in Eastern cooking.
• Hardiness: H1c (5 to 10C)
• Type: Frost tender Annual
• Height: 30cm
• Spread: 20cm
• Soil type: Loam, Sand, Free Draining
• pH: Universal pH
• Habit: Upright
• Flowering colour: Pink, Mauve
• Flowering time: Summer
• Uses: Culinary & Medicinal (Read Jekka's Guide To Culinary Herbs and Jekka's Guide to Medicinal Herbs for more information)
• Attracts pollinators: Yes (Read Jekka's Guide to Pollinators for more information)
• Container suitability: Yes
• UK native: No
• Caution: N/A
• Indoor Sowing: In late spring, into prepared plug trays or pots, cover with perlite. Bottom heat, 18°C, aids germination. Only water seedlings before midday.
• Outdoor Sowing: In early summer, into a rich well-drained soil, in a sheltered, sunny position. Thin to 15cm apart.
• Propagation: Cuttings
• Maintenance: (Read Jekka's Blogs on Early Spring, Late Spring and Autumn maintenance)
• Harvest: N/A
This relative of the Mediterranean herb, Basil, has a long-established use in Ayurvedic medicine, where it is of value in helping to clear the lungs. Clinical trials have shown that this herb supports both an increase in vital lung capacity and eases laboured breathing. It is also said to enable sweating during a fever so helps control temperature and its anti-inflammatory and expectorant actions are understood to be of benefit in cases of respiratory illness such as cough and bronchitis. Other uses for Holy Basil may be in diabetes as it has clinical evidence to support reduction in blood sugar and cholesterol. It is also thought to be of benefit to the mind where it increases mental clarity and is an aid in relieving tension headache.
Caution: Care should be taken with people taking medication that reduces glutathione levels in the liver.
Please note: The information provided here is for educational interest only and is not intended to be used to diagnose or treat significant health problems. Any serious or long-term health concerns should always be discussed with a healthcare professional.
See our blog for more information about the National Institute of Medical Herbalists
Jekka's "How to Grow Herbs" videos, includes Jekka's video on how to sow seeds for an informative step-by-step guide to seed sowing.
Growing indoors? Check out Jekka's blog on indoor herb gardening for some advice.
At Jekka’s we sell herbs in 1 Ltr and 2 Ltr pots. These are established and hardy herb plants that are grown following organic principals and to survive the UK climate. Please read Jekka's blog that contains her top steps to growing on your herbs.
Our herbs are designed to be grown in containers or planted in the garden. Although some herbs will be quite happy indoors, most prefer being outside. Please see our indoor growing blog for more information.
If you think your herbs need a little more attention we always recommend an environmentally friendly solution, and these are Jekka's top three:
- Maxicrop liquid seaweed: 'Feed on Fridays' as Jekka always says for all round good plant health.
- SB Invigorator: a safe and effective insecticide and fungicide to help control a wide range of pest species
- Epsom salts: the horticultural equivalent of what you put in your bath to top up magnesium and stop orange leaves.
One of our three core roots is that we are Environmentally Conscious and for the past 30 years all the herbs grown at Jekka’s have been raised following sustainable, environmentally friendly and organic approaches resulting in a remarkable biodiversity at the herb farm.
Our herb seeds are also untreated and can be used to grow organic herb plants.