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Holy Basil / Tulsi (Ocimum tenuiflorum)

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SEEDS (50pcs/bag)

Common Names: Holy Basil, Tulsi, Tulasi, Kaprao, Hot Basil, Damole
Scientific name: Ocimum tenuiflorum / Ocimum sanctum
Family: Lamiaceae

Plant history & use:

Holy Basil is more spicy and peppery than the closely related "sweet" basil (Ocimum basilicum) we usually eat in Europe. It is also one of the few basil varieties which can grow into smaller trees.

Holy Basil is often confused with Thai Basil (Ocimum basilicum var. thyrsiflora) - which is a different species. Because of this confusion and the rarer occurrence of Holy Basil, Thai basil is sometimes mistakenly used in cooking where Holy Basil is actually the correct component. An example of such occurrence can be in the Thai dish Pad Kaprao, which is named after the Holy Basil's Thai name kaprao. The difference between these two basils is that Thai Basil is sweeter and more licorice-like while Holy Basil is spicier and more peppery, hence the name Hot Basil which is sometimes used.

In addition to cooking, the plant's leaves and flowers are also used to make a calming tea.

As one of the most well-used ancient medicinal plants, Holy Basil has been used to treat common colds, headaches, various stress disorders and more. Stem, leaves and seeds are used for these purposes.

In traditional societies, the herb is also used as a natural mosquito repellent, by applying the aroma from the plant on the skin.

Similarly, dried leaves have been mixed with stored grains to repel insects for hundreds of years.


Use a well-drained, loamy soil and place in partial shade to full sun, it will grow well in both. Thrives best in moist soil, but not wet. If you let the soil dry out between waterings it will enhance the aroma production of the plant -  this is the result of a response to stress.

Place the Holy Basil in a pot with plenty of room for the roots to give the plant a chance to grow into a small tree. Move the pot indoors before winter as the plant does not thrive in temperatures below 15 ° C. If the plant is slowly led into a winter dormancy, it can manage to overwinter in temperatures down to -1 ° C, but this slows down growth.

In Southern Europe - Spain, Italy, Balkan, Greece and South/West Turkey - you can grow Holy Basil outdoors all year round.

If you want the plant to focus more on foliage growth, you can cut off inflorescences before they have time to fully develop.

Holy Basil is easy to take cuttings from, make a diagonal cut with a clean tool just below a leaf node. The cutting should be around 15 cm. Remove the bottom leaves from the cutting and place in a glass of water that you change regularly. Plant in soil when roots have developed.


Place the seeds on a layer of moist soil. Lightly press the seeds into the soil for good contact. Keep the soil moist. One way to maintain good humidity is to cover the sown seeds with plastic provided with air holes.


Lifespan: Perennial
Location: Partial shade/Sun
Height: 30-150 cm
Germination Time: 5-15 days
USDA Zone: 10-12