According to a native of India whom we happened to meet here in Roanoke, people in India chew the leaves of holy basil to get rid of sore throats. Apparently, holy basil grows like a weed in parts of India so it is readily available. Here in Roanoke, we may not have access to live plants most of the year but we can drink the tea made from dried leaves all year long.
For most Americans, the herb can be grown during the summer months, harvested in the Fall, and dried for use during the winter months. It is an attractive, aromatic annual with leaves that are pleasant to chew raw but also make a delicious tea once dried. The tea is available in stores as “Tulsi tea”. Holy basil also is known to bolster the immune system, improve digestion, provide a calming effect, and balance blood sugar and cholesterol levels. It is a real plus that it tastes good too.
Next time you get a tickle in your throat or you are exposed to a cold, don’t forget to make some holy basil tea.