Tulsi tea is an herbal beverage popular among the Hindu population in India and renowned for its physical and spiritual effects. It is made by boiling leaves from the tulsi plant, an adaptogenic herb native to India that is often referred to as the "Queen of Herbs." Tulsi tea's health benefits include respiratory, digestive and cardiovascular benefits, fever and stress reduction properties, hair and skin strength maintenance, weight control and arthritis pain control.
There are two main varieties of the tulsi plant that grow in India. One has green leaves and is known as Rama tulsi, and one has red leaves and is known as Krishna tulsi or Shayama tulsi. Although their medical properties and health benefits are debated by experts, most doctors and nutritionists agree that tulsi leaves have a normalizing effect on the body that helps it respond more positively to stress. The tea's normalizing effect also helps the body adapt appropriately to changes in its surroundings and cope more effectively with infectious diseases.
Adaptogenic herbs are also used in other forms of traditional eastern medicine, particularly in the Chinese or Ayurvedic herbal traditions. These traditions use tulsi teas that are brewed in the same fashion as more common western tea varieties, such as green, black or white.