Thursday, September 18, 2008

Thursday Theme - Plants

Ocimum tenuiflorum (also known as Ocimum sanctum, Tulsi, Tulasī in Sanskrit and Hindi,is an aromatic plant. It is an erect, much branched subshrub 30-60cm tall, with simple opposite green or purple leaves that are strongly scented, and hairy stems. Leaves have petioles, and are ovate, up to 5cm long, usually somewhat toothed. Flowers are purplish in elongate racemes in close whorls. Tulsi is native throughout the Old World tropics and widespread as a cultivated plant and an escaped weed. It is cultivated for religious and medicinal purposes, and for its essential oil. There are two main morphotypes cultivated in India, green-leaved (Sri or Lakshmi tulsi) and purple-leaved (Krishna tulsi)

It is known across South Asia as a medicinal plant, commonly used in Ayurveda, and has an important role within the Vaishnavite tradition of Hinduism, in which devotees perform worship involving Tulsi plants or leaves.

There is also a variety of Ocimum tenuiflorum which is used in Thai cuisine, and is referred to as Thai holy basil, or kha phrao —not be confused with ordinary "Thai Basil", which is a variety of Ocimum basilicum.
Followers of Hindu traditions often keep a Tulsi plant in front of their house. On a specific day each year known as 'Kartik Shukla Dwadashi' (usually about two weeks after Diwali) there is a tradition wherein Tulsi plants will be beautifully decorated with structures made of sugarcane, mango leaves and flowers and then a puja (form of worship) is offered.

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  1. Thank you for the explanation of this interesting medicinal plant.

  2. this looks like an aromatic edible plant - am i right? we use a lot of such herbs and greens in greek cooking

  3. thanks so much for commenting on my blog..really appreciate it..lovely photos and I learn a lot here..cheers

  4. thank you for stopping by. i enjoyed both your photo and your research. i had not thought to put names to the plants i found...
    blessings, kim

  5. That plant is very thirsty! It needs a watering. Tulsi is a excellent herb for tea, powerful healing properties. I have been growing this for a while now & have never been ill since.