Tulsi the Holy Basil
This is an herb with a long history of use from the area of India. Tulsi is considered to be an adaptogen and to have many health benefits. An adaptogen is a plant that has shown to have the ability to allow the body to better cope with stressors, in other words to better adapt to life’s changes. Holy Basil is said to have many positive effects such as antidepressant, antioxidant, as well as neuroprotective properties just to name a few. For more information as referenced on Tulsi and other adaptogens I recommend the excellent book, Adaptogens by David Winston and Steven Maimes.
Growing Holy Basil Hydroponically
Holy Basil is a fun herb to grow. It grows fairly quickly (Please watch the time lapse grow video below to see about a month of growth). Tulsi, like other types of basil can be cloned so you can improve yields somewhat by taking cuttings and rooting them. The plant itself seems to do well in a standard PH range of about 6.0 +- a few points. The temperature was kept at around 76º F +- 5º and the nutrient solution was left fairly strong at around 3.0 EC. The nutrients used were very basic. The Tulsi shown in this post was grown entirely with General Hydroponics MaxiGro dry powder nutrient and a small amount of added trace minerals which may not have even been necessary. Technically this plant was not difficult to grow and should be suitable for anyone who is able to grow regular basil and is just slightly more difficult to grow than regular basil. The light requirements are moderate and as can be seen from the video the basil received some light from a window. The grow light was actually several feet above the basil and if a grow light is positioned more closely you should expect faster yields than what the time lapse shows.
Learn more about Tulsi
I highly suggest learning more about adaptogens of which Tulsi is just one. Tulsi for example has many of the health benefits listed previously but is much less difficult to cultivate than many other adaptogens the reader may be familiar with such as Ginseng, Eleuthero, or Rhodiola to name a few, as many require years of growth. Holy Basil can be used in tea or consumed fresh and makes a unique addition to smoothies or salads. The history of use goes back thousands of years but the benefits can be enjoyed shortly after planting. It has been suggested in the Adaptogen book referenced earlier that Tulsi has many positive spiritual effects as well, such as harmonizing the body’s spiritual chakra system, relieving mental fog, having some protective effects against radiation, and even helping to lower blood sugar and that is just naming a few of the potential benefits often attributed to this fascinating herb. These topics are too vast to explore here and are not specifically related to hydroponics so I suggest researching them separately if you are interested in these subjects.
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