Tulsi, or tulasi, is an herb used in Hindu religious ceremonies and Ayurvedic medicine. It is also known as Thai holy basil and is sometimes used in Thai cuisine. It is a member of the mint family and is grown mainly for its essential oil or its fragrant leaves. If you are cultivating your own tulsi, plan to harvest the plant before its purple flowers appear. Choose a warm, dry morning after the dew has evaporated to clip your tulsi plants, and process them immediately.
Things You'll Need
- Paper towels
- Paper bag
- Airtight container
Rinse tulsi sprigs in cool water to remove dust. Shake the sprigs well and lay them on paper towels to dry thoroughly.
Remove any damaged leaves by pinching or cutting them away from the stem.
Gather the sprigs into loose bundles and tie the stem ends together with string or fasten a rubber band around them.
Cut a dime-sized hole in the bottom of a small brown bag, like a lunch bag. Slide the bundled tulsi stems through the hole, and allow the bag to cover the herbs like an umbrella. The bag will act as a dust shield while the herbs are drying.
Hang the bags of tulsi from hooks in a warm, dry place with good ventilation, such as your pantry. Make certain you choose a warm space where the herbs will dry quickly. Plants in the mint family have a tendency to mold and discolor if they are dried too slowly, according to the North Carolina State University Extension website.
Remove the herbs from their hooks when they are brittle and dry. Pick whole leaves off of their stems and store them in an airtight container, such as a freezer bag or a canning jar with a lid. Label the container with the date and contents, and store it in a cool, dry area away from direct light or heat.