I have trays with two different tulsi or holy basils: one is tulsi ‘temperate’ and the other tulsi ‘vana’.
The temperate tulsi grows very fast, but is an annual variety. The leaves are relatively small and the scent super strong, the Latin name ocimum africanum. It goes as well under the name Kapoor tulsi. This one might self-seed, but I haven’t tried the variety before so I can’t promise! Cutting it back keeps the plants productive and healthy.
Tulsi Vana Ocimum gratissimum is one of the tropical tree basils and native to India and East Africa. The leaves are bigger and the whole plant can get over a meter high. It is a perennial variety which can be overwintered inside in frost prone areas.
While there are probably small differences, the traditional use of both types is the same: the tea is used for stress, anxiety, heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, and dementia. But there are many more health benefits associated with this plant, one of them helping with respiratory disorders, maybe it’s a good idea to drink it after these weeks of inhaling smoke?
I will try to overwinter the tropical variety in the greenhouse but I might even dry some of the temperate tulsi to have that immune enhancer at hand when the cold season hits.