This week in Penelope’s Garden, we’re shining the spotlight on one of nature’s most beneficial herbs: kapoor tulsi.

Most often consumed as a tea or infusion, the plant’s somewhat spicy aroma offers hints of cloves, chocolate and pepper. Its sweet fragrance also acts as a natural incest repellent, specifically targeting mosquitoes.

Holy basil is native to the Indian subcontinent and has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. Not surprisingly, it has been referred to as “The Incomparable One”, “Elixir of Life” or “Queen of the Herbs” throughout the centuries.

Known for its stress-relieving, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, it can also help regulate blood sugar levels. Kapoor tulsi may also aid in reducing the severity and occurrence of asthma-related issues.

As always, look for the gold stars throughout the garden to see what’s ready to harvest. The plants are in full bloom so there is still time to try comfrey, mugwort and our very own Stearns variety of mint. See complete list below:

Spearmint – used for digestion and nausea and in aromatherapy.
“Stearns” mint – try a tea made from our very own mint!
Peppermint – alleviates pain and reduces stress.
Buena verba/Sweet mint – best for mojitos and mocktails (Mentha x suavis).
Chocolate mint – really tastes like chocolate!
Apple mint – also called the woolly or pineapple mint, it’s often used in culinary recipes.
Lemon balm – helps with headaches and great for liver health.
Calendula – great for improving skin health and lowering inflammation.
Mugwort – helps with digestive issues and menstrual pain.
Comfrey – traditionally used for healing wounds and relieving aching muscles.