Plant Spirit Medicine: Tulsi, Kapoor

As I wait for the leaves of the beautiful Tulsi Kapoor to steep, I can already feel the plant, warm and tingly on the tops of my shoulders down to tops of my shoulder blades, spreading toward my spine around cervical vertebra 7 at the base of my neck.

I inhale the scent of the dry leaves. They're warm, sweet like berries, spicy, like a faraway spice market. It makes me wake up but not in a vigilant, high alert way. More in an awakened, joyful, present, embodied, excited to be here kind of way. I feel completely surrounded and embraced by the plant and its scent. Smelling the leaves, my throat feels a tiny bit tingly and dry.

Emotionally I feel awake, alert, sharp, focused, enthusiastic about diving in to projects, specifically research OR creative projects. It awakens something very old within my bones and my blood. Like I could reach back into the past and touch the wisdom of the ancients. I want to dig my hands into the earth and re-member.

I remember the earth heals. I remember my body’s connection with the earth heals. I remember slowing down heals. I remember and trust my body’s innate wisdom and pace and knowing.

Before I even take a sip, I look into my cup and notice the color isn't very dark. Tulsi says to me, “Remember it doesn’t take a lot. A little is plenty.”

When I smell the tea, the potency of the raw plant material is softened and diffuse but present within the water itself now that the plant and water have interwoven and married. It makes me want to close my eyes and take all the time in the world. The anxiety that sometimes lingers around going slowly and being with my thoughts dissipates.

More floral notes emerge as the steam rises out of my cup and I sit back in my chair and remember to soften the back of my heart, that space right between my shoulder blades. Spicy and savory notes come through, like thyme, basil, and cumin with a hint of anise.

Finally I give in to my impulses and take a sip. It warms and soothes my throat, raw from wildfire smoke and allergies, and immediately and lands gracefully across my whole tongue, not targeting any specific area, which tells me on its own, this Tulsi is quite balanced energetically.

Nourishing, a bit of mother energy, harmonizing, as if energy is flowing not up or down in my system but moving through and ever so gently teasing out tension and stagnation. I’m surprised it doesn’t feel more dry in my system. It feels warm and a bit tingly in my throat, but I don’t notice any dryness as it warms. No bitterness. Just sweet, savory, warm, calming, enlivening.

What does Tulsi say?

A lot of messages about trust, trusting my timing, trusting my voice, trusting my body’s unwinding, trusting my intuition, trusting my boundaries, trusting my strength, trusting my surrender. Trusting that I’ve cultivated the resilience necessary to soften more of those protected and defensive spaces.

It’s time to lean into nourishment, pleasure, rest, enjoying where I am. I’ve done a lot of work. There will be more to do. For now, Tulsi says rest and immerse yourself in what is calling rather than what you feel you “should” do or need to do.

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