Holy basil leaves have demonstrated the capacity to pull fluoride from water. It is best to use fresh leaves and therefore to grow the plants. They can be grown indoors for year round use or outdoors if your climate permits. Germination can take one to two weeks and leaves begin to appear in another two weeks. Within six weeks, you should be able to harvest a few leaves. The leaves can be placed in water (at room temperature) and left for at least eight hours, preferably 24. While the leaves may not remove all the fluoride in the water, a significant reduction can be expected. The leaves can also be used to make pesto but holy basil is not quite as tender as Italian basil.
There are a number of varieties of holy basil. The leaves and stems differ in color.
|Amrita Tulsi comes from the ashram of Ammachi in Amritapuri, India. It is an offspring of Krishna Tulsi and has a mixture of dark reddish-purple and green leaves. It is hardy to zones 10-12 but can be grown indoors. It is high in both rosmarinic acid and eugenol and has a nice aroma. It makes a good tea as well a plant for ritualistic use.|
|Rama Tulsi is the main plant used for tea in India. It has reddish stems and green leaves. It is also hardy only in zones 10-12 but can be grown indoors in pots. Its chemistry is similar to that of Amrita Tulsi, i.e., high eugenol and rosmarinic acid and very aromatic.|
|Temperate Tulsi is the hardiest and is also very aromatic. It is what used to be called Kapoor and is more green with pinkish lavender flowers.|
|Vana Tulsi is the wild variety. It hs a higher eugenol content and is therefore sometimes called Clove Basil. It is basically the same as African Basil. It is a tropical plant so probably needs to be in a greenhouse or grown indoors unless you are in zones 10-12.|