Many people wonder if Tulsi is a caffeinated tea or if it is caffeine free. This question likely arises from the tendency to equate the word “tea” with caffeine, and fair enough, it can be confusing when that word “tea” has several meanings. Here is what my dictionary says:
- a hot drink made by infusing the dried, crushed leaves of the tea plant, Camellia sinensis, in boiling water
- the dried leaves used to make such a drink.
- [usu. with adj. ] a hot drink made from the infused leaves, fruits, or flowers of other plants : herbal tea | fruit teas.
- (also tea plant) the evergreen shrub or small tree that produces these leaves, native to South and eastern Asia and grown as a major cash crop. • Camellia sinensis, family Theaceae.
So, in general, when we are talking about Tulsi Tea we are talking about #3 above, a hot drink made from the leaves of Tulsi and other herbs infused in hot water, or, pardon my French, a tisane. All the teas that ORGANIC INDIA creates are based on Tulsi, so Tulsi Peppermint Tea is a tea made from Tulsi and Peppermint and Tulsi Sweet Rose Tea is Tulsi with some beautiful and potent rose petals, etc. So, you may ask, what about the caffeine?
A lot of plants share the same chemistry, for instance lemon grass shares a lot of the same chemistry as the fruit of the lemon tree. But even considering this, relatively few plants or herbs have this famous xanthine alkaloid, caffeine, in them. For instance, herbs/plants with caffeine include:
- Tea leaves (green tea or black tea)
- Coffee beans
- Kola nuts
- Yerba Mate leaves and twigs
- Guarana fruits
So though Tulsi has zero caffeine in it, the blends of Tulsi with black tea or green tea do have some caffeine. The only Tulsi teas that have caffeine are the following:
- Tulsi India Breakfast Tea has 20-30 mg
- Tulsi Green Tea has 10-15 mg
- Tulsi Chai Masala Tea has 10-15 mg
- Tulsi Pomegranate Green Tea has 8-12 mg
- Cup of coffee has 120-150 mg
- Can of soda has 40-80 mg
- Tablet of Excedrin has 65 mg
- Cup of black yea has 40-60 mg
- Cup of green tea has 20-50 mg
- Cup of decaf coffee has 3-5 mg
So if you want to have caffeine-free teas then choose these blends that have no herbs in them that contain caffeine, for instance:
- Tulsi Original Tea has zero caffeine
- Tulsi Honey Chamomile Tea has zero caffeine
- Tulsi Sweet Rose Tea has zero caffeine
- Tulsi Lemon Ginger Tea has zero caffeine
- Tulsi Red Chai Masala Tea has zero caffeine
- Etc, etc, etc…
Note that the Tulsi Red Chai Masala Tea is a caffeine-free “chai” because it is made with the herb Rooibos, which has zero caffeine, instead of with the more traditional herb for Chai, black tea.
Also, not all caffeine sources are created equal. A flame of fire in your fireplace or in your lantern in the forest is very different in affect and functionality than that flame of fire standing in your naked palm or atop the deed to your house! Yikes. In the same way, the caffeine in green tea and yerba mate is with other molecules that bring out the best of this alkaloid caffeine and attenuate the negative sides of it. However, the caffeine in coffee, though having its pros and cons, is in general in a more acidic milieu of chemistry, and hence makes the body more acidic and so coffee’s litany of actions that are healthy for people is much smaller than the list of its typically unhealthy actions.
In addition, Tulsi is known to help balance some of the negative aspects of caffeine, especially those that are adrenal-centric, and really blossoms the effects of some of these caffeine containing herbs. A great example of this is how the Tulsi in the Tulsi Green Tea amplifies all the antioxidants in green tea. So if you are drinking green tea for its healthy benefits, drinking Tulsi Green Tea amplifies those benefits.
So again, the only blends of Tulsi teas that have caffeine are those with black or green tea also in them. All the rest of the Tulsi tea family is caffeine-free!