By Brijbala Jahns You may have heard about Tulsi, or Holy Basil, revered as the “Queen of Herbs” in Ayurveda since thousands of years for remarkable stress relieving and life-enhancing qualities. Have you ever tried Tulsi tea, or heard about the vision of ORGANIC INDIA, the company who first brought Tulsi to the world?
The Organization of Nature Evolutionaries (O.N.E.) likes to focus on the solution. Through Dr Bruce Lipton’s book The Honeymoon Effect and the chapter on “Spreading Peace Love and Tulsi Tea”, O.N.E. learned of ORGANIC INDIA's philosophy, vision, and greater mission which presented an alternative (or solution) to the death and devastation that the farmers in India were experiencing after the Green Revolution.
The invitation to connect with their story is shared with every box of Tulsi tea:
At the heart of ORGANIC INDIA is our commitment to be a living embodiment of love and consciousness in action.
All our products promote health and True Wellness and are made with loving care. Each product is one link in a chain of love and connectedness between Mother Nature, our farmers and you.
By choosing ORGANIC INDIA you are actively participating in our mission to serve the environment, provide life of dignity to our farmers, and bring health & happiness to you.
ORGANIC INDIA’s vision is to be a vehicle of consciousness that inspires, promotes and supports True Wellness and respect for all beings and for Mother Nature.
ORGANIC INDIA was formed in the 1990's by a small group of people from around the world who met in Lucknow, a town in northern India. They had traveled to meet H.W.L. Poonja, the spiritual teacher fondly known as "Papaji." Inspired by Papaji's lifetime of service, this group of visionaries and future founders together created a holistic business modality that would eventually change the face of agriculture in northern India.
Their idea was simple: establish a sustainable business model to support the livelihood of thousands of impoverished farmers in India by providing training and education, enabling self-sufficiency and skills that could be passed on to future generations. This idea became a movement as organic and biodynamic farming methods were developed and practiced.
Early on, the founders had the good fortune to meet Dr. Narendra Singh, author of the book Tulsi, The Mother Medicine of Nature, who dedicated his life to studying and researching the medicinal value and application of thousands of Ayurvedic herbs. ORGANIC INDIA began the first large cultivation of Tulsi by contracting farmers in the area around Dr. N. Singh's ancestral home near Azamgarh.
From Devastation to Regeneration
At the time, farmers were becoming disillusioned with the false promises of the Green Revolution but didn’t see any way out. They were in debt, the environment was devastated, the soil was lifeless, and they were desperate. Their fields had indeed turned green but in the process had used so much groundwater that they needed to dig deeper and deeper wells, and had to borrow more money, to buy more and more chemicals, to grow their crops to fend off pests that had become resistant. Unable to continue to work their depleted land and unable to make loan payments, many farmers took their own lives.
Despite these suspicions, one farmer named Kailash Nath Singh decided to take a chance by converting to organic on his small, three-acre farm. He began growing fields of sacred Tulsi (also called holy basil), even though Tulsi is found outside of every temple and home in traditional India.
True Wellness is Wellness for All
Now, thanks to the trust and faith of the farmers and the support of the founders during conversion, 15 years later there are entire villages surrounding and 20,000 farmers around the country partnering in ORGANIC INDIA projects. Sustainable communities of formerly marginalized family farmers are created through fair-market agriculture, with access to healthcare, education and gender equality and empowerment programs.
ORGANIC INDIA farmers and tribal wildcrafters are trained by associate experts in all aspects of organic, sustainable and biodynamic agricultural practices. The seeds are carefully preserved and provided: all the fees associated with organic certifications are paid by the company, and the crops and wildcrafted herbs are purchased directly from the farmers at a premium market price.
The farmers also rotate between growing crops on their land for ORGANIC INDIA with food crops for themselves and their families. This means that the farmers, wildcrafters and their families are supported by a sustainable income, while at the same time improving and preserving their own health and natural environment. In this way, farmers can prosper, with farming skills that regenerate the earth that will be passed on to future generations.
Farming in Harmony with Nature
The stories these grateful farmers tell are incredibly moving and a testament to the sustainability of organic and biodynamic farming—constant enrichment of the soil, healthier livestock, and thriving children. Says Kailash Nath Singh:
“Organic farming has come as a real blessing for our family. Our succeeding generations will reap the benefits and realize how the land has not lost its fertility due to heavy use of chemicals.”
These farmers have discovered that when the soil is alive and rich and thriving, then anything that comes out of that soil will be alive and rich and thriving, including the plants, and these plants will have a much greater ability to withstand pests naturally. They use both organic and biodynamic techniques to ensure this. Most of their fields are only 1 to 2 acres and are separated with trees, shrubs, bushes, grasses: in short, the abundance innate to diversity.
Herbs such as Tulsi are ground and put it back into the fields to enhance the vitality of the soil and also to protect the plants from invaders. The Tulsi in the soil minimizes fungal infections in plants that grow in that soil. Birds and other natural wildlife are fantastic pest management and they come back to the farms because we invite them with rich soil that supports the ecosystem they require. So there is no need for fungicides or pesticides!
Preserving the Prana (life force) of Herbs
Tulsi and other herbs are harvested by hand and locally processed. At the factory, they are dehydrated in a dry, sterile environment. This limit of moisture prevents phytochemicals degradation. Then they are gently ground, slowly, at low temperatures, so the matrix of the bioactive molecules and synergy of naturally occurring constituents, is preserved. Then they are filled into vegetarian capsules - free of toxic chemicals, solvents or alcohol.
According to Dr. Narendra Singh, who dedicated 40 years of rigorous research to developing and fine-tuning ORGANIC INDIA herbal formulas, whole herbs are superior to extracts because they are most effective, active and highly bioavailable to the gastro-intestinal tract. He was firmly convinced of the importance of uncontaminated organic herbs, and is often quoted as saying: “Only if its organic, is it truly Ayurvedic.”
Assurance and Response-ability
From preservation of seed to sowing, from cultivation to harvesting, from processing to production, through sales and marketing, ORGANIC INDIA’s core commitment is to inspire, promote and support well-being and respect for all beings and for Mother Nature.
In living this vision, ORGANIC INDIA is also committed to setting new standards of quality, honesty and integrity in the Ayurvedic, Herbal and Organic Food Industry. Besides being among the first in India to receive a broad range of Indian and International certifications, as a Vehicle of Consciousness, ORGANIC INDIA has established this new standard, called EARTH SEER, for companies of the new paradigm dedicated to nurture, serve and protect the earth and all beings through their actions, products and services.
EARTH SEER stands for the following criteria:
Socially Environmentally Economically Responsible
Learn more about EARTH SEER criteria here bit.ly/EARTHSEER
ORGANIC INDIA’s holistic model creates abundance for all stakeholders, socially, environmentally and economically.
In the words of ORGANIC INDIA’s Founder, Bharat Mitra:
True Wellness is the guiding principle of ORGANIC INDIA. We embrace the fundamental truth that everything, and all of us are interconnected. We understand that in order for True Wellness to be, it must include All: All beings; the whole earth; the visible and the invisible. True Wellness is our guiding light, so that we can be loving, respectful and compassionate towards all beings, while caring for, and serving Mother Nature. True Wellness is a sustainable, holistic vision, an open invitation for All to celebrate the divine gift of Life.
Bharat Mitra (Yoav Lev) Founder and President ORGANIC INDIA
Article by Anna (Brijbala) Jahns, a research & marketing consultant associated with ORGANIC INDIA and the spiritual community of the One who inspires this Vehicle of Consciousness to flourish