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Want radiant skin, healthy joints, and improved digestion? Glow from the inside-out with paleo recipes featuring collagen.

Reader Interactions

123 Comments

  1. I have been wanting to try some gelatin cubes for a while now — I’ve seen other recipes and figure it’s a great way to achieve all the health benefits! I love this post and I think you’ve inspired me to go ahead and try it out. These look great; thank you for sharing! 🙂

  2. Do you know if Tulsi is safe in pregnancy? I am in my second trimester, and I am having migraines, presumably from hormonal imbalance. I’m wondering if this would safely help. Any idea?

      • Then the question arises, if it’s NOT safe for pregnancy and it’s linked to infertility, doesn’t this imply that Tulsi can really throw off already thrown off hormonal imbalances? It seems like every herb that’s recommended for thyroid or adrenal patients as an adaptogen ends up being linked to infertility. How does that even make sense? lol…. I want to give this jello a try, but I probably won’t be downing 2c of strong brew tea a day… just to be safe. Any thoughts on this connection???

        • My guess is since the Tulsi has the effect of reducing estrogen in the female body that is the reason for the precaution if pregnant of trying to conceive. Either of these conditions requires Estrogen to be at higher than normal levels (both to prepare the body for conception and to maintain the pregnancy). Some women though have abnormal levels of estrogen all the time. There are plenty of herbal remedies that are safe during pregnancy. If your are looking for something along those lines, I would suggest consulting a Naturopath or Osteopath (DO, not MD).

          • No true adaptogen, which Holy Basil is, has the ability to make your body make big hormonal changes. Adaptogens help the body adapt to stress in non specific ways, and are considered to be very safe. Infertility is sometimes linked to stress, I have seen adaptogens, especially Rhodiola, help a lot with stress related infertility. And a tea form of any basil is extremely unlikely to be powerful enough to create problems.
            I like this recipe a lot.
            You could make it with agar, different healing qualities than gelatin.
            I throw it in blender drinks sometimes, too.

        • Perhaps it is something that crosses the placenta and is not safe for the baby? It might be perfectly safe for the mom, but not safe for a developing baby, which is why you shouldn’t have it even if you’re trying to conceive?

          • I read somewhere (wish I had the source) that it can be somewhat of a sperm blocker and that is why it isn’t good when trying to conceive. I am drinking it because of hormone issues that seem to keep me from getting pregnant to begin with. For me those are the bigger issues than the sperm, at least at this point. Also literally every single food and herb has some negative side effects and we can find them thanks to google. I think as long as it is a cup here and there it won’t hurt anything – everything in moderation! Listen to your body and do what is best for you.

  3. You have inspired me to finally get this gelatin! I’ve been learning about it for a while… so thanks for posting this! And while I was at it, I got the tea too!

    I love what you do on your site. Absolutely love it. Thank you so much for your hard work!

  4. So excited–I’m making these right now! I’d like to eventually make them so that I could pick them up by hand, but for now I just added an extra TBS of gelatin to see how they turn out. Thanks so much for this! Following your blog now.

  5. I know you recommend not using Knox gelatin, but for those of us you can’t quite afford the grassfed, does the Knox give some of the same healing effects?

    Thanks! 🙂

    • If you plan on usig a lot of gelatin, then the price evens out because with knox you only get a little bit. With the grass fed you are geting a big huge canister. And you can do so much with it. I use it to make dairy free pumpkin custard and last night at 2am I decided I need to try making mango cubes!

  6. ive recently gone paleo and lost 10 lbs due to some health conditions, hasimotos and underactive thyroid, trying to learn how to heal my gut, seeing some recipes using honey, should i be cautious of that due to the sugar content? i cant wait to try this recipe, and i really want to try your gelation coconut pancakes as well thanks and your page is great!

    • I also have Hashi’s, leaky gut, etc. and have been trying to heal my gut. Most of the time, your body will let you know [as far as the honey]. I’ve had to be careful of it for a while, but a little here and there seems to be fine. It can vary, depending on the person, I think.

    • Hi – I wanted to comment that I’ve had Crohn’s for 25+ yrs now, combined with IBS and flares of colitis; the best changes I’ve made, in addition to going all organic, all gluten free, low to zero processed sugar, drinking 2 TBS of apple cidar vinegar w/ “the mother” + 2 TBS of purified water 3 times per day, are the addition of probiotics — VSL#3 I order from the Kroger pharmacy due to them being refrigerated; I take 2 at night before bed on an empty stomach, and then 2 the minute I get up with 20+ ounces of purified water. I cannot tell you how close to “normal” my gut finally is (including years of the prednizone roller coaster, adrenal death and spirals, and my thyroid ignoring me). I cannot wait to try this gelatin too!

  7. I never thought to make jello out of tea! Ingenious. And, just so happens i have some tulsi tea from MONTHS ago when i didn’t know what it was, and know i do – yipee! Snow storm coming tomorrow, and this is now on my list of kitchen projects for tomorrow. Thanks Lauren!

  8. My apologies if I missed it – but I want to make the gelee recipe above. How many “cubes” (& approx. size) should this make and how many per day for optimal benefits? Thanks!!

  9. Thanks for this post, Lauren! Does the tulsi tea have a strong or unusual taste? I’m thinking something like this would be good for my boyfriend (who is always stressed and anxious and I have a feeling his neurotransmitters are out of whack), but he won’t drink it if it’s weird tasting 😉

  10. Hi Lauren, thanks for this post! I have been struggling with naturally balancing my hormones, healing my gut and adrenal fatique so I definitely want to try this! Question, you recommend traditional tulsi, I have tulsi green tea, will that work just as well?

  11. Hi Lauren,
    Thanks for this …I already had lemon ginger Tulsi Tea and my gelatin just came from Amazon – so i used the tea i had – i don’t think i got it strong enough to taste the lemon, but the ginger is still a strong aftertaste in my mouth – but eating it brings back lots of childhood memories of Jell-O! Really cool to feel those kid feelings and know how really good it is for me at the same time! Great blog and thanks again!

    • No, there is no actual tea in tulsi. It is made from holy basil, just a type of basil plant that has health-promoting properties. In the U.S., we use lots of tisanes (herbal teas that do not contain real tea or caffeine**) but we call them tea anyway.

      **Real tea (camellia sinensis) doesn’t actually have caffeine. It’s some other property that does the same thing as caffeine, but just as we neglect to say tisane, we neglect to say the real name of tea’s caffeine (and I’ve forgotten it as the word is not in use commonly!). We do this so a greater number of people will understand what we’re talking about. Try asking for tisane at any restaurant and see what happens.

      • Honestly, I don’t mean to be rude but before you post your comments, perhaps you should educate yourself a bit more to ensure what you are saying is actually accurate.

        Tea plants (Camellia sinensis) contain 5-6% caffeine that is responsible for the stimulating effect of the beverage. and Tea contains more caffeine than coffee by dry weight.

        A typical serving, however, contains much less, since tea is normally brewed more weakly than coffee. Also contributing to caffeine content are growing conditions, processing techniques, and other variables. Thus, certain types of tea may contain somewhat more caffeine than other teas.[149]

        The CAMELLIA SINENSIS Teahouse conducted, in collaboration with the College Centres for the Transfer of Technologies TransBIOTech, a study on the levels of antioxidants and caffeine in different teas. The analyses were conducted so that the results reflect what the tea drinker gets at home, in the context of daily consumption.

        http://camellia-sinensis.com/en/tea-and-health

  12. I am very interested in tulsi tea but after reading on the Internet some people’s reaction whilst taking it I am a little scared now, I already suffer with anxiety and adrenal fatigue, I don’t want to feel worse !! Has anyone else had a bad reaction and are there any side effects we should know about ? Thanks.

    • I’ve had anxiety and adrenal fatigue and Tulsi tea has helped me tremendously. It is so very calming to me! I haven’t talked to anyone that has had an adverse reaction or bad experience with Tulsi.

      On the other hand, chamomile tea, which helps some people calm down, makes my heart pound and I feel jittery (possibly because it’s related to ragweed and I have an allergy to that) when I drink it. So I would just give the Tulsi a try, and see how your body responds.

      Tulsi tea really helped with my stress levels, and helped relax me- which helped get me started on my journey to good health. 🙂

  13. Hi Lauren,

    I have been enjoying reading your posts and I have started making my own deodorant based on your recipe. Your recipe is awesome! Thank you for all the valuable information, about everything.

    I have just started using a herb called Rhodiola to support my thyroid and my adrenals [this is a great link for more info: http://www.herbwisdom.com/herb-rhodiola.html%5D. You might resonate with it, and it’s very reasonably priced.

    Enjoy the journey 🙂
    Christina

  14. Love all your info… So very interesting! I went on amazon to order the grass-fed gelatin and there was a collagen hydrolysate available that dissolves in all liquids and doesn’t need to set. I am assuming this has the same benefits? I don’t want to order unless same health benefits… Thanks so much 🙂

    • I’ve not tried the collagen hydrolysate, and I’m not sure it would work in this recipe. I know it is great if you want to quickly dissolve in in your coffee or beverage to get the benefits of gelatin, though… so yes, it has the same health benefits.

      • Thank you and yes, I’m sorry I wasn’t clear about knowing not to use it for this recipe since it won’t coagulate. I was just going to buy the Tulsi Tea and add it in and drink it. Thanks so much for your input!

  15. The reason they want you to use the natural gelatin is because it’s made from beef bones and it helps to heal the gut. I have fallen off the paleo wagon since I had my knees done. which btw gelatin is very good for your joints as well. I intend to get back on the horse again and will try this.

  16. I have recently tried the tulsi detox peach favored tea and absolutely love the stuff! I’ve been drinking at least 1 cup a day and have noticed my moods being much more stable. Thanks for sharing. I bought it at my health food store after reading this.

  17. This recipe (along with your blog!) is a revelation! I suffer from hormone imbalance and have been trying to address it by cutting out dairy and limiting meat (as I’ve I’ve read the hormones pumped into non organic meats and dairy cows has a detrimental affect on our hormone balance when consumed). This recipe is a new must have for me. I’ve just made some and it is DELICIOUS! Thanks so much for sharing your recipes and great articles. You have a new avid reader in Ireland 🙂

    • I’m so glad to hear that! And it is always exciting to learn that I have international readers 🙂 Do you have access to organic, raw milk and/or grassfed meats? Those foods are very helpful for balancing hormones. But you are so correct that non-organic meat/dairy exacerbates hormonal issues.

    • I used stevia instead of honey as I am avoiding sweets myself-I liked it. If you like stevia, I’m sure it will work! I’m not sure how the gelatin will taste if there is no sweetener at all included…
      Another idea I have is to just drink the tea and add collagen hydrosolate (in the green can from the same company mentioned) as it does not gel and offers the same benefits as gelatin.

      • I’ve made savory meat jelly by boiling pig’s feet (aka trotters) for three hours (like the recipe in the GAPS book). Gelatin has no flavor, only a texture. If you can drink tea plain, you can make tea jello without a sweetener. I can’t say whether you’ll like it or not, but it won’t be disgusting by any means. Meat jelly is an excellent quick snack to have on hand when you don’t want to cook anything but need something in your belly. I make a bunch and store in the smallest size canning jars to take to work.

        But this sweet jello stuff sounds pretty good, too. My partner loves the grapefruit gelatin. I’m making jasmine tulsi gelatin tonight and we’ll see what he thinks.

        • Follow up: My partner likes the Jasmine Tulsi gelatin. I am not terribly fond of it, but I will finish it off. The grapefruit juice one is better – might try this again with different tulsi teas.

  18. One little hint here. The Tulsi teas are available from Pure Indian Foods for a lot less money. The Amazon price is highway robbery! I have ordered from Pure Indian Foods several times now and their products are fabulous.

    • Thank you very much Alexandra.

      So pumpkin / flax / CLO Days 1-14.
      Sunflower / sesame / CLO Days 15-28.

      Woohoo.

      I hope you’re soaking your seeds first to remove phytates and increase digestion / absorption. Phytates (the seeds’ enzyme inhibitors, and the reason they can lie dormant outside until the rains come) strip your bodies of needed nutrients. Since you’re taking lots of seeds, you need this info. Go to sproutpeople.com to see how long each seed type needs to be soaked. Generally, soaking overnight should suffice. Don’t drink the soaking water, but it’s okay to water your plants with it.

      Phytates are on many seed types: nuts, seeds, beans, grains.

  19. Do you have a serving suggestion for this? Or how many servings does one batch make? I know it is hard to measure 🙂 And when you say “strongly” brewed tulsi tea, how many tea bags do you use in the 4 cups of water? I used 6 when I made it yesterday. It tastes fine, I might add a little more honey next time. Thanks!

  20. I have to say, you inspired me to buy tulsi for the first time. I grew up with my mother constantly having problems with hormonal imbalance, and 5-year old me receiving the backlash of the stress, frustration, outrage and instability she was experiencing. As I grew into the more hormonal years, I too had a lot of hormonal issues that I wasn’t sure how to handle. I have a lot to be greatul for, but am completely up and down and unnecessarily miserable…. I started drinking a cup of tulsi tea before bed and popping the gels throughout the day, and its like my instability completely flatlined. I can’t explain it because it doesn’t make sense… And I sure hope this isn’t a placebo effect, but I just. Feel. Better. Thank you for posting information about this, it is so very appreciated! :o)

  21. Hi Lauren.
    Thank you for this great website and all you very interesting recipes.
    I thought I had put a comment in about “kosher” gelatin is not a good idea if you care about animal suffering.

    “Halal” killing which is the way both Jews and Muslims kill animals is extremely cruel I dot think there is a worse way to kill animals. It is truly barbaric; very uncivilised.

    There are other organically and grass fed sources for gelatin.
    I am about to make your tulsi gelatin.

    Thanks! Astraea.

    • Yes, I did see your previous comment and I appreciate it. Great Lakes also has a porcine (non-kosher) gelatin which can be used interchangeably with their beef gelatin. I think, but I would have to double check, that Bernard Jensen gelatin is also from grassfed cows but is non-kosher.

  22. I just wanted to let you know… Whenever I smell Sweet Basil, I think of Jell-O. “Smell association”… My mom and I LOVE this recipe and eating little Jell-O bites through the day. And to top that off, I noticed an improvement in my digestion system on day 2 after incorporating gelatin into my diet. Thank you!!!

  23. Tulsi AND gelatin?! Genius!
    I’ve been drinking tulsi every day(ish) for the last 2 months or so, and I’ve never been so calm and clear-headed in my life! It really helped me get off the emotional roller coaster, like WHOA.

    Thank you for your posts, Lauren. I really enjoy them! I’m also in the process of reading Quit PMS 😀

  24. I have been using Tulsi for over a year now for simar reasons. Its amazing stuff!
    I have it via infusion with another great energising adrenal tonic called Stinging Nettle.
    2/3 cup Nettle
    1/3 cup Tulsi
    1 litre boiling water

    Drink all throughout the day and you will have so much more energy and focus. Your tired adrenals and liver will thank you too!

  25. Hi Lauren, Thanks so much for what you do. your is blog my go-to supplement to my own research. I have a question about gelatin though. I have made “gummie bears” with it a few times for my family (in particular for my 2.5 year old, and notice that after he eats them he gets really constipated. So do I, but I do all the time anyway. For him, though, it is weird because he has never gotten constipated from anything else!! Do you know how much gelatin is safe to eat without affecting bowels in this way? Or do you think it might be a sensitivity or something? I was thinking maybe it had to do with how much protein is in gelatin…anyway, thanks in advance. Amber

  26. I was wondering if tulsi can be used by males as well? My partner has bipolar, and I’m looking for alternative ways to help him. He does take an antidepressant as well as a mood stabiliser ( that is temporary, until he gets over his alcohol addiction (17 days clean, yay!) ), so it can’t interfere with those..better to be safe than sorry! PS: Do you answer here, or via email? Or better yet, via facebook? Thanks in advance!

  27. Hi there, I live in the middle east and this is the first I heard that the Tulsi plant is used for this purpose. This plant grows here like weed. And its not uncommon to find it grown in our homes, simply for its aroma, smells heavenly. SO now that I have these growing in my back yard, can i just pick a few and make tea?? TIA

  28. I hope you are sure of the claims you have made here because if the results are not as you stated and this herb actually increases estrogen then you are putting women with estrogen positive breast cancers at risk.

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  31. Do you know what kind of effect Tulsi tea has on menopausal women? I am taking a natural progesterone cream and an estriol cream, (the gentle estrogen) for vaginal atrophy. She tests me regularly for hormonal balance. I just started using the tea a few days ago with the Collagen Hydrolysate. And also started using the Apple Cider Vinegar and am taking Magnesium supplements.. And to top all that off I am now on a low oxalate Paleo diet. I have had several issues for years including severe Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome, Leaky Gut and IBS. I have noticed how calming the Tulsi tea is and don’t want to give it up. I will be tested again in May for hormonal balance.

  32. Tried it twice exactly as recipe says and it doesn’t ever get solid. I have the green label. Cold water solulablr great lakes gelatin. Does that make a difference?

  33. I’ve seen the claim that gelatin reduces estrogen but I’ve seen no NIH-vetted study for that nor any studies showing it increases progesterone. Please be careful what you write.

    • No, there is no studies on that. But if gelatin works with the body to reduce cortisol by balancing amino acids, and cortisol increases estrogen and reduces progesterone, then gelatin reduces estrogen and increases progesterone via it’s action on cortisol. It also increases thyroid hormone via various metabolic mechanisms, which has a positive effect on progesterone synthesis and a negative effect on estrogen synthesis.

  34. I love the taste of Tulsi, but it is diuretic and I have noticed that I cannot drink anything that is diuretic I will just keep on peeing and peeing and peeing, I cannot stop. Too bad because most very healthy herbs are diuretic.. It seems like my body cannot hold onto water very well so now I drink very little like two cups a day and now I go to the bathroom a normal amount of times.
    I started making tincture and it helps for getting in herbs without the excessive peeing, but maybe your way would also work. How many of those cubes do you eat a day ? I read 1/2 – 1 cup but how many cubes does this equal approximatly ? (I am not american so I have no idea how to use cups to measure substances)
    Great site btw.

  35. I’ve read that gelatin increases stomach acid also, which I have a problem with.
    Would eating a tablespoon, this jello, or another homemade gummy before eating a meal, along with bitters be beneficial? Or is it better to just take it in the morning and night, like you do?
    Thank you SO much for your website and info. You’ve saved me and so many others I am sure! 🙂

  36. I followed this recipe to a tea, even ordering the suggested products, and my jello didn’t set (after 10 hours). So disappointing. I’m drinking the “jello mold” as a cold tea so all is not lost. Any thought on how to readjust the recipe?

  37. Thanks so much . I will try this I have lived under terrible stress to decades. I bought grassfed gelatine through your hot link a couple of years ago and loved it in soup..I am going to do this.. Is holy basil fresh or dried?

  38. I’ve learn that in case you purchase native honey it could actually help with seasonal allergy symptoms and that is the important thing I used to be in search of when I did a Google
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  39. Hi just came across this today have pin it to my screen so I can reload it quickly
    As I’m going to try this have read though the whole comments and find this very helpful
    I suffer from fibromyalgia and have ADHD along with lots of pain I take lots of pills which now there is no longer working I’m going to try counciling to try to help me cope with
    With having ADHD l’ve gone though having so much energy doing a dozen of things at once and keeping both my sons at normal schools but for the pass 10yrs my body has done a shut down so I’m struggling to cope each day my hubby is my carer and is great with dealing with my moods along with depression which is very helpful
    I’ve though w
    This maybe helpful in coping with stress I hope so as I need loss stress so my pain could be more manageable I no longer drink any coffee as this keeps me awake for 24 plus hours so ithough this would be nice to try instead of plain water which is pure water though a distiller which I fine it sweet now I’ve got use to it along with added minrule
    My friend has fibomalgia as will so will reporting my findings for helping her
    Thanks again for your help

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I’m Lauren Geertsen, an author and Nutritional Therapy Practitioner. When doctors told me that surgery and medication were the only answers to my chronic health issues, I decided to use the power of nutrition and a natural lifestyle instead.
My mission at Empowered Sustenance? To show you the simple steps on your path to vibrant health.

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