You can’t substitute holy basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum) for the sweet basil in your mother’s marinara sauce or the Thai basil used to season a hot bowl of pho.
Ocimum sanctum L., or tulsi, is the common name for a green leafy plant that originates in Southeast Asia. In traditional Indian medicine, it was used to treat a wide variety of ailments, from eye infections to ringworm.
All parts of the holy basil plant, from the leaves to the seed, have healing properties. Different parts of the plant are recommended for treating different conditions:
In cases of bronchitis, its fresh flowers can be used as a treatment.
Malaria can be treated by consuming the leaves and seeds along with black pepper.
When treating gastrointestinal issues like those mentioned above (vomiting, diarrhoea, etc.), the whole plant is best.
Treatment for eczema can be found in pill and ointment form.
Stomach ulcers and eye diseases can be treated with an alcohol extract.
Insect bites can be treated with an essential oil extracted from the leaves.
Many studies support the use of the entire plant of holy basil for human use and its therapeutic value. Trusted Source also has a high nutrient value because it includes:
- Vitamin A and C
Never take dietary supplements without first discussing them with your doctor. Like many supplements, holy basil is not approved as a first-line treatment. It may also interact with medications you’re already taking.
Find out in this article why holy basil is considered a reliable source of herbal medicine and given the title “Queen of Herbs.”
Reduce stress and anxiety
Adaptogen properties can be found in every part of the holy basil plant. An adaptogen is a substance found in nature that aids the body in dealing with stress and encourages emotional stability.
One could say that the concept of an adaptogen is a holistic one. However, there is evidence from scientific studies showing that holy basil has pharmacological properties that aid the mind in dealing with various stresses.
The source of your stress can be:
Holy basil has been shown to improve physical stamina in test animals. Holy basil leaf extracts reduced stress responses in animals subjected to environmental stress.
- intensified metabolic rate
- Enhanced Swimming Efficiency
- reduced tissue injury
- lower stress levels in loud environments
- Human and animal studies saw reduced:
- Sexual Disturbances
- Issues With Sleeping
It has been reported by the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine that holy basil has Trusted Source antidepressant and anti-anxiety properties that are on par with those of diazepam and antidepressant drugs. The leaves were the subject of these studies.
Anxiety, stress, and depression were all reduced in people who took 500 milligrammes (mg) of holy basil extract daily, according to one study. The increased sense of community made people feel more comfortable interacting with others.
Holy basil tea is highly recommended by Ayurvedic doctors. Also, since it contains no caffeine, you can and should drink it every day. Just like practising yoga, the act of drinking tea can become a meditative ritual. It helps you focus, calm down, and feel better overall.
A supplement in pill form or as an alcohol extract is available for those who don’t care for the basil’s bitter and spicy flavour. To reduce the likelihood of contamination, it’s best to use a herb in its purest form.
Recent scientific research has shown that holy basil, like pharmaceutical antidepressants, can help with depression and anxiety. Research shows that it can make people feel less anxious and more sociable.
Inject new life and energy into your body
Moreover, holy basil aids in detoxification and has a high antioxidant content. Holy basil has been shown to shield the body from the effects of toxins in scientific studies. And because it inhibits the multiplication of cancer cells, it may be useful in preventing the disease.
Treat wounds and prevent infection.
Its leaves can be extracted and used to aid in the healing process. This holy basil is:
- analgesic (a painkiller)
In fact, some people use holy basil as a post-operative wound protector. You’ll notice an improvement in your wound’s breaking strength, healing time, and contraction after using holy basil. The term “breaking strength” is used to describe the amount of force or weight a wound can withstand before it gives way.
There is some evidence that holy basil can help treat a variety of wounds and infections.
- mouth sores
- scars that have raised up the skin
You should try to bring your blood sugar levels down.
All parts of the holy basil plant can help lower blood sugar if you have prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. Holy basil has been shown in studies on both humans and animals to reduce the risk of developing diabetes and its related complications.
- gains in weight
- increased insulin levels in the blood, also known as hyperinsulinemia
- elevated lipid levels
- Lack of response to insulin
After 30 days, rats given holy basil extract showed a 26.4% decrease in blood sugar in the cited early animal study. Sugar levels in the rats fed holy basil leaf powder for a month also dropped.
Before including holy basil in your diet, you should consult your physician. It may further reduce your blood sugar if you are already taking medication for that purpose.
Manage your cholesterol levels
Holy basil’s ability to reduce metabolic stress also makes it useful for lowering body fat and cholesterol.
Researchers found that when rabbits were fed fresh holy basil leaves, their fat molecules shifted significantly. They had reduced levels of LDL cholesterol and increased levels of HDL cholesterol (HDL-cholesterol).
Holy basil oil (eugenol) has been shown to reduce stress-induced cholesterol levels in animal studies. Powdered holy basil leaves reduced total cholesterol in the kidney, liver, and heart of diabetic and non-diabetic rats.
Reduce swelling and pain in aching joints
Envision a soothing cup of tea made from the leaves of holy basil, which can be used to combat stress, anxiety, and inflammation.
Holy basil is an adaptogen that also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Arthritis and fibromyalgia sufferers can also benefit from it.
Keep your stomach safe
Ulcers caused by stress can be treated with holy basil. Naturally, it strengthens your stomach’s defences by
- neutralising stomach juices
- stimulation of mucus production
- rising mucus cell count
- boosting the longevity of mucus cells
It’s important to be aware of the potential for discomfort when taking any medication for peptic ulcers. Alternatively, holy basil might be more appealing. Animal research has shown that 200 milligrammes of holy basil extract can significantly reduce ulcer incidence and severity in about two-thirds of test subjects.
The health benefits of holy basil have been demonstrated in a number of studies. It has antimicrobial, diabetic, cholesterol-lowering, pain-relieving, stomach-protecting, and joint-easing properties.
Self-care that includes holy basil
Holy basil extract supplements can be bought in the form of pills or capsules. Daily dosages between 300 mg and 2,000 mg are recommended for general preventative care.
As a treatment, doses of 600 milligrammes to 1,800 milligrammes spread out over the course of the day are advised. All parts of the plant might be used in supplements and topical ointments.
Holy basil leaves and flowers are used to produce the essential oil.
The leaves, flowers, or dried leaf powder of holy basil can also be brewed into a soothing beverage. Making a cup of holy basil tea is as simple as adding two to three teaspoons of the herb to a cup of boiling water and letting it steep for five to six minutes.
Some people even eat the leaves raw. In terms of flavour, holy basil is both fiery and astringent.
Holy basil can be used in a variety of ways to improve one’s lifestyle. It can be used in a variety of ways, including as a spice in the kitchen, a dietary supplement, or a soothing tea. Essential oil derived from holy basil is also commercially available.
Utilization Without Risk
Before adding holy basil or any other supplement to your diet, you should consult with your doctor.
There is insufficient evidence to recommend use for infants, children, or women who are pregnant or nursing. The FDA does not oversee the manufacturing of herbal supplements or verify their safety or efficacy.
It’s best to purchase holy basil from a reputable vendor who grows their product organically in a clean, rural setting. Toxic levels may be doubled in holy basil if it is grown in a polluted environment.
No negative side effects have been reported during human clinical trials. If you are breastfeeding, pregnant, or trying to conceive, however, holy basil should be avoided.