The alternative name for holy basil is Tulsi. It is a very common herb of the ancient Indian history. It was firstly mentioned in around 1500 B.C. in the Rig Veda, and it was celebrated for the many benefits in the Ayurvedic medicine.
Its origination is from tropical Asia, but today it grows in tropical climates all throughout the world. It is one of the most highly utilized and important plant in a large number of countries. The leaves are considered as adaptogen herbs that can provide different benefits for the whole body.
The adaptogen herbs are unique healing plants, which balance, protect and restore the body. One naturopath, Edward Wallace, explains that adaptogen does not have any specific action but it helps the body to respond to the stressors, and therefore normalizes the physiological functions.
Some of the popular adaptogen herbs include ashwagandha, astragalus, licorice root, ginseng, holy basil, Rhodiola and some medicinal mushrooms.
Benefits of holy basil
Nowadays, the holy basil is mostly used in the form of tulsi tea or supplement form. Mostly, it is used for treating acne, high blood sugar, anxiety, adrenal fatigue and thyroid problems.
Some researchers from Thailand have conducted a study in order to find out whether the essential oils of tulsi can fight the bacteria that causes acne and provide optimal skin care. When the antimicrobial capability was being tested, researchers discovered that a 3 percent concentration of tulsi is the most potent substance against the bacteria that can cause acne. Eugenol, which is the primary compound of Tulsi is an active ingredient in the potent clove oil. One of the very celebrated benefits of the clove’s oil is that it effectively treats numerous skin conditions. If using tulsi for treating acne, please make sure to use unrefined virgin coconut oil as a carrier because when melted, it can be absorbed into the skin far more quickly than any other oil.
In accordion to one review published in Nutrition and Cancer, the holy basil contains potent immune-boosting as well as anti-inflammatory properties that can protect against pain, stress as well as fever. So, the people who consume holy basil on a daily basis are much less susceptible to poor immunity and developing cancerous cells. Contained phytochemicals in holy basil protect against lung, oral, liver and skin cancer. The tulsi extract can prevent radiation- induced mortality and sickness and are known to protect the normal tissues from the rough effects of radiation.
The holy basil’s ability to keep blood glucose in check has been widely known since the mid-1900s. For example, in order to investigate its ability to reverse and treat diabetes, a team of researchers from Azad University of Agriculture and Technology (India) have studied the effects that holy basil leaves has on rats. The group that has been given holy basil has showed incredible results. The fasting glucose dropped by 21mm/dl, post meal glucose dropped by 15.8 mm/dl, which showed a reduction of 17.6 percent and 7.3 percent. Additionally, the cholesterol levels were also hugely decreased. A research that was published in the Journal od Ethnopharmacology, has proved that the extract of tulsi has decreased glucose by more than 36 percent in normal rats and up to 18 percent in diabetes-induced rats.
- Balances hormones and lowers stress
An article published in the journal Doe Pharmazie has pointed out that the hypoglycemic effects of tulsi are because of its ability to regulate the cortisol levels. The cortisol, or as it is also called the stress hormone in responsible for a large number of diabetes cases throughout the world. The adverse effects it has can damage memory, bone density, learning, heart disease, immune function and weight gain. According to Psychology Today, a high level of cortisol is viewed as a number one public enemy. Yet another benefit of holy basil is that it can very successfully decrease emotional stress and anxiety. A few of the symptoms of high cortisol level include the following: weight gain (in the abdomen/stomach area), puffy, flushed face, mood swings, high blood pressure, acne or some other skin condition, high level of anxiety, poor sleep/fatigue, muscle pain and aches, excessive thirst, increased urination.
- Helps the fever
The holy basil is recommended as a natural fever treatment, especially by practitioners of Ayurverdic medicine. Holy basil leaves act as antibiotic, germicidal and disinfectant agents, which means that they will protect us from bacteria and viruses. In times we have a fever, its proof that our bodies are fighting against an infection and thus, with its infection fighting properties, tulsi helps fight a fever and restore the health in a quick way.
- Relieves headaches
Some practitioners of Ayurveda recommend the holy basil as a natural headache medicine that helps relieve the migraine pain.
Holy basil tea recipe
- 1-quart water
- 4 teaspoons tulsi leaf or 2 teaspoons powder
- 1-inch ginger root or 1 teaspoon ginger powder
- 1 teaspoon raw, organic honey (optional)
- Infuse all the ingredients in boiling water for about 20 minutes
- Strain, then add the honey
- Drink as tea