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TULSI also known as "Holy Basil" is not your basic basil. Tulsi “Holy basil” (Ocimum tenuiflorum) isn’t like the sweet basil in your mom’s marinara sauce or the Thai herb you use to flavor a steaming bowl of pho. This green leafy plant, also known as Ocimum sanctum. and tulsi, is native to Southeast Asia. It has a history within Indian medicine as a treatment for many conditions, from eye diseases to ringworms.
Different parts of the plant are recommended for treating different conditions:
• Diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.
• Stomach ulcers and eye diseases.
• Insect bites.
Many studies support the use of the entire plant of holy basil for human use and its therapeutic value. The nutritional value is also high, as it contains:
• vitamin A and C
Always talk to your doctor before taking supplements. Like many supplements, holy basil is not approved as a first-line treatment. It may also interact with medications you’re already taking.
Read on to learn why holy basil is called the “Queen of Herbs.”
Reduce stress and anxiety. All parts of the holy basil plant act as an adaptogen. An adaptogen is natural substance that helps your body adapt to stress and promotes mental balance. The concept of an adaptogen is a holistic approach. But scientific research shows that holy basil has pharmacological properties to help your mind cope with many types of stress. The source of your stress can be:
In the case of physical stress, holy basil is known to increase endurance in animals. Animals who had holy basil leaf extracts and went through environment-induced stress scenarios showed:
• enhanced metabolism
• improved swimming time
• less tissue damage
• lower stress levels in loud environments
Human and animal studies saw reduced:
• sleep problems
According to the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine, holy basil has antidepressant and anti-anxiety properties comparable to diazepam and antidepressant drugs. These studies examined the leaves. One study found that people who took 500 milligrams (mg) of holy basil extract each day felt less anxious, stressed, and depressed. People also felt more social.
Ayurvedic practitioners recommend drinking holy basil as tea using the leaves. And since it’s caffeine-free, it’s okay and even recommended to drink daily. The act of drinking tea can be ritualistic and calming. It fosters clear thoughts, relaxation, and a sense of well-being.
SUMMARY Holy basil has been shown to have antidepressant and antianxiety properties similar to antidepressant drugs. Studies have shown that it can help people feel more social and less anxious.
Stimulate and vitalize your body. Holy basil is also high in anti-oxidants and helps your body detox. Studies Trusted Source show that holy basil can protect your body against toxic chemicals. It may also prevent cancer by reducing the growth of cancerous cells. Protect against infection and treat wounds. Holy basil is:
• analgesic (a painkiller)
Some people even use holy basil after surgery to heal and protect their wounds. Holy basil increases your wound’s breaking strength, healing time, and contraction. Breaking strength refers to how much pressure or weight a wound can take before it breaks. Research shows that holy basil may work against infections and wounds, such as:
• mouth ulcers
• raised scars
Lower your blood sugar. If you have prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, all parts of the holy basil plant can help reduce your blood sugar. Animal and human trials have shown that holy basil can help prevent symptoms of diabetes such as:
• weight gain
• hyperinsulinemia, or excess insulin in the blood
• high cholesterol
• insulin resistance
Talk to your doctor before adding holy basil to your diet. If you’re already taking medications to control blood sugar, it may lower your blood sugar levels even more. Lower your cholesterol
Since holy basil targets metabolic stress, it can also help with weight loss and cholesterol levels. Animal studies saw significant changes in rabbits’ fat molecules when they ate fresh holy basil leaves. They had lower “bad” cholesterol (LDL-cholesterol) and higher “good” cholesterol (HDL-cholesterol).
Ease inflammation and joint pain. Imagine being able to tackle stress, anxiety, and inflammation with a relaxing cup of tea made with the leaves of holy basil. As an adaptogen with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, holy basil provides all of these benefits. It can even help people with arthritis or fibromyalgia.
Protect your stomach. Holy basil can counteract the effects of stress-induced ulcers. It naturally increases your stomach’s defense by:
• decreasing stomach acid
• increasing mucus secretion
• increasing mucus cells
• extending life of mucus cells
Many drugs for peptic ulcers have side effects and can cause discomfort in some people. Holy basil may be a preferred alternative.
SUMMARY Holy basil has been shown to boost your body’s health in a variety of ways. It can help protect against infection, lower your blood sugar, lower your cholesterol, ease joint pain, and protect your stomach.