In a recent blog on medicinal herbs, we touched briefly on the power of holy basil or Tulsi basil. This plant indigenous to India has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries and claims a whole slew of benefits such as being anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antipyretic, antidiabetic, hepatoprotective, hypolipidemic, antistress, and immunomodulatory.
Today, we’re going to focus in on holy basil as an herbal remedy for stress, as I think almost all of us could use a little less stress in our lives!
What is holy basil?
Holy basil, with its astringent taste and powerful aroma, is very different from the types of culinary basil used in Italian or Thai cuisine. Also known as Tulsi, and a native plant of the Southeast Asian tropics, holy basil is used in Ayurvedic medical therapies to treat a range of ailments including respiratory conditions, inflammation, and psychological distress.
Scientists interested in the beneficial health effects of holy basil have been studying the active ingredients that can be extracted from its flowers, stems, leaves, seeds, and roots.
What have scientists found out about holy basil?
Evidence suggests that the plant offers protective benefits against physical, environmental, chemical, metabolic, and emotional stress. The active ingredients in holy basil appear to have adaptogenic effects, helping the body better manage the physiological response to stress. Studies also show it helps reduce inflammation and keeps blood glucose levels in balance.
How do I use holy basil?
There are several ways to use holy basil: dried powder, a capsule containing the concentrated herb extract, tea, or tincture. A doctor may advise using a specific amount and a specific type of application depending on your health concerns or for preventive care.
NB: Holy basil is known to interact with other medications, so consult with your physician before using it. Unless under a physician’s care, do not give holy basil to an infant.
If you’re interested in learning more about how herbs and spices can be used to improve your health, check out my blogs on medicinal culinary spices and medicinal culinary herbs. (Make sure you check out my blog on how to use herbs in a regenerative way too!)
And if you’re looking for more ways to reduce your stress naturally, check out this blog on ten ways to decrease your stress.
What’s your favorite natural stress reducer? Let me know in the comments!