Tulsi, otherwise referred to as holy basil, is believed to have powerful healing abilities which can help keep equilibrium in the body and reduce the impacts of anxiety.
Tulsi, which has been around for 3,000 years since Ancient India, has a vast historical background. This herb has been regarded as a healing agent and revered in Ayurveda for a long time.
For centuries, it has been administered as medicine and is still utilized nowadays in order to diminish stress, thus bringing equilibrium to the immune system, reproductive organs, central nervous system, and cardiovascular system.
Nowadays, people regularly take tulsi in pill form or as an infusion of sacred basil. Analysis has shown that the use of holy basil may prove helpful in reducing stress and fatigue related to the adrenal glands as well as alleviating symptoms associated with hypothyroidism, acne, and fluctuations in blood sugar levels.
What Is Holy Basil?
There are at least 60 distinct types of Ocimum basilicum, more commonly referred to as basil. Sacred basil (Ocimum sanctum Linn) is one of the plants. This herb is referred to by numerous titles, including tulsi, Ocimum tenuiflorum, or simply Ocimum sanctum.
This herb is widely known for its medicinal properties and is indigenous to southeastern Asia. Due to the shape of its leaves, some people confuse it with Ocimum gratissimum and common basil. Instead of the usual kind of basil used for cooking, holy basil has a higher regard for its healing powers.
Historical documents indicate that basil had a holy reputation and was referred to as the “queen of herbs” due to its unmatched qualities. It was regarded as an emblem of religious awareness, trustworthiness, extended existence, and more.
The leaves and the seeds of the plant can be used to enhance tonics, supplements, and herbal teas. Essential oil is utilized as part of Ayurvedic customs and practices. Essential oil with a similar makeup to the supplements is created by harvesting, distilling, and distilling the product.
This basil has a plethora of nutrients that make it a powerful adaptogenic herb, which is beneficial for nurturing your overall health and uplifting your mood. In brief, it acted as an elixir to heal many different ailments, such as ringworms and eye ailments. Later on, basil was prescribed in ointments for eczema, as a form of treatment for bronchitis, and as a medication for malaria.
Holy Basil vs. Basil
There are approximately 150 types of basil that are grown globally, both for consumption and medicinal purposes. All varieties of basil are classified as part of the Ocimum genus.
What is the difference between basil and holy basil? Compared to the regular basil (O. basilicum) with a sweet flavor, holy basil has a peppery, spicy and also minty taste which is why it’s referred to as “hot basil.”
Other types of basil have a variety of scents and flavors, such as lemon, cinnamon, and clove.
Both varieties of basil can be cooked both fresh and dried, yet holy basil has medical uses that conventional basil doesn’t have.
Classic basil is still a beneficial source of antioxidants and a perfect addition to nutritious meals, although it is not as much employed to create extracts, essential oils, or supplements.
What Are the Benefits of Holy Basil?
1) Soothes Anxiety, Stress, and Depression
Certain parts of holy basil act as a means of enhancing the body’s ability to handle stress. This is a substance naturally present in the plant. The basil can help to bring mental equilibrium back, which makes it a beneficial aid for those seeking to regain emotional equilibrium.
Toxins-free herbs like Ocimum sanctum Linn are known as adaptogens. This basil has been known to help the body fight off any kind of stressor, be it biological, chemical, or physical. These herbs are frequently included in Chinese healing techniques and traditional medicinal practices.
Those who favor ayurvedic medicine over traditional medicines often choose adaptogens as their remedy of choice. The holy basil can offer that and more. It can reduce:
- Sleeping problems
The holy basil leaf is filled to the brim with medicinal ingredients, allowing it to interact with the nervous system and assist in managing various types of pressure, ranging from mental and physical ill-effects to chemical and infectious complications.
If the tension is caused by a physical factor, the ingredients in holy basil may disrupt the stress receptors and relax the mind.
According to animal research, the tulsi leaf has multiple medicinal benefits. Holy basil has been demonstrated to be an effective remedy for handling both psychosomatic and immunological pressures in humans and animals. The results of these efforts can help people to minimize or stop the development of a variety of health issues.
Other studies have indicated that holy basil could possess equivalent healing, anti-stress, and anti-depressant effects as those found in diazepam. An investigation into the effects of holy basil found that people who took a 500mg dose of tulsi basil lowered their worries, strain, and sadness.
2) Protects the Body from Infections and Speeds up Healing
Holy basil stands out amongst plant extracts due to the special properties it possesses. Its leaves and seeds are packed with:
- Pain-reducing properties
These compounds can have a variety of applications. Patients who have gone through a medical procedure and prefer alternative therapies often utilize Holy Basil for better physical health and to guard the damage from the surgical treatment. The reason for that is relatively simple.
The plant has the capability to lessen the severity of wounds, which is necessary when attempting to accelerate the body’s inherent recovery process. No strain is placed on the injury, and it is left to mend naturally.
Research has shown that tulsi extract can facilitate the healing process of injuries, improve the composition of the connective tissue, and increase the body’s antioxidant capacity. All of these outcomes can aid in keeping ailments and microbes from entering the body via untreated injuries.
3) Keeps the Blood Sugar in a Healthy Balance
It can be difficult to keep track of and regulate one’s blood sugar and blood pressure with a metabolic disorder, particularly when it starts to take a toll on one’s day-to-day life.
The plant can be utilized to aid in reducing warning signs of diabetes, including insulin opposition, inconsistent cholesterol levels, and hypertension.
An animal study suggests that holy basil leaves have the ability to substantially lessen blood sugar and manage cholesterol levels, particularly when not eating. It was discovered that the blood glucose level for the group that embraced fasting went down by 17.6%, while the ones who were practicing postprandial blood glucose regulation saw a drop of 7.3%.
It is recommended to talk with a doctor if you suffer from diabetes or any other medical issue before consuming this strong basil in your regimen or in tea.
The doctor can examine your personal particulars, past health issues, and medications to determine the best plan. It is essential to ask a specialist for their opinion, since the supplement might interact with other medications.
4) Promotes Healthy Teeth
Not many kinds of vegetation have the same potent anti-plaque and anti-bacterial qualities that holy basil possesses. This one can keep oral infections at bay, alleviate toothache discomfort, reduce plaque accumulation, etc.
According to the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Dentistry, it appears that the plant might function as an efficient way to manage plaque. Using holy basil as a mouthwash can offer protective benefits to the teeth thanks to its powerful anti-bacterial capabilities.
It has been noted in the past that the tulsi plant has been credited for being capable of helping to heal teeth. The tulsi leaves were employed as a way of calming common oral infections prior to the arrival of standard drugs.
Individuals chewed on plant foliage to maintain their dental hygiene. In modern analgesics, plant extract is still popular. The leaves possess 71% eugenol, about 0.7% of volatile oil, and 20% of methyl eugenol. These are all substances that can help our oral health.
5) Nourishes the Skin
Since the plant is packed with anti-inflammatory properties, many people use it for treating:
- Insect bites
Its healing and curative components reduce irritation and hasten the natural revitalization of the body.
No matter what color skin you have, adding a basil supplement, holy basil leaf extract, or cream to your skincare regimen could be of help. It can moisturize the skin, resulting in a healthy-looking radiance.
How to Use
Can you eat tulsi holy basil? Yes, both Ocimum tenuiflorum and Ocimum sanctum have a pleasant aroma and a minty flavor, which make them ideal for adding flavor to dishes, condiments, and soups. This is the reason why they are often used in cooking in countries such as India and Thailand.
Fruits and vegetables are often utilized to make various juices, flavored water, and tulsi tea. In India, for example, consuming tulsi raw is a popular remedy for a cough or cold.
- Holy basil essential oil — Holy basil essential oil (or holy basil tincture, with the species names Ocimum tenuiflorum or Ocimum sanctum) can be found in many health food stores or online. The essential oil is extracted from the holy basil plant and is used in lotions, soap, perfume, shampoo, and conditioner. You can also diffuse the oil in your home. The calming and immune-boosting properties can be inhaled as well.
- Holy basil supplements — You can find dried tulsi in capsule form, sometimes offered in fermented options, which some sources suggest make it more easily digestible. This is a convenient option if you don’t enjoy the smell or taste of basil.
- Holy basil tea — Ayurvedic practitioners recommend the regular consumption of tulsi tea as an essential lifestyle practice. Tulsi tea is a popular beverage in India that’s consumed in place of coffee. You can find tulsi tea at many health food stores. It comes in boxes of tea bags, or you can make your own using dried tulsi.
How to Make Tulsi Tea at Home
It is possible to acquire large quantities of dried tulsi and then, with a tea ball, create a healthy and delicious beverage. If you’d rather drink iced tea, it’s very easy to let it cool down and add some ice cubes, and Stevia or lemon to make it tasty.
You can make tulsi juice as well, which is when you put five tulsi leaves in water and let it sit.
In order to get tulsi leaves prepared, make sure to give them a good scrub and then mince them up finely with a kitchen blade. It is recommended to consume tulsi leaves soon after purchasing or plucking them within one or two days. Nevertheless, these leaves can still last for up to five days after being stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
Mix two to three teaspoons of tulsi that have been dried in hot water and let it steep for around five minutes before taking the leaves out.
Cooking with Holy Basil
Adding a tablespoon of freshly chopped tulsi to the green tea chicken soup can greatly enhance its taste. The tulsi addition amplifies the health advantages of this soup, providing anti-infective and calming effects.
Fresh holy basil or holy basil powder may also lend a unique and unexpected taste to regular salad recipes.
Using Tulsi in Baths
Including tulsi tea in your soak is an incredible method for improving the working of organs and warding off bacterial and fungal illnesses. Check out these 10 detox bath recipes.
Using holy basil essential oil in your skincare routine is an effective way to lessen acne. Give it a go and make this energizing homemade honey facial cleanser for a radiant complexion.
It is possible to obtain and tend to a Tulsi plant; alternatively, you could opt to get Tulsi powder from a health food shop. Look for leaves of fresh holy basil that are bright green in color and free of any holes or marks.
The amount of Tulsi holy basil one should take depends on the use of the herb and the medical problem one is trying to address.
Studies suggest that consuming between 200 and 600 milligrams of holy basil extract daily may improve symptoms such as stress, aches, digestive problems, etc.
In order to combat continuous indications, it is recommended that higher doses of 600 to 2,200 mg/day be divided into separate portions for the best outcome.
Risks and Side Effects
What are the side effects of holy basil? Experts have determined that ingesting and using holy basil topically is usually safe.
Despite its health benefits, taking holy basil on a long-term basis can lead to some unpleasant outcomes, such as feeling sick, throwing up, tummy troubles, and disruption to certain hormones.
Does holy basil make you sleepy? Although it can give you a sense of serenity, it is not hypnotic, so it should not make you feel sleepy.
For optimum security, it is usually advised to take this herb for a period of six weeks maximum before pausing.
It is important to be aware that tulsi can reduce blood clotting, therefore, if tulsi is taken with other medicines which have the same impact, there is a greater risk of bruising or excessive bleeding. Some medications that prevent blood clotting are aspirin, clopidogrel, dalteparin, enoxaparin, heparin, ticlopidine, and warfarin.
You should stop taking holy basil two weeks prior to any planned surgery because it can affect the process of blood clotting.
It is not recommended to take holy basil during pregnant or breastfeeding unless you are under the supervision of a physician.
It’s clear to see why so many individuals have taken to adding holy basil to their meals considering the amazing health benefits it gives. It is becoming increasingly popular to add nutritional supplements to one’s diet, however, it is still vital to consult with a physician prior to doing so.