Holy basil, also known as tulsi, was used as a medicine for various aliments even 3,000 years ago. This aromatic plant has been celebrated in Purana and highly appreciated in Ayurvedic medicine. Although it grows in many tropical climates worldwide, it is believed that it is native to tropical Asia. Due to its potent healing properties, holy basil is now widely used as adaptogen herb and even used to promote overall health.
Benefits of Holy Basil
Nowadays, holy basil is consumed in the form of a supplement or tea, and it can treat:
- Adrenal fatigue
- Blood sugar
The Effectiveness of Holy Basil
A group of researchers from Thailand teamed to study the effectiveness of holy basil essential oils against acne-causing bacteria. As testing its antimicrobial activity, they found that a 3% concentration of holy basil works best against bacteria responsible for acne.
Eugenol, the active compound of holy basil is the primary compound of the potent antimicrobial clove oil, too Given that clove is one of the best essential oils when it comes to treating acne, it`s no wonder holy basis works wonders as well.
When using tulsi for natural acne treatment, opt for unrefined virgin coconut oil as carrier as it absorbs into the skin easily and much more efficiently compared to other oils.
The journal Nutrition and Cancer published a fantastic review outlining the influx of research substantiating tulsi’s cancer-killing prowess that we have seen the past several years. This is the breakdown:
Holy basil possesses significant anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties that protect against fever, pain, stress and protect vital organs like the liver. Consequently, people who regularly consume tulsi are less likely to be immune-compromised and are less susceptible to developing cancer cells.
The phytochemicals in tulsi prevent chemical-induced skin, liver, oral and lung cancers because they increase antioxidant activity, alter healthy gene expressions, induce cancer cell death, prevent blood vessel growth contributing to cell growth and stop metastasis.
The extracts of tulsi protects against radiation-induced sickness and mortality and selectively protect the normal tissues against the destructive effects of radiation.
Additionally, it prevents radiation-induced DNA damage, which highlights holy basil’s widespread ability to promote healing.
It’s actually remarkable to consider that one plant has been proven to not only kill cancer, but it prevents it and even protects the body from dangerous cancer treatments — making it a natural cancer treatment.
The mid-1990s have shown holy basil’s ability to control blood glucose and serve as a potent natural diabetes treatment. The researchers from the Azad University of Agriculture and Technology from India have tested the effects holy basil leaves had on rats in order to evaluate its ability to manage and reverse diabetes.
According to the results, the testing provided amazing results. Holy basil not only did a fast glucose fall by 21 mm/dl and post-meal glucose fall by 15.8 mm/dl. This showed reductions of 17.6% and 7.3%. Surprisingly, the cholesterol levels were also decreased by this treatment.
After six years, the Journal of Ethnopharmacology has published a study which proved that the extract of holy basil leaves reduces glucose more than 36% in normal rats and 18% in diabetes-induced rats.
These results still withstand the test of time. Two years ago, the Journal of Pharmacy & Bioallied Sciences published an article which confirmed the ability of holy basil to balance blood sugar.
Hormones and Thyroid
Apart from managing diabetes by keeping blood sugar levels in check, a recent study published in the the journal Die Pharmazie (German for “The Pharmacy”) suggests that holy basil is also capable of regulating serum cortisol levels.
Cortisol, commonly known as the ‘stress hormone’, affects the body in a variety of ways, wreaking havoc on weight gain, bone density, memory, learning, heart disease, and lowered immune function.
Increased cortisol levels are dangerous to the extent of being refered to as “Public Enemy #1”! Supplementing with holy basil has been found to lower cortisol levels, and thus reduce emotional stress and anxiety.
Some of the most common symptoms of high cortisol levels include puffy face, high blood pressure, acne, weight gain, excessive thirst, muscle aches and pains, mood swings, poor sleep, and increased urination.
Holy Basil Tea Recipe
- 1 quart water
- 4T tulsi leaf or 2T powder
- 2T lemon grass
- 1t anise seeds
- 1/4t vanilla powder or vanilla stevia
- 1/2t dried ginger root pieces or 1t fresh
- 1T coriander seeds
- 1T coconut sugar or raw honey
- Infuse all the ingredients in boiling water for about 20 minutes
- Strain, then add vanilla and sweeteners
- Drink as tea