Tulsi, another name for holy basil, has a rich history dating back to the ancient uses of the Orient 3,000 years ago. Mentioned in the Rig Veda around 1500 BC. C., the sanctity of holy basil was celebrated in the Purana and is highly appreciated in Ayurvedic medicine. Keep reading this article and find out why you should start adding this herb to your basic diet.
Tulsi is suspected to be native to tropical Asia, although it now grows in many tropical climates around the world. Historically used in these areas as a medicine due to its extensive healing power, holy basil leaves are now considered by most countries as adaptogenic herbs (anti-stress agents) and have been used widely to promote health throughout the entire body.
Adaptogens are a unique class of healing plants – they help balance, restore, and protect the body. As the naturopath Edward Wallace explains, an adaptogen does not have a specific action: it helps to respond to any influence or stressor, normalizing physiological functions.
Adaptogenic herbs can recharge your adrenal glands, helping you respond to stress. Adaptogens include ashwaganda, astragalus, ginseng, licorice root, holy basil, some mushrooms, and rhodiola.
Benefits of holy basil
Today, holy or holy basil is mainly consumed in supplement form or as a tea and is used to treat:
- Adrenal fatigue
The journal Nutrition and Cancer published a fantastic review outlining the influx of research supporting holy basil’s cancer-busting abilities that we have seen in recent years. This is the breakdown:
Holy basil has anti-inflammatory and immune properties that protect against fever, pain, stress, and protect vital organs such as the liver. Consequently, people who regularly consume tulsi are less likely to be immunologically compromised and are less susceptible to developing cancer cells.
The phytochemicals in holy basil prevent skin, liver, lung and skin cancers because they increase antioxidant activity, alter the expressions of healthy genes, induce the death of cancer cells, prevent the growth of vessels blood vessels contributing to cell growth and stopping metastasis.
Tulsi extracts protect against radiation-induced disease and mortality and selectively protect normal tissues against the destructive effects of radiation.
Plus, it prevents radiation-induced DNA damage, highlighting holy basil’s widespread ability to promote healing.
It is truly remarkable to consider that a plant has been shown not only to kill cancer, but to prevent it and even protect the body from dangerous cancer treatments – making it a natural cancer treatment.
Since the mid-1990s, the ability of holy basil to control blood glucose and operate as a natural remedy for diabetes has been widely known. For example, to test its ability to control and reverse diabetes, researchers from Azad University of Agriculture and Technology (India) evaluated the effects that basil leaves had on study subjects.
Compared to a control group, the group that received holy basil experienced some surprising results. Not only did fasting glucose decrease by 21 mm / dl, post-meal glucose decreased by 15.8 mm / dl, representing reductions of 17.6 percent and 7.3 percent, respectively. And also the cholesterol levels were lowered during the treatment as well.
Six years later, the Journal of Ethnopharmacology published a study that showed that holy basil leaf extract lowers glucose by more than 36 percent in normal study subjects and 18 percent in diabetes-induced subjects.
These results remain valid during the test of time. Just two years ago, an article confirmed tulsi’s ability to balance blood sugar.
Widely used for skin care, a team of researchers from Thailand conducted a study to determine the efficacy of holy basil essential oils against acne-causing bacteria. Basically, testing its antimicrobial ability, they found that a 3 percent concentration of holy basil oil is more effective against acne-causing bacteria.
Interestingly, it was also observed that the main compound in holy basil oil is eugenol, the active ingredient in the powerful antimicrobial oil cloves. One of the uses and benefits of clove oil is that it is widely believed to cure many skin disorders.
When implementing holy basil as an oil for natural acne treatment, consider using unrefined virgin coconut oil as a carrier, because when it melts, it is more viscous and absorbs into the skin better than other oils.
Hormones and Thyroid
In addition to controlling diabetes by controlling blood sugar levels, an article describes that the hypoglycemic effects of holy basil are possibly due to its ability to regulate serum cortisol levels.
Often ignored, the “stress hormone,” as it is commonly referred to, is responsible for an alarming number of diabetes mellitus cases worldwide. Its far-reaching effects on the body can wreak havoc on learning, memory, decreased immune function, bone density, weight gain, and heart disease.
Elevated cortisol levels are so dangerous that Psychology Today refers to cortisol as “Public Enemy # 1.” Another benefit of holy basil to lower cortisol is that it reduces anxiety and emotional stress.
Symptoms of high cortisol levels include (but are not limited to):
- Weight gain (especially around the abdomen / stomach)
- Swollen, flushed face
- Acne or other skin changes
- High blood pressure
- Humor changes
- Higher levels of anxiety
- Muscle pains
- Bad sleep / fatigue
- Increased urination
- Excessive thirst
How is it recommended to use holy basil?
In using holy basil, it is taking it in supplement form, or drinking one cup of holy basil tea daily.