Holy basil may look like your typical herb at face value. But this green leafy native to Southeast Asia has incredible benefits that make it the go-to for adaptogens.
Like other adaptogens, holy basil balances the metabolic processes in the body when taken regularly.
Holy basil is also called tulsi and is a good tonic for the body and rejuvenates both the mind and the spirit. Unlike many other herbs, you can actually use different parts of the plant to manage various conditions.
Some of our favorite benefits of tulsi are highlighted below.
4 Remarkable Benefits Of Holy Basil
1. Holy basil is a potent stress-reliever
Helping the body deal with stress is a characteristic shared by all adaptogens.
Like any other adaptogen, holy basil helps bring balance to the body through its calming effect. While not as instant an effect as lavender, tulsi normalizes how the body responds to stress over time and confers stability, peacefulness, and calmness.
Holy basil also counters metabolic stress through its stabilization of blood sugar levels. The effect of holy basil on sugar levels in the body is described in the point below.
2. Holy basil stabilizes sugar levels in the body
Keeping blood sugar levels stable usually happens naturally in the body. Sometimes, however, that balancing act gets thrown out of whack, and our bodies need a little help.
Side note: if you have diabetes consult with your doctor before taking tulsil.
Holy basil has a noticeable effect on blood sugar levels through two main mechanisms. First, tulsi lowers blood sugar levels. Secondly, it increases the sensitivity of tissue to insulin. Both actions are tremendously useful in avoiding high blood sugar and maintaining balance.
3. Holy basil acts as a protective antioxidant
Within the human body, cells break down nutrients to produce energy through several mechanisms and processes. These mechanisms and processes are collectively known as metabolism.
During metabolism, harmful chemicals and waste substances are inevitably produced. Some of these wastes, also known as free radicals, are harmful to the body, but they can be neutralized by antioxidants.
Since many metabolic processes take place in the liver, it is the most susceptible organ to damage by oxidants.
That’s where holy basil comes in handy with its built-in antioxidant properties. When tulsi is taken continuously over a given period, it can protect the liver and other internal organs against oxidative stress.
Although the research in this area is still limited and inconclusive, some reports show how holy basil is quite liver-protective.
4. Holy basil is a potent antibacterial agent
Traditionally, tulsi has been used to treat both stomachache and common colds. Although the mechanisms through which it treats these conditions haven’t been fully explored, available data suggests holy basil has strong antibacterial and antifungal properties as well as antiviral properties.
It is these properties that make tulsi beneficial in managing stomachaches and the common cold. But of course, harmful microorganisms are not only present in the stomach and respiratory tract.
There are also colonies of bacteria in the mouth. They’re usually kept under control lest they grow in number and overwhelm the immune system's protective mechanisms. Fortunately in this regard, evidence suggests that tulsi can be as an effective mouthwash.
Holy Basil Side Effects
Holy basil is generally safe. However, side effects may present in certain categories of people. For instance, tulsi lowers blood sugar to levels that can be life-threatening for patients whose sugar control is compromised by diabetes.
Tulsi can also thin the blood, so it shouldn’t be used by those with bleeding disorders or pregnant women to prevent the risk of severe bleeding.
What Else Does Holy Basil Do For The Body?
Many studies support the use of the entire plant because of its therapeutic value. Its flowers are ideal for managing respiratory diseases such as bronchitis. The leaves and seeds have even been used to alleviate symptoms of malaria.
Tulsi pills and ointment have also proven effective for eczema, while extracts (whether with glycerin or alcohol) can be used for inflammation and antioxidant protection.
You can also use the essential oil made from the leaves of tulsi for insect bites. Besides that, holy basil is also high in nutrients such as zinc, iron, calcium, and vitamins A and C.
How Do I Use Holy Basil?
There are certain ways to use holy basil to reap maximum benefits. Once such way is to drink it as a tea. Tulsi tea is typically well tolerated and is best for those using tulsi for the first time.
Holy basil can also be consumed as a capsule or formulated as a tincture. Keep in mind that holy basil tincture is more potent than tulsi tea.
Like all adaptogens, tulsi's benefits are best noticed when consumed regularly. The average daily recommended dose is around 300 milligrams, but of course, everybody’s body is different. Consult with a professional to see how much holy basil you should take per day.
Should I Take Holy Basil at Night Or in the Morning?
Holy basil can be consumed either at night or in the morning – depending on your target outcome. You should take it in the morning if you anticipate a stressful day as it’ll help keep you calm and enable you to carry out daily activities with ease.
When taken at night, tulsi may decrease the effects of stress accumulated during the day, boost memory, correct sexual problems, ease exhaustion, and alleviate sleep problems.
The benefits of tulsi have been utilized for a long time with many being confirmed by both clinical data and anecdotal evidence.
At Khroma Herbs, we particularly appreciate holy basil (aka tulsi) for its ability to help our bodies manage the stressors of daily life. If you need a little boost in that category, try our Organic Holy Basil tincture today!