Holy basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum) is native to Southeast Asia. It has a history within Indian medicine as a treatment for many conditions, from eye diseases to ringworm. From the leaves to the seed, holy basil is considered a tonic for the body, mind, and spirit.
Holy basil is used to treat many conditions, including H1N1 (swine) flu, diabetes, the common cold, headache, fever, stress, upset stomach, earache, and more. It has also been used as a mosquito repellant and topically (on the skin) to treat ringworm.
Holy Basil Benefits
- Mood and stress support
- Promotes immune system function
- Supports healthy blood pressure
- Promotes healthy triglyceride levels
Reduces stress and anxiety
- Stimulate and vitalize your body
- Prevent cancer by reducing the growth of cancerous cells
- Protect against infection and treat wounds
- Lower your blood sugar
- Lower cholesterol
- Ease inflammation and joint pain
- Protect your stomach
Holy Basil has been used in traditional Indian Ayurvedic philosophy for more than 3000 years. The Hindi name for Holy Basil is Tulsi. Recent clinical and pharmacological studies have praised Holy Basil for several benefits from Holy Basil’s leaves and leaf extract.
There are three types of Holy Basil: Ocimum tenuiflorum (or Ocimum sanctum) which include 2 different cultivars of Holy Basil–the green or purplish leaves–and Ocimum gratissimum. Holy Basil’s constituents are ursolic acid, biovlanols (such as lutein and Apigenin), eugenol, ocimumosides A and B, rosmarinic acid, and ocimarin. Eugenol is the active ingredient in the three species of Ocimum, but the phytochemistry of the plant is very complex, and secondary active metabolites like phenylpropanoids, monoterpenes, and sesquiterpenes may be able to produce benefits on their own or in combination with the other active constituents of Holy Basil.
Holy Basil is an adaptogen or an anti-stress remedy. Adaptogens modify the stress response by increasing the ability to adapt. They mediate the adaptive stress response at a cellular level of communication and can act as regulators of homeostasis within the body.
How It Works
The phytochemical (bioactive compounds in plants) makeup of holy basil is considered very complex.
In the 2017 review study, holy basil leaves were reported to have several bioactive compounds, including eugenol, a compound that has “recently been suggested to act via dual cellular mechanisms to lower blood glucose levels,” according to the study authors.
Some chemicals in holy basil are thought to reduce swelling, pain, and inflammation.
Holy Basil Dosage
Holy Basil Capsules contain 225 mg of Organic Holy Basil Leaf (Ocimum sanctum) and Holy Basil Leaf Extract (2% Ursolic Acid) per 1 capsule. Suggested use for adults is 1 to 2 capsules by mouth daily, or as directed by your healthcare practitioner.
Holy Basil Side Effects and Toxicity
The clinical studies with humans taking Holy Basil reported mild nausea as a side effect but have indicated that short and long-term use of Holy Basil is safe.