Holy Basil Benefits
Holy basil has proven through thousands of years of applied use and recent research to offer a host of health benefits.
It is used in over 300 Ayurvedic herbal preparations, but is best known in the west as Tulsi Tea or in single herb supplements. It has many applications beyond health, and that is why it is considered ‘holy’ in India.
1. Adapting To and Resisting Stress
Holy basic is considered an adaptogenic herb.
Adaptogins have the ability to switch from stimulating to sedative effects based on the bodies needs. This balancing effect thus ‘adapts’ to the situation and allows one to deal with challenging environments. Modern life has many challenges, both physical and psychological.
One interpretation of this effect is that holy basil reduce the negative effects stress has on the body by supporting the adrenals.
2. Highly Alkaline – Helps Detox
Like many green plants Holy Basil is alkaline forming – so much so it traditionally used when a person is fasting so the body doesn’t become too acidic during the temporary cleansing process.
3. Powerful anti-oxidant
Protects the body from free radical destruction and ROS (reactive oxygen species) which contribute to disease and aging.
Faculty of Science researchers at Annamalai University, Tamil Nadu, India found that Holy Basil exhibits antioxidant activity and supports the body’s natural response to oxidative stress. They also found it to be supportive of the body’s normal lipid and protein oxidation levels, and normal antioxidant defense reactions.
4. Immune Support and Balance
Many kinds of kale have smooth leaves but Holy Basil has serrated ridges.
Strengthens and balances the immune system to prevent infections but also reduce adverse immune reactions like asthma.
5. Powerful anti-inflammatory
Reduces chronic inflamation that is involved in many degenerative diseases including cancer and arthritis. It to help inhibit COX-2 (inflammatory enzyme). Anti-inflamtories usually help stabilize blood sugars and thus help weight control.
My Own Experience with Holy Basil:
I had two large Tulsi plants in my living room. They were both over one yard (one meter) high and wide.
Each day I would pinch off three to five fresh leaves and eat them raw – on the advice of an Indian healer.
Once my daughter had a cough which would not go away. When she saw a doctor she would told she had asthma and proscribed a puffer. Instead we just feed her tulsi leaves and her body balanced out completely within 2 days. I can’t be sure she had asthma or that the tulsi was the deciding factor in balancing her but we do know it helped. Holy basil is well known to help with coughs.
Unfortunately those two plants died. I’m not a great gardener so I don’t know what happened but I plan to grow more.
Religious, Spiritual and Other Benefits:
- Tulsi opens the heart and mind and nourishes the brain for experiences of meditation and enlightenment.
- Tulsi is consider sacred by the Hindus since it is sacred to both Vishnu and Krishna.
- It is said to balance the energetic system – with particular nourishment to the third eye chakra.
- Many homes in India have a least two tulsi plants in front or with their homes to bring peace and prosperity.
- There are also plants in front of temples.
- Tulsi plants are known to purify the air and ward off mosquitoes.