When it comes to your herbal cabinet, the one herb you’ll want during all seasons of the year is Holy Basil. Or is that Tulsi? Either way, modern science and traditional cultures agree: this herb will change your life for the better.
How? Well, when you need to take a moment and chillax, simply sip on some Holy Basil tea and imbibe its relaxing properties. In fact, if you can, why not grab a cupful now and dig deeper into this extraordinary medicine?
Holy Basil: What It Is, And What It’s Not
First, a point of clarification. Holy Basil is Tulsi. And Tulsi is Holy Basil. So you’ll see the words interchanged throughout this article.
But exactly which basil are we talking about? Doubtless, you will recall seeing baby basil plant pots growing in your local garden depot. That basil is Ocimum basilicum. Good as that is in your culinary creations, that’s not what we’re dealing with here.
“Thai Holy Basil,” used in Thai cuisine, is also not what we mean. While those are both amazing blog-worthy herbals, today we’re delving into the species of the Lamiaceae family known as Ocimum sanctum (Ocimum tenuiflorum). (1)
There are three primary common types of tulsi used in combination for the highest quality bang for your medicinal buck. These are the Rama (green), Krishna (purple) and Vana (dark green) varieties, with Rama being the most popular.
What does is taste like you ask? Its fresh-scented leaves are often described as reminiscent of clove, anise, and mint combined. Delicious!
The Sanskrit word for Holy Basil is “Tulsi.” Ayurvedic medicine considers Tulsi the holiest of plants. Specifically, they herald it as the “Incomparable One,” the “Mother Medicine of Nature,” “The Queen of Herbs,” and “Liquid Yoga.” In fact, there is a rare selection of superior adaptogen herbs in Indian tradition. They are called Rasayana, and Tulsi is one of them. True to its claim as a whole body and mind tonic, Holy Basil has the ability to increase resiliency to daily and chronic stressors, traumas, and exhaustion. (2)
In Ayurvedic medicine, Sattvic herbs are one of three classifications of herbs, and they are non-stimulatory by nature. As a Sattvic botanical, Tulsi has a calming and peaceful effect upon the body and gives a clarity of thought.
This is so much the case that the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine conducted a 6-week, gold-standard human clinical trial to observe any possible psychotherapeutic properties. What they found was profound! Tulsi tea “significantly improves general stress scores, sexual and sleep problems and symptoms such as forgetfulness and exhaustion”. It even showed anxiolytic and anti-depressant effects comparable to diazepam and antidepressants drugs – all without the unwanted side effects. Winning! (3, 4).
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
According to the World Health Organization, anxiety disorders are the world’s most common mental disorders, with 301 people being affected in 2019 alone. (5)
Thankfully, Tulsi really knows how to put the “lax” in chillax! A controlled clinical study of 35 subjects were given a specific dose (500mg/capsule) of Holy Basil extract for 2 months. The results showed that the herb was able to significantly alter the generalized anxiety disorder of the patients and its subsequent stress and depression. (6)
In another 6-week research trial, researchers gave an extract of Holy Basil to test the stress-related symptoms of forgetfulness, sexual problems, frequent exhaustion, and sleep issues. The group receiving the herb found it was 39% more effective in ameliorating the symptoms than the placebo group. (7)
When it comes to stress and anxiety, the proof really is in the pudding… or in this case the tea! Tulsi also makes for an excellent green tea alternative. For those who want to ease into a cozy yet energizing evening, you won’t need to worry about the caffeine buzz at night.
Natural Dental Hygienist
If you’re looking for a natural fluoride-free way to keep your teeth clean and germ-free, Holy Basil can help with that, too. Here’s how. The compound eugenol, which you’ll find primarily in cloves, is also in Holy Basil. This compound has potent bacteriostatic and anti-inflammatory properties. For example, a recent 2021 study demonstrated that eugenol has spike-protein inhibiting capacity from the Covid-19 virus and helps prevent infection. (8)
This also makes it a great candidate as a natural dental hygiene agent. The essential oil was found to be as effective as the toxic mouthwash chemical chlorohexidine, reducing plaque and gingivitis. Fortunately, it did not negatively impact the oral microbiome. That means you can consume Tulsi with a genuine smile! (9)
“Among all the properties of holy basil described, its anti-inflammatory action, bacteriostatic effect, antioxidant and immune modulatory properties make its use as a therapeutic agent for gingival and periodontal disease an appealing proposition.” (10)
When you combine a biological profile of abnormal blood lipids, elevated blood sugar, and high blood pressure, you have a recipe for a health crisis. Metabolic syndrome has these hallmark biomarkers. Fortunately, Tulsi can assist in normalizing the typical high blood sugar counts found in Type 2 diabetes. (11)
In fact, a 2020 study concluded that with “isolation of the active components … [Holy Basil] may pave the way to the development of new agents for the treatment of diabetes and its complications.” (12)
These findings suggest that tulsi may also be useful in overcoming insulin sensitivity, high cholesterol, and weight gain. Not only that, other studies have demonstrated its cancer fighting abilities and even radio-protective properties, too! (13)
Now, how do we get this stuff in us? Well, you can bring a cup of Tulsi tea to work. But if you prefer a morning smoothie, then just add a teaspoon of the fine powder before you blend.
Pro Tip: if you’re a coffee drinker, try brewing your coffee with tulsi tea!
We’ve conveniently concentrated the whole-spectrum of properties in a gentle yet highly absorbable and effective delivery system via our non-alcoholic glycerite Tulsi liquid drops from Global Healing.