Tulsi, the alternative name for holy basil is a common herb in the ancient Indian history. It was first mentioned around 1500 B.C in the Rig Veda, and it was celebrated for its countless benefits in the Ayurvedic medicine.
It is believed that Tulsi originates from tropical Asia, but nowadays it grows in tropical climates throughout the world. It is one of the most highly utilized and important plant in many countries. Its leaves are considered as adaptogen herbs that provide many different benefits for the entire body.
According to Dr. Axe adaptogens are a unique class of healing plants, which protect, balance and restore the body. Edward Wallace, a naturopath, explains that adaptogen does not have a specific action, but it helps the body respond to any stressor thus normalizing its physiological functions.
Marcelle Pick, a naturopath of Women to Women, explains that adaptogenic herbs restore the adrenal glands and you to respond to stress.
Plants that belong to adaptogen class include astragalus, ashwagandha, licorice root, ginseng, Rhodiola, Holy basil and some mushrooms.
Benefits of Holy Basil
Nowadays, holy basil is consumed in the form of a supplement or tea, and it can treat:
- Adrenal fatigue
- Blood sugar
The Effectiveness of Holy Basil
Researchers from Thailand conducted a study to find out whether the essential oils of tulsi can fight bacteria that cause acne and provide optimal skin care. By testing its antimicrobial capability, the researchers have found that a 3% concentration of Tulsi is the most potent substance against bacteria that cause acne.
Eugenol, the primary compound of Tulsi is the active ingredient in the potent clove oil. One of the widely-celebrated benefits is clove’s oil is that it effectively treats many skin conditions.
When using tulsi for treating of acne, make sure you use an unrefined virgin coconut oil because when melted it can be absorbed into the skin more quickly than any other oil.
The journal Nutrition and Cancer created an impressive review of the cancer-killing properties of Tulsi that have happened during the past years.
According to this review, Tulsi contains powerful immune-boosting and anti-inflammatory properties that protect from stress, pain, fever and even protect the liver. So, people who regularly consume holy basil are less prone to developing cancer cells.
The phytochemicals in holy basil prevent lung, oral, liver and skin cancers and chemical-induced skin because they promote antioxidant activity, promote cancer cell death, alter healthy gene expressions, prevent blood vessel growth, stimulate cell growth and prevent metastasis.
The extracts of holy basil prevent sickness, mortality and DNA damage induced by radiation and protect the healthy tissues from radiation’s destructive effects.
This potent plant not only kills cancer cells but it also protects the body from the harmful cancer treatment.
The mid-1990s have shown holy basil’s ability to control blood glucose and serve as a potent natural diabetes treatment. The researchers from the Azad University of Agriculture and Technology from India have tested the effects holy basil leaves had on rats in order to evaluate its ability to manage and reverse diabetes.
According to the results, the testing provided amazing results. Holy basil not only did a fast glucose fall by 21 mm/dl and post-meal glucose fall by 15.8 mm/dl. This showed reductions of 17.6% and 7.3%. Surprisingly, the cholesterol levels were also decreased by this treatment.
After six years, the Journal of Ethnopharmacology has published a study which proved that the extract of holy basil leaves reduces glucose more than 36% in normal rats and 18% in diabetes-induced rats.
These results still withstand the test of time. Two years ago, the Journal of Pharmacy & Bioallied Sciences published an article which confirmed the ability of holy basil to balance blood sugar.
Hormones and Thyroid
Another article published in the journal Die Pharmazie points out that the hypoglycemic effects of Tulsi are due to its ability to regulate the cortisol levels.
Cortisol or also called stress hormone is responsible for a high number of diabetes cases throughout the world. Its adverse effects can damage memory, learning, bone density, immune function, heart disease and weight gain.
According to Psychology Today, high level of cortisol is considered a number one public enemy.
Another benefit of holy basil is that it successfully reduces emotional stress and anxiety.
Symptoms of high cortisol level:
- Puffy, flushed face
- Weight gain (in the abdomen/stomach area)
- Acne or some other skin changes
- Mood swings
- High blood pressure
- High level of anxiety
- Muscle pains and aches
- Poor sleep/fatigue
- Excessive thirst
- Increased urination