Holy basil is known as ‘the Queen of herbs‘ for its innumerable amount of health benefits. Tulsi is the common name for holy basil.
Holy basil is a green leafy plant and it is native to Southeast Asia. It is useful as a medicinal herb.
Holy basil is an important herb in Ayurveda. Holy basil is a tonic for your mind and body. It has a nice aroma. You may not like its taste as it is slightly bitter. However, when you get to know its benefits, you will accept its taste.
Have you ever seen old people using Holy basil to treat cold and cough? Holy basil helps in treating fever and stress. People often use its leaves in water or food. It flushes out the toxins from your body.
What Is Holy Basil?
Tulsi is the common name for Holy basil. Its scientific name is Ocimum tenuiflorum. It is a perennial plant native to South Asia. It is rich in nutrients. People often use Holy basil to relieve stress and detoxification of the body. Holy basil is used in medicinal practices. You can use holy basil for a healthy skin also.
Health Benefits Of Holy Basil
1. Cures Fever
Holy basil is rich in essential oils and phytochemicals. Holy basil protects you from viral, fungal and bacterial infections. Fever is a symptom which indicates that your body is fighting an infection.
Pathogens like bacteria, viruses, and protozoans cause infection. Holy basil has germicidal and fungicidal properties. It kills the pathogens which attack your body. Thus, it helps you to treat fever.
2. Treats Respiratory Disorders
Holy basil has components like camphene, eugenol, and cineole. These help in curing respiratory disorders like bronchitis. For treating bronchitis, use its fresh flowers.
It also treats asthma. It helps you relieve congestion. Holy basil also cures some of the causes of asthma too. It is rich in minerals.
3. Relieves Your Stress And Anxiety
Holy basil is well known to lower stress and anxiety. It is rich in vitamin C and antioxidants. It reduces inflammation and lowers your blood sugar levels. Potassium is also present in it which reduces stress. Holy basil acts as an adaptogen.
Thus, it promotes mental balance. Holy basil has pharmocological properties to help your mind cope with stress. It even reduces your sleep problems. You can drink holy basil tea daily. It gives you a sense of well being.
4. Prevents Lung Disorders
Holy basil is a home remedy that can cure congestion of the lungs. It is also useful in healing the effects of smoking and tuberculosis on your lungs. It has antibiotic properties that help in treating tuberculosis.
5. Protects Your Heart
Holy basil contains vitamin C and eugenol. It protects your heart from the harmful effects of free radicals. It has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that help in treating cardiovascular diseases. Also, lowers the cholesterol levels in your blood.
6. Useful In Oral Care
You can also use Holy basil for oral care. It acts as an oral disinfectant. It destroys almost 99% of pathogens in your mouth. It provides freshness to your mouth that lasts for a long time. It also helps in curing mouth ulcers.
7. Useful In Dental Care
Holy basil kills the bacteria that cause dental cavities or plague. It has astringent properties that protect your teeth from falling. Holy basil helps in anchoring the teeth to the gums.
8. Improves Your Cognitive Function
Holy basil enhances your memory and attention. It increases the levels of acetylcholine. It is helpful in treating cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. It may also prevent convulsions due to its effect on Central Nervous System.
9. Lowers The Blood Sugar Levels
Holy basil is rich in potassium as I mentioned above. It helps in balancing high levels of blood sugar. If you suffer from high blood sugar levels, you can consume Holy basil to balance it.
Thus, it helps the people suffering from Diabetes. Not only treat, but Holy basil can also prevent the symptoms of Diabetes such as weight gain or hypertension.
10. Protects Your Liver
Holy basil protects your liver from toxins. It helps in treating liver diseases such as liver infections.
11. Cures Stomach Disorders
Holy basil is helpful in curing stomach ulcers. It increases the protective mucus secretion in your stomach. You must know that mucus protects the lining of the stomach. It also decreases the breakdown of cells that line the stomach. Holy basil decreases the acidity of the stomach.
Thus, it increases the life of mucus cells. Also, destroys the worms in your stomach. It can also treat gastroenteritis.
12. Acts As An Antioxidant
The essential oils present in Holy basil provide antioxidant properties. The eugenol is rich in anti-oxidants. It helps to restore kidney and liver functions. Holy basil helps to increase the levels of antioxidant enzymes in your body. Two such enzymes are –
- Superoxide dismutase
13. Helps In Reducing Pain
Holy basil is also an effective analgesic so it is useful in reducing pain. It can also help reduce labor pain.
14. Boosts Immunity
Holy basil also boosts your immunity. It improves the function of your immune system. It prevents you from infections such as viral, bacterial or fungal. Recent studies have shown that it inhibits the growth of HIV virus in your cells.
15. Effective Against Skin Cancer
Holy basil contains a no. of phytochemicals such as eugenol, apigenin, and luteolin. They protect your skin from UV radiations. It reduces the size of the tumor, thus inhibits the growth of tumor cells.Holy basil can increase the survival rates of people with skin cancer. It can protect you from skin damage and tumors.
16. Effective Against Lung Cancer
Holy basil suppresses the growth of lung cancer. It reduces the cells which promote tumor formation in your body.
17. Effective Against Breast Cancer
It can also prevent breast cancer. The components of Holy basil destroy the cells that cause breast cancer. Carnosic acid and rosmarinic acid in Holy basil inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells.
18. Effective Against Liver Cancer
Holy basil has anti-oxidant properties. It protects your liver from DNA damage. It increases the anti-oxidant level and destroys the chemicals causing cancer. It also contains ursolic acid that has anti-cancer effects.
19. Effective Against Stomach Cancer
The phytonutrients of Holy basil inhibit the growth of cancerous cells. It works against the tumor causing cells and treats cancer.
20. Helps In Bone Healing
Holy basil reduces the healing time for a fracture. You can use it to enhance the process of bone healing. It is because it increases the calcium uptake in your body. It also increases bone remodeling enzymes such as alkaline phosphatase.
21. Prevents Kidney Stones
Holy basil has an anti-oxidant property that reduces the level of uric acid in your body. Holy basil works as a diuretic. It increases the frequency of urination, thus cleans out the kidney.
The acetic acid and oils present in Holy basil help in a dissolution of the stones. It helps in preventing kidney stones. You can also avoid the pain due to kidney stones by consuming Holy basil. Also, it also lets you bear the pain when the stones pass from the kidney.
22. Useful In Skin Care
It not only prevents your skin from radiations but you can use Holy basil to treat skin diseases. Holy basil leaves make your skin soother.
It is also effective in treating itching and issues like ringworms. It is a natural home remedy for acne. Holy basil kills bacteria and prevents infection. It will clean your skin from both inside and outside.
You can try taking a bath with a decoction of Holy basil leaves. You can also apply its paste to the infected area of your skin.
23. Relieves A Headache
Holy basil has excellent analgesic and sedative properties. You can control a headache by only consuming Holy basil leaves. The essential oils present in Holy basil help in relieving headache.
24. Prevents Graying Of Hair
It is surprising that Holy basil also prevents premature aging. Holy basil contains Vitamin C and phytonutrients protect your body from the effects of radicals.
You can use it as a tonic to retain youthful vigor. You can prevent aging with the use of Holy basil leaves. Isn’t it worthy and surprising?
25. Useful In Eye Care
You can use Holy basil leaves to prevent your eyes from conjunctivitis. It also reduces inflammation in the eyes. It also soothes eye inflammation and reduces stress.
Holy basil also protects your eyes against cataract. It helps protect your eyes from the damage done by the free radicals. Holy basil helps protect your eyes from:
- Macular degeneration
- Vision defects
26. Heal Wounds And Protect Against Infection
Holy basil is useful in healing wounds. You can use it after surgery to heal the wounds quickly. It will also protect those areas from infection. Holy basil is:
- Analgesic (painkiller)
Holy Basil May Work Against Infections And Wounds Such As
- Mouth ulcers
- Genital infections
- Urinary infections
You can even use Holy basil as a vaccine against pox.
28. Treats And Prevents Swine Flu
Holy basil has anti-flu properties. It treats and prevents you from swine flu. It helps speed up your recovery process when you get swine flu.
29. Insect Repellant
Holy basil acts as an effective insect repellant. You can use it to treat insect bites. Rubbing Holy basil leaves or its oil keeps mosquitoes away. It is the antibacterial and antibiotic properties that make it a good insect repellant.
30. Good Source Of Vitamin K
Vitamin K is necessary for bone health. It plays an important role in bone mineralization. It also helps in blood clotting. Holy basil is a good source of Vitamin K. You can treat your Vitamin K deficiency with the use of Holy basil.
31. Lowers Your Cholesterol Levels
Holy basil also helps with weight loss and cholesterol levels. It lowers the bad cholesterol. The leaves of Holy basil help in lowering the cholesterol level. It can reduce the bad cholesterol level in your kidney, liver, and heart.
32. Helps With Joint Pain
Holy basil has anti-inflammatory properties. A cup of tea mead with the Holy basil leaves can help reduce joint pain. It can even help people suffering from arthritis or fibromyalgia.
33. Disrupts Biofilms
Holy basil breaks down biofilms. It works as a quorum sensing inhibitor. Eugenol found in Holy basil is a natural biofilm disrupter. Rosmarinic acid also disrupts biofilms. It is important to eradicate bacterial infections.
Other Benefits Of Holy Basil
- Helps clear candida growth
- Anti-bacterial and anti-viral
- Inhibits genital herpes
- Boosts Testosterone
- Helps those with Histamine intolerance
- Provides vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K
- Provides minerals such as potassium, sodium, and calcium
- Promotes hormonal balance
How To Use Holy Basil?
- You can use Holy Basil in the form of tea.
- You can also use basil leaves in ghee.
- Nibble on a few leaves every day to relieve stress.
- You can also grow your own plant if you want to use it often.
- You can also take capsules or tablets that are available in the market.
- Holy basil supplements are also available in the market. You can also use those supplements.
- A better choice is tincture. You can consume holy basil in the form of tinctures. They are more effective than supplements. The extraction process retains the most beneficial compounds from the plant. That is why it gives you the result faster than the supplements.
- You can prepare dishes using Holy basil leaves. You can start with some delicious recipes.
Here is one such recipe. It is one of the most basic delicacies that you can prepare from Holy basil leaves.
Varieties Of Holy Basil
1. Rama Holy Basil
It is the most abundant type of Holy basil found. Its scientific name is Ocimum sanctum. It has a good aroma to it. It produces aromatic oil. The plant yields ursolic acid, eugenol, linalool etc.
2. Vana Holy Basil
Vana type of Holy basil is grown in the Himalayan regions. Its scientific name is Ocimum gratissimum. Vana Holy basil further has two classifications that are Maruvak and Babul. It has the highest amount of eugenol among all the types.
It is helpful in treating leucoderma and flushes out toxins from your body. Maruvak helps in healing your wounds. You can use Babul to add flavor to your food.
3. Krishna Holy Basil
Krishna type of Holy basil is the common name for Ocimum tenuiflorum. It has leaves of purple color. Its stem is of purple color. It is used to make a delicious tea. Krishna has the highest concentration of adaptogenic triterpenoic compounds. It is more fragrant than Rama type. It is rich in volatile oils.
Holy Basil Dosage
- You must take 400 to 500 mg holy basil to relief stress and for a sleep aid.
- The dosage is 6000 to 1800 mg to cure medical ailments.
- For hypoglycemic effect, it is 2.5 g of dried powder in 200 ml.
Holy Basil Side-Effects
1. You Cannot Use It With Anti-Clotting Medicine
Holy basil helps in the thinning of the blood. Always consult your physician before taking Holy basil. Otherwise, you can suffer from getting cuts to stop bleeding
Holy basil lowers the blood sugar level in your blood. The symptoms are dizziness and fainting. If you are a diabetic patient always consult your doctor before taking holy basil.
3. Decreases Fertility
Holy basil decreases fertility. Avoid it during pregnancy or lactating periods.
4. Eugenol Overdose Concerns
We all know excess of everything is bad. Eugenol is the main constituent in Holy basil. An overdose of Holy basil can lead to a lot of problems. It can result in blood during a cough and hyper breathing.
5. Interaction With Drugs
Holy basil has anti-inflammatory properties. You must take care while using it with other medications. It can interfere and produce different effects on your body. It can also cause a severe headache and fatigue. Thus, if you are under drugs prescription, stay away from it.
Holy Basil Tea Benefits And How To Prepare It?
Holy basil tea contains antioxidants and phytochemicals. They mix well with water as they are water soluble. You will get to know that holy basil tea is better than your normal tea. It is because it has a no. of benefits which are following.
- It helps to improve your immunity.
- It provides relief from cold and cough.
- It helps in treating respiratory disorders like asthma and bronchitis.
- It is rich in magnesium that protects your heart.
- It does not contain any sugar.
- It lowers the cholesterol levels in your blood.
- It does not contain saturated fats which increase the level of bad cholesterol in your blood.
- Holy basil tea is rich in calcium and iron.
- It is also high in dietary fiber.
- It supports your liver and blood vessels.
- It is also helpful in the care of eyes, skin, and mouth.
Drink Holy basil tea and it will prevent you from many diseases.
Here is the recipe to make the simplest Holy basil tea:
- 2 tbsp. of chopped Holy basil leaves
- 1 and 1/2 cup of water
- Pour water into a tea pan.
- Add basil leaves to it.
- Boil for 10 minutes.
- Strain the leaves and serve it hot.
Difference Between Basil And Holy Basil
Holy basil is not the same as your mother uses in the kitchen. You often think basil to be same as holy basil. But Holy basil and basil only share the common mint family. Holy basil is different from basil. Here are the differences between the two.
Holy basil- It has bright green leaves and coarse to touch. The color of its flowers is lavender. It can have stems of different colors such as purple.
Basil- It has dark green leaves and they are smoother. The color of its flowers is white.
Holy basil- It has a sweet aroma.
Basil- It has a strong flavor.
Holy basil- Its common name is Tulsi. Its scientific name is Ocimum tenuiflorum.
Basil- Its common name is Sweet basil. Its scientific name is Ocimum bacilli.
Holy basil- It is most useful in medical practices and Ayurveda.
Basil- It is used in cooking to add flavors to food as your mother does.
5. Religious Significance
Holy basil- It has a religious significance.
Basil- It does not have any religious significance.
Have you ever thought Holy basil to be this much beneficial? But actually, it has a no. of health benefits. Everyone can afford it. It is natural and you can grow it yourself. Holy basil plant is very easy to grow. The process is very simple and its fun when you grow a medicinal herb by yourself.
We often take paracetamol to cure fever. It is always better to take the natural and medicinal herb. You don’t always need to buy it when you can grow it at your home. No doubt, taking supplements is equally beneficial.
You must take this excellent herb instead of those bitter medicines. Not only easy, but it has least side effects. Now, let’s consume it and live a healthy life.