Holy basil isn’t the sweet basil you taste in marinara sauce or the herb you might use to flavor your homemade soup. Holy basil, also known as tulsi, is native to Southeast Asia. It has a long history in Indian medicine as a treatment for many health conditions, from eye diseases to ringworm. It’s considered an adaptogen herb, which means it helps promote balance to restore and protect the body.
Holy basil is highly nutritious. It contains calcium, zinc, iron and chlorophyll, along with Vitamins A and C. It can be used as a natural medicine for many health issues. Research has shown that this healing herb can even help your mind cope with stress. Today, holy basil is usually consumed in supplement form, or in tulsi tea. It’s ability to balance the body can work wonders on the body.
A team of researchers from Thailand conducted a study to find out how holy basil works against bacteria. They found that a 3% concentration of holy basil oil proved effective against bacteria that causes acne. The primary compound of holy basil is eugenol, which is the active ingredients in clove oil – a powerful antimicrobial. It has many health benefits for the skin. When using tulsi for acne, use unrefined virgin coconut oil as a carrier. When it’s melted, it is more easily absorbed into the skin.
Holy basil contains anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties. It can help protect the body from fever, pain and stress. It can also protect vital organs such as the liver. People who regularly consume tulsi are less likely to be immune-compromised, so they are less susceptible to developing cancer cells. The phytochemicals in tulsi prevent chemical-induced skin, liver, oral and lung cancers, thanks to their ability to increase antioxidant activity. They also help to prevent radiation induced DNA-damage.
Tulsi has been used for years to control blood glucose and act as a natural diabetes remedy. Studies have shown that the extract of holy basil leaves can decrease glucose by more than 36% in normal rats, and by 18% in diabetes-inducted rats. Holy basil can also help prevent symptoms of diabetes, including weight gain, hypertension and high cholesterol.
The hypoglycemic effects of holy basil may be due to it’s ability to regulate serum cortisol levels. Cortisol is often referred to as the stress hormone. Elevated cortisol levels are responsible for a number of health problems in the body. Elevated cortisol levels can cause mood swings, weight gain, acne, high blood pressure and anxiety, among other problems. Holy basil has been found to reduce anxiety and emotional stress to prevent these issues. It’s able to balance the hormone levels in the body to prevent cortisol levels from becoming too high.