Basil is a blessing to the body, a joy to the gums, and a window decoration. In addition to the characteristic flavors known in Thai, Indian and Italian dishes, basil is also nutritionally known as a source of iron, calcium, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin K, potassium, vitamin C and fibers.
It has violet blossoms and flowers, and leaves, stems, and seeds are used for remedies. I will write about them in my next blog.
Although all types of basil are known for their healing effect, holy or tulsi basil has the most healing properties. Modern scientific research has shown that the use of tulsi in the diet improves the general state of the body and the mind.
The holy basil was first used by Hindus and they regarded it as a connection between earth and heaven. Tulsi (“queen of herbs” or “the incomparable one”), as they called it during the first trade between Asia and Europe, was passed on to Christians who also used it in religious rites.
Not only for religious purposes though, but basil has also been used for years to reduce stress and anxiety because it affects the function of the stress hormone cortisol. In folk medicine, it has often been said that basil is an elixir for the human spirit and body. Today, it is used as an ingredient in many products that offer the solution to many modern health problems. For example, it affects the body’s adaptability, faster recovery from stress, and makes it easier to withstand changes and environmental challenges.
It has a peppery taste and is therefore often used in pesto and spicy soups.
Scientifically Proven Health Benefits of Holy Basil
Tulsi affects the blood, balances cholesterol, protects the heart and blood vessels, balances blood sugar, and works against blood toxins produced by industrial chemicals.
For those who care about appearance, they will love the basil because it neutralizes the biochemical elements that contribute to premature aging It also helps prevent degenerative diseases and cancer.
Holy basil is known to facilitate digestion as well as to improve the absorption of nutrients from foods and other plants, improves liver function and detoxification of the body, reduces painful and dangerous inflammation such as arthritis and other degenerative neurological disorders.
The holy basil acts as an antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral remedy so it can be used orally and applied locally.
Basil reduces the symptoms of asthma and allergic reactions, improves the function of the lung and is an aid in bronchitis.
It also protects against harmful sun, x-ray, TV, computers, and cell phones. In addition, at a time when each of us is required to exert a little more, Tulsi is one that will give us extra stamina.
Holy Basil Reduces Stress
It is not by accident that I write about the anti-stress properties of Tulsi in the first place. Of all the types of basil, this type has the most calming effect. For this reason, in folk medicine, this herb was brought to a room where sick people were staying.
On the other hand, science confirms this and puts it in a group of аdaptogens. What is adaptogenic herb? Plants that contain adaptogenic substances can help the human body to get rid of stress more easily. But because stress is associated with aging, the same substance also affects it too.
Not only that, in a study reviewed in 2017, it was written that the аdaptogenic substances in basil may be an aid for:
- Metabolism of the human body – metabolic
- The movement of the parts of the whole body – physiological
- Mental – psychological
- The immune system – immunological
These 24 studies have been done for holy basil in various forms and doses on about 1000 subjects from 10 to 80 years old and 3 domains:
- Infections and immunity
- Metabolic disorders (diabetes)
- Neurocognitive disorders (depression, mood disorders, and Alzheimer’s)
The results of these studies have shown that tulsi can affect inflammation, diabetes, chronic illness, pain, swelling, stress, and mental illness.
Benefits of Holy Basil Based on Folk Medicine
This part of the tulsi benefits is based on folk medicine, which is why the old people used this herb.
Relieves the Symptoms of a Cold
Basil leaves with their antibacterial properties as tea are quite effective for treating colds, fever, throat scratches, and flu. Making a tea from dried leaves of holy basil will relax you when you need it most.
Helps With Asthma and Bronchitis
A mixture of basil leaves, ginger and honey cures various respiratory diseases.This mix releases the airways that are blocked by mucus and allows proper breathing.
Help With Sore Тhroat
If you have a sore throat, take lukewarm water in which basil has been soaked and gobble with it. This should reduce symptoms and pain.
Improves Kidney Function
Holy basil improves kidney function and is great at fighting stones in them. In folk medicine, people took a mixture of basil and honey for 6 months to expel kidney stones.
Old people chewed 2-3 fresh basil leaves to soothe stressful situations. Stress affects the whole body so it improves the well-being of the whole body.
Contributes to Heart Health
Basil is considered one of the best spices that contribute to heart health. It reduces the risk of heart attack, cholesterol, and cardiovascular failure.
Keeps the Oral Health
The antibacterial properties of basil help fight against oral diseases. If you have gum bleeding, frequent tooth decay, some kind of infection, or bad breath chew fresh basil leaves.
Reduces Swelling of Insect Bites
Grease a teaspoon of tulsi paste on the swelling. It will subside for a short time and will reduce the pain and irritation.
Contributes to Eye Health
Vitamin A, which is abundant in holy basil, has a positive effect on eye health. It increases the resistance of the eyes to various diseases, and only a few drops of basil solution can refresh tired eyes.
Reduces the Urge To Vomit
For instant relief from frequent vomiting, mix basil juice with honey and ginger juice.
Basil leaves contain many phytonutrients and antioxidants, which protect DNA cells from damage after exposure to ultraviolet rays.
Helps Fighting Cancer
Basil tightens the blood vessels that supply nutrients to tumors that cause cancer, and in themselves help in the treatment of many cancers, including breast cancer. The anti-carcinogenic properties of basil also prevent the growth of oral cancer.
Helps When You Quit Smoking
Chewing basil reduces your craving for a cigarette. Just one slip is enough to reduce your craving and delay your craving.
Heals Lung Disorders
Lung damage caused by cold, tuberculosis or smoking can be alleviated by eating basil as it contains vitamin C, eugenol and camphene, which are demonstrably effective in treating lung disease.
Holy Basil Side Effects
In the review of all the studies so far about holy basil mentioned above, it is concluded that in all 24 studies tulsi is a generally safe herb to use. Of all respondents, only one case of nausea was reported. The rest did their best and only got the benefits from this herb. The longest study was 13 weeks with no adverse reactions were reported. Using this herb longer than this period is risky, best practice has shown that the ideal period for using it is 6 weeks.
Special Precautions for Using Basil:
- Basil lowers blood pressure even more so people with
low blood pressure should be careful when using it.
- It can cause bleeding, so stop using it 2 weeks before surgery.
- Pregnant women, or those who are trying to conceive should not use basil, because, according to initial animal studies, this herb responds to uterus and fertility.
- If you use anti-coagulants medications that slow down blood clotting like Ticlid (ticlopidine), Heparin, Fragmin (dalteparin), Coumadin (warfarin), Aspirine, and Lovenox, (enoxaparin) do not use holy basil.
If you are not sure if you should or how to use it, always contact your GP or pharmacist.
Dosage of Holy Basil
There are no prescribed doses for herbs. According to some sources, there are recommended doses such as:
- For depression, 500 mg of tulsi leaves extract two times a day for 6 weeks.
- For nervous system disorders, 300 mg a day holy basil extract, one month.
- For holy basil tincture, 30 drops daily, 3 times per day.
- For caution, 6 to 14 grams of whole plant extract daily.
Harvesting and Storage
The more you harvest the basil leaves, the more the stem grows. If you harvest them together with the stems for drying, put them in a dry, dark place with airflow for two weeks. After that, put the dried herb in a glass jar wrapped in dark paper to protect it from light.
Read more about how to store herbs properly on How to Pack and Store Medical Herbs?
Final Words About Holy Basil
Basil is a plant that is increasingly being utilized by scientists. Not only are they increasingly incorporating it into their studies, but they are also giving it credibility.
Basil is available all over the world, but keep an eye on the quality from where you buy it. It is safest to grow it at home because it does not require much attention, can make your meals tasty, improve your health, and it will calm your soul.
If you are interested in basil recipes you can read:
- All You Should Know About Basil
- Basil Seeds-Sabja: Benefits, Uses and Side Effects
- Healthy Basil Ice Cream Recipe
- Basil Pesto With Almonds and Nut
- Basil Tincture Recipe
- Green Lemonade With Basil