Benefits of Holy Basil
Holy Basil has a history within Indian medicine as a treatment for many conditions.
Holy Basil is a plant belonging to the mint family also called Tulsi, meaning "the incomparable one" in India. The herb was thought to be sacred by Indian royalty, and modern science supports its ability to balance the mind, body and spirit. The Holy Basil shrub originates in southern Asia and has been used as an Ayurvedic medicine for centuries to support the balance, resilience and adaptive abilities of the body.
- Stress reduction - too much stress in the life of an individual can lead to chronic diseases, so reducing this debilitating emotion by any means can help to prevent or reduce the effects of some of the most common health problems. Cortisol is a hormone that increases due to stress, and can lead to weight gain, thyroid problems, cancer and other autoimmune conditions and also lead to the breakdown of brain neurons.
- Supports physical health - Holy basil is not only beneficial in reducing stress and its destructive effects, but it is also antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and provides pain relief. The herb has been used after surgery to speed healing and reduce the need for pain relieving medications.
- Prediabetes and type 2 diabetics - can be helped through the use of Holy basil since the herb can reduce blood sugar levels, weight gain, high cholesterol, hypertension and insulin resistance. Diabetics on blood sugar reduction medications should discuss taking Holy basic with their health care provider before adding it to their daily supplements since the combination may lower their blood sugar too much.
- Arthritis and fibromyalgia - both of these health conditions cause considerable pain and discomfort, and doctors are only able to offer some relief through prescription or over-the-counter medications. Osteoarthritis is usually caused by injury or overuse of a joint, but the exact cause of fibromyalgia is not known. Holy basil added to the diet on a daily basis offers pain relief due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.
- Cancer - Oncologists know there is a connection between a strong immune system and a cancer patients ability to survive the disease. Since the herb contains the anti-oxidants Vitamins A & C, as well as phytonutrient-potent essential oils, it can strengthen the immune system to protect against the development of cancer. Holy basil also contains ursolic acid, a powerful antioxidant that has been shown to inhibit the metastasis and growth of cancer cells.
- Chemotherapy and radiation - one or both of these are the typical course of treatment for people diagnosed with cancer. Cancer cells are targeted and destroyed, but the effects can also be devastating for healthy cells. Holy basil contains flavonoids that help to remove harmful toxins from the body, and are also able to protect against healthy tissue damage and inflammation.
- Colds and flu- since the herb is anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and anti-bacterial, it is an effective treatment for seasonal illnesses. Drinking Holy basil tea or adding it as a daily supplement can help people avoid contracting these common bugs.
Holy basil can be brewed as a tea by adding the leaves or powder to a cup of boiling water and steeping for five minutes, or it is available as a daily supplement in capsule form. Some people may not like to drink the tea since it has a strong bitter and spicy flavor. The herb should never be used by pregnant or lactating women, and it should never be added to the diet without first consulting with a health care provider.