Herbal medicine has been a source of relief in India for thousands of years. Today, that practice still holds strong. Some prominent medicinal plants in the culture include ashwagandha for virility, holy basil for anxiety, and many others.
Here, we’ll be focusing on exploring the therapeutic effects of holy basil that numerous publications have been able to confirm thus far.
Sources like the Indian J Exp Biol and the Indian Institute of Alternative Medicine have detailed records of holy basil’s antioxidant properties and immunomodulatory effects from human and animal studies.
To better understand the influence of this ayurvedic medicine and the mechanism of action it employs, a closer and comparative study of its properties is necessary!
What Is Holy Basil?
Like many other popular ayurvedic herbs, this plant goes by many names. It has been called tulsi, hot basil, and pepper basil. However, don’t mistake it for Thai basil or sweet basil.
As an herb, it’s used to make hot basil tea or holy basil seed oil, which can be applied multiple times per day. The scientific name of the herb is Tulsi – Ocimum sanctum Linn.
The pharmacological actions of the green leaves of tulsi have been well documented. According to Pandey and Sharma, these effects range from antibacterial and anti-inflammatory to antistress and immunomodulatory.
Adaptogenic Properties of Holy Basil Natural Supplements
Any holy basil plant product is regarded as an adaptogenic herb because of its beneficial and non-toxic features.
Adaptogenic herbs are substances that contain adaptogens. Adaptogens are herbal pharmaceuticals that you can use in order to improve your body’s ability to adapt to physical and emotional stress.
Apart from using holy basil for anxiety, it’s also used in treating a wide range of medical conditions and metabolic disorders because of its positive influence on the hormone system. It regulates cortisol levels, clears brain fog, and reduces chronic stress.
Scientific studies show that these sacred plants also increase energy levels while boosting cognitive function.
Other studies attest to the potency of these herbal remedies in regulating blood glucose levels and promoting restful sleep. The antidepressant and antianxiety properties have been known to effectively treat mental health and various other health conditions.
Clinical trials conducted on this medicinal plant have revealed it has many advantages with minimal adverse side effects. Let’s take a more analytical look at the benefits of taking this ayurvedic medicine on a daily basis.
Key Components of Basil
Whether you want to start taking fresh tulsi leaves raw, or you plan to use the aqueous leaf extract, it’s imperative that you know just what makes holy basil essential for good health.
Active ingredients in holy basil essential for its efficacy in treating different health conditions include triterpenoic acids (ursolic acid), oleanolic acids, vitamins, amino acids, and many more.
These components are critical to the potency of the standardized extracts of the sacred plants.
Benefits of Taking Ocimum Sanctum Linn Herbal Supplements
Substances like holy basil seed oil, liquid extract, and even tulsi itself have traditionally been used for a myriad of purposes.
As is to be expected, modern science and various clinical studies haven’t been able to corroborate the efficacy of this herbal plant in treating all health conditions.
However, preliminary studies have established its potential ability to treat a wide range of disorders. We’ll be looking at some these disorders now.
Holy Basil for Anxiety
The clinical effects of tulsi herbal supplements on chronic stress and generalized anxiety disorders have been well documented by Muruganandam AV et al.
When issued as prescription medications by a healthcare provider, the antidepressant and anti-anxiety properties of the drug significantly enhance physical performance as well.
Animal studies show that its anti-anxiety effects also enhance the endocrine system and can alleviate physical stress. Complemented with anti-anxiety medications, potential drug interactions may show improved results.
Ocimum Sanctum Linn for Oxidative Stress
Oxidative stress is a condition that occurs when there’s an imbalance between the antioxidants and free radicals present in your body.
The presence of potent compounds, like triterpenic acids, apigenin, cirsimaritin, and certain other amino acids, ensures that tulsi has very powerful antioxidant properties.
More specifically, in animal studies, the aqueous leaf extract of fresh tulsi leaves was revealed to protect mice from chromosome damage and increase the presence of antioxidant enzymes.
Ocimum Sanctum Linn also has a limiting effect on the action of hydrogen peroxide caused by overexposure to heavy metals. It stimulated the synthesis of all the enzymes needed to eject the toxins from the body in human studies.
Holy Basil as a Cardioprotective Agent
Holy basil seed oil was also shown to possess cardioprotective properties in preliminary studies. It exhibited the same reaction observed in the use of many antiplatelet drugs. Like aspirin and other antiplatelet drugs, it relieves physical tension and acute noise stress.
Ocimum sanctum seed oil also plays a role in reducing brain injury. Although more human studies need to be conducted in order to shed more light on how it achieves this, the work done so far indicates that these herbal supplements can even prevent ischemia-induced oxidative damage.
Other research shows that Ocimum sanctum leaf extract metabolizes lipids and prevents damage to the liver.
Ocimum Sanctum Leaf Extract for Pain Relief and Healing
Alcohol extracts of tulsi initiate amechanism of action that relieves central and peripheral pain.
As a natural supplement, it induces productive interplay between multiple neurotransmitter systems and exhibits an analgesic effect.
Holy basil tea can also be used to speed up the healing process. It has proven to be very effective in fighting keloids and hypertrophic scars. Drinking holy basil tea two to three times per day can also lower blood sugar levels and improve overall health conditions.
Basil as a Herbal Remedy for Arthritis
Tulsi has also been found to drastically reduce swelling times just hours after initial application.
The anti-inflammatory effect of the hot basil plant makes it one of the best adaptogenic herbs for treating arthritis. This fact in combination with its analgesic effects make it an excellent herb for the old and elderly.
Tulsi Reduces Onset of Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease
In one animal study, supplementation of this Ayurvedic medicine successfully delayed the onset of Parkinson’s disease symptoms in the Drosophila model of flies.
Other benefits of holy basil extend from promoting good skin health to helping the body fight against various types of cancer.
Now that you have a good grasp on the benefits of holy basil, here are some noteworthy products that contain this dietary supplement!
Himalaya Holy Basil
Outside perhaps consuming Ocimum sanctum leaves fresh and raw, Himalaya Holy Basil is one of the most potent sources of the herb available.
Manufactured by an herbal supplement brand in India that has been in operation for more than a century, it stays true to its ayurvedic origins.
Best taken with meals, each tablet of this supplement is soy, gluten, and dairy-free. In addition, the capsules do not contain any fillers or binders. The only downside to this product is that it has relatively few servings per container.
- Basil Powder Extract: 500mg
- Basil Leaf Extract: 160mg
- Basil Leaf Supercritical CO2 Extract: 60mg
- Ursolic Acid: 22.5mg
Nature’s Way Premium Extract Holy Basil
If you’re looking to boost cognitive function and enhance muscle mass, then Nature’s Way Premium Extract Holy Basil might be the perfect supplement for you.
While its proprietary blend of ursolic acid is relatively small, it readily supplies your body with all the resources it needs to induce fat burning and preserve your muscle mass.
This particular supplement also does not contain any preservatives or flavors, ensuring you get the total dose of the leaf extract.
- Basil Leaf Extract: 450mg
- Ursolic Acid: 11.5mg
Gaia Herbs Holy Basil Leaf
Slightly more expensive than our other recommendations, Gaia Herbs Holy Basil Leaf more than makes up for its hefty price tag with its supply of high-quality eugenols.
Each capsule is designed to reduce stress levels, nourish the mind, and promote cognitive function.
The farm-to-table manufacturing process of the brand makes it a potent vegan liquid phyto-capsule that enjoys the support and endorsement of even Amazon!
Committed to helping healthy adults who struggle with stress, one pack of this supplement lasts up to two months.
- Dry Herb Equivalent: 2650mg
- Basil Leaf Extract: 292mg
- Supercritical Holy Basil Leaf Extract: 71mg
- Eugenols: 8.5mg
As unexpected as it may be, holy basil has great potential for treating anxiety and other medical conditions. Each supplement on this list has been recommended for their ability to help improve your cognitive function and overall health.
Nonetheless, be sure to speak with your healthcare provider before incorporating any of these, or other supplements, into your routine.
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