BY DR. ANDREA PURCELL
Holy basil (Ocimum Sanctum), with its astringent taste and powerful aroma, is very different from the types of culinary basil used in Italian or Thai cuisine. Also known as Tulsi, and a native plant of the Southeast Asian tropics, holy basil is used in Ayurvedic medical therapies to treat a range of ailments including respiratory conditions, inflammation, and psychological distress.
Scientists are interested in the beneficial health effects of holy basil and are studying the active ingredients that can be extracted from its flowers, stems, leaves, seeds, and roots. Evidence suggests that the plant offers protective benefits against physical, environmental, chemical, metabolic, and emotional stress. The active ingredients in holy basil appear to have adaptogenic effects, helping the body better manage the physiological response to stress. Studies also show it helps reduce inflammation and keeps blood glucose levels in balance.
There are several ways to use holy basil: dried powder, a capsule containing the concentrated herb extract, tea, or tincture. A natural health doctor may advise using a specific amount and a specific type of application depending on your health concerns or for preventive care.
Holy basil is known to interact with other medications, so consult with your physician before using it. Unless under a physician’s care, do not give holy basil to an infant.
Check out these other benefits of holy basil:
(image courtesy of www.aaiclinics.com)
Wishing You Well,