Holy basil is known as “Queen of the Herbs” and is very different than what is used in several delicious cuisines such as Italian basil which is a sweet and very popular kitchen herb. Apart from the culinary use holy basil has many health benefits.
Tulsi is considered the most popular in traditional medicine in Ayurveda and Naturopathy against bronchitis, diarrhea, malaria, nausea, vomiting, stomach ulcers, eye disease, and insect bites.
According to Hindu mythology, the Tulsi plant is regarded as a goddess due to its various lifesaving properties. Every Hindu household has a Holy Basil/Tulsi plant in their garden/balcony and worshiped for these miraculous gifts.
Rama Tulsi (Basil): It has a bright green leaf and light purple flower. It contains eugenol which is native to cloves and gives it a mellow flavor.
Krishna Tulsi (Basil): It has purplish-green leaves which gives its name Krishna Tulsi. This variety can cure throat infections, ear infections, skin diseases, and respiratory diseases. It is also helpful in case of indigestion, malaria, cholera, and insomnia.
Vana Tulsi (Basil): Vana Tulsi or Wild Tulsi is native to India, Sri Lanka, and the northeast part of Africa. This variety has medicinal purposes and it has greatly imbibed in Indian religious beliefs. It has light green leaves and has a lemony aroma and flavor. Its consumption boosts immunity and improves physical and mental endurance.
What are the health benefits of holy basil?
There are multiple proven health benefits from traditional medicine in Ayurveda and Naturopathy to modern medical science. Several experimental results suggest consumption of Holy Basil/Tulsi helps in relieving mental and physical stress, prevents CVD, treats metabolic disorders and respiratory illness, and boosts immunity. (4)
Here is a list of 9 health benefits for consuming holy basil.
Holy Basil leaves is rich in vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin A, C, K, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, and iron. (3)
Treats Respiratory Illness
Tulsi/Holy Basil contains camphene, cineole, and eugenol which helps in relieving cold and congestion in the chest. It may relieve the symptoms of bronchitis, cough and cold, sinusitis, sore throat, and similar ailments. Inhaling steam with Tulsi leaves or Tulsi extracts helps in reducing nose congestion and helpful in reducing the ill effects of sinusitis. (2, 3, 4, 6)
Prediabetics, hypertension, high lipid markers are the side products of our modern lifestyle. Experimental studies have shown that the consumption of Holy Basil/Tulsi helps in lowering the physical and mental stress which helps in the proper functioning of the organs as well as lowering the essential lipid markers.
Holy Basil/Tulsi contains Ocimumosides A and B which reduces stress and maintains a proper balance between neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine. The anti-inflammatory properties help in reducing blood pressure markers. Its consumption also helps in relieving depression, anxiety and provides quality sleep. (2, 3, 4)
Prevents Metabolic Disorders
The modern lifestyle is plagued by poor diet, low physical activity, and psychological stress which is known as “Metabolic Syndrome”. It is also known as prediabetics which includes obesity, hypertension, high cholesterol, and poor glucose regulation which are the precursor to heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.
The laboratory studies suggest the consumption of Holy Tulsi may help in reducing blood glucose markers, corrects abnormal lipid profile, and protects against kindly and liver damage from metabolic syndrome.
Releases Physical and Mental Stress
Prolonged physical exertion, physical retention, extreme exposure to cold and noise affects homeostasis by inducing physiological and metabolic stress. When the adaption exceeds the adaptability capacity, maladaptation results in disruption of biochemical pathways and function of different organs
The experimental studies suggest that the consumption of Tulsi may result in enhanced metabolism, reduced oxidative tissue damages. It also results in a reduction in chronic noise-induced stress, enhancement of neurotransmitters, and oxidative stress levels.
Holy Basil/Tulsi contains vitamin C and zinc which are natural immunity boosters. Its regular consumption helps in preventing any infection and helps in fighting several diseases and improves the healing process. It also helps in the wound healing process.
It has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral properties that help in protecting against varieties of infections. Tulsi extracts help in increasing the activity of T helper and killer cells and hence boost immunity. (2, 3, 4)
Good for Hair
The use of Tulsi leaves helps in achieving thicker, stronger, and shinier hair. The consumption of Holy Basil/Tulsi can either in the form of extracts, tea, or paste. The anti-fungal properties of the Tulsi leaves prevent dandruff and antioxidants properties provides healthy skin hence stronger hair roots. (2, 3)
Traditional medicine used Holy Basil for its anti-inflammatory properties and hence its consumption might help in relieving arthritis pain. The regular consumption of Tulsi in any form might prevent arthritis. (3, 5)
Treats Mouth Ulcer
The role of holy basil is incredible in the treatment of mouth ulcers. In homeopathic medicine, Krishna Tulsi extract is considered a natural remedy for mouth ulcers with an efficacy of 99.9%.
The antibacterial properties of the Tulsi help in improving the bad breath, plaque, and dental caries. It can either be consumed in the form of tea, extract or its leaves can be directly chewed to achieve the above-mentioned results. (4, 7, 8)
Is Tulsi safe to consume?
Though there are multiple health benefits of tulsi however heavy consumption can have some side effects.
Excessive consumption of Tulsi may nausea and diarrhea.
Tulsi is good at lowering glucose however people with low blood sugar should refrain from the use Tulsi
Tulsi consumption may not be good for women trying to conceive.
Ayurvedic and Naturopathy practices recommend drinking Holy Basil extracts regularly to prevent several diseases and boost immunity. The micronutrients present in Tulsi leaves are essential for the proper functioning of the organs and maintains good health. The use of Holy Basil Tea may be as ritualistic as calming yoga. The soothing and refreshing properties of the Tulsi helps in relieving physical and mental stress. “Stay Healthy, Stay Happy”.