3 Reasons to Use Holy Basil to Combat Stress

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holy basil

3 Reasons to Use Holy Basil

Holy Basil or Tulsi is one of the most powerful herbs alive.  The name “Tulsi” means “The Incomparable One” because of its unique health benefits.  The herb was a staple of Hindu mythology and considered sacred by the Indian royalty.  Modern science has shown that this distinctive herb is incredibly good for balancing the mind, body and spirit.  In this article, you will discover 3 reasons to use holy basil.

Holy basil is a small shrub with scented leaves that is a part of the mint or Labiatae family.  It grows wildly throughout south Asia where the natives in these areas have been using it for centuries.  It is known to help the bodily systems adapt, balance and increase resilience.

holy basil

The Adaptogenic SuperStar!

Holy basil is known in natural medicine as an adaptogenic herb in that if helps the body to better adapt to stress.  Adaptogenic herbs don’t affect an individual’s mood but they help the body function at its optimal level during times of stress.  They do this by modulating the production of stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline (1, 2).

Chronic, low-grade stress is a modern day epidemic that creates sluggish metabolism, chronic inflammation and abnormal immunity.  High cortisol creates digestive problems and leaky gut syndrome, increased appetite, weight gain, thyroid disorders and accelerated brain degeneration (3).

This is a common finding in the brains of those with anxiety disorders, depression and other psychological disorders.  Many autoimmune conditions and cancer are also linked to chronically elevated stress hormone production as a catalyst for this abnormal immune response (4, 5).

holy basil

Stabilize Cortisol Levels:

One of the key components that adaptogenic herbs offer is their ability to lower and stabilize cortisol levels.  High cortisol drains the precursers to major hormones such as testosterone, progesterone and estrogen (6).

With less than adequate raw materials, the body becomes sex hormone deficient.  This process rapidly accelerates the aging process and makes an individual’s life miserable.

Healthy individuals have stable cortisol levels that naturally spike in the morning and then level off and stay consistently low during the day before tapering at night.  This allows us to wake up with energy in the morning and maintain that energy until nightfall when we should naturally be gearing down and getting ready for sleep.

Stable cortisol levels result in improved mental clarity and memory.  The individual feels as though they are less agitated and anxious and therefore able to perform better and have higher quality of life.

holy basil

Holy Basil Contains Powerful Antioxidants:

Holy Basil is rich in aromatic essential oils that have powerful effects on the body.  These phytonutrient rich oils include ursolic acid, rosmarinic acid, caryophyllene and eugenol among others.  These oils have a great smell that naturally boosts mood and spirit.  Eugenol has been shown in studies to combat stress and enhance mental clarity (7, 8).

Holy Basil acts to modulate stress levels and blood sugar levels by stabilizing cortisol and insulin.   A study out of the Indian Journal of Clinical Biochemistry indicated that holy basil may reverse some of the damaging effects of diabetes such as neuropathy and retinopathy (9).

Holy Basil contains vitamin C, vitamin A and essential oils which are all antioxidants that go through the body scavenging free radicals and improving cellular integrity, blood flow and genetic expression.   It is particularly good for cardiovascular health and brain function protecting against heart disease and brain degeneration (10).

Rhodiola, Top 6 Health Benefits of Rhodiola

Holy Basil Helps the Immune Coordination:

Holy basil helps to strengthen the body’s immune system, helping it to fight off opportunistic parasites such as Candida, viruses and MRSA staph infections (11).   As an adaptogen it is able to modulate the immune system turning it up higher when it is necessary to fight a toxic invader.

It also has the ability to quiet down the immune system to reduce inflammation when it isn’t necessary.  The strength and coordination of the immune system plays a very important role in preventing and destroying cancer cell growth (12).

A 2007 study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food described holy basil’s ability to combat the development of cancer. It significantly reduced the formation of cancerous micronuclei, while increasing antioxidant levels and healthy enzyme activity.

The product I recommend for Holy Basil is as a supplemental pill form here or an herbal tea combination with green tea here

tulsi green tea

Sources For This Article Include:

1. Panossian A, Wikman G. Evidence-based efficacy of adaptogens in fatigue, and molecular mechanisms related to their stress-protective activity. Curr Clin Pharmacol. 2009 Sep;4(3):198-219. PMID: 19500070
2. Panossian AG. Adaptogens in mental and behavioral disorders. Psychiatr Clin North Am. 2013 Mar;36(1):49-64. PMID: 23538076
3. Bremner JD. Traumatic stress: effects on the brain. Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience. 2006;8(4):445-461.
4. Elenkov IJ, Chrousos GP. Stress hormones, proinflammatory and antiinflammatory cytokines, and autoimmunity. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2002 Jun;966:290-303. PMID: 12114286
5. Stojanovich L, Marisavljevich D. Stress as a trigger of autoimmune disease. Autoimmun Rev. 2008 Jan;7(3):209-13. PMID: 18190880
6. Wagner H, Nörr H, Winterhoff H. Plant adaptogens. Phytomedicine. 1994 Jun;1(1):63-76. PMID: 23195818
7. Hakkim FL, Shankar CG, Girija S. Chemical composition and antioxidant property of holy basil (Ocimum sanctum L.) leaves, stems, and inflorescence and their in vitro callus cultures. J Agric Food Chem. 2007 Oct 31;55(22):9109-17. PMID: 17924700
8. Garabadu D, Shah A, Ahmad A, Joshi VB, Saxena B, Palit G, Krishnamurthy S. Eugenol as an anti-stress agent: modulation of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and brain monoaminergic systems in a rat model of stress. Stress. 2011 Mar;14(2):145-55. PMID: 21034296
9. Hussain EHMA, Jamil K, Rao M. Hypoglycaemic, hypolipidemic and antioxidant properties of tulsi (Ocimum sanctum linn) on streptozotocin induced diabetes in rats. Indian Journal of Clinical Biochemistry. 2001;16(2):190-194.
10. Pattanayak P, Behera P, Das D, Panda SK. Ocimum sanctum Linn. A reservoir plant for therapeutic applications: An overview. Pharmacognosy Reviews. 2010;4(7):95-105.
11. Prakash P, Gupta N. Therapeutic uses of Ocimum sanctum Linn (Tulsi) with a note on eugenol and its pharmacological actions: a short review. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 2005 Apr;49(2):125-31. PMID: 16170979
12. Baliga MS, Jimmy R, Thilakchand KR, Sunitha V, Bhat NR, Saldanha E, Rao S, Rao P, Arora R, Palatty PL. Ocimum sanctum L (Holy Basil or Tulsi) and its phytochemicals in the prevention and treatment of cancer. Nutr Cancer. 2013;65 Suppl 1:26-35. PMID: 23682780

Leaky Brain, Leaky Brain Syndrome: Symptoms, Causes and Natural Solutions

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  1. Dr. Jockers,
    I have been struggling the leaky gut syndrome for four years. I have tried to use many natural alternatives and probiotic, many of them have failed. I started to take Laminine (four months ago), and sweet grass wheatgrass (one month ago), Vitamin D3 and iron. My friend talked to me about holy basil leaf liquid that it helps her to lose weight, I bought Gaia Holy Basic liquid two weeks ago. I used it after supper. I notice it helps my mental is clear and more energy. I wonder if holy basil leaf liquid will help to improve and cure the leaky gut syndrome? How much dosage of holy basil leaf liquid should I take it and how many times a day should I take it? How long will it take to start healing? This is my last hope, I hope it will finally heal my leaky gut syndrome?

  2. My symptoms seem to be growing, I need help in a holistic way. I am overweight, hypothyroid, and have psoriatic arthritis. Please help

  3. I’m also a celiac and I thought my psoriasis was confined to my hands and feet, I just noticed it’s all over my body. Now I really need help.

  4. Its actually a nice and helpful piece of information. Im glad that you shared this useful information with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing. dfbegbeeeecd

  5. I have reinaulds syndrome without finding the leading auto immune just yet. I flMation is starting to be a real pain also I have untraceable testosterone and another so maybe this will help? Thank you for your help.

  6. Is it okay to take Holy Basil while on 5 mg Lexapro, and 1 mg estrogen? Also, I am assuming it is good to cycle on and off of Holy Basil. Can you give your recommendation for that. I also recently had some moles removed. Should I wait a while before drinking Holy Basil tea so that there is no risk of bleeding?

  7. The picture at the top of this article is of regular culinary basil, not holy basil. You also didn’t give a detailed answer to Adenia’s question about how this herb affects women’s hormones. All women are different, it’s not going to have the affect on everyone. Lame.

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