Tulsi Holy Basil Health Benefits & Side Effects

Table of Contents

What is Tulsi (Holy Basil)?

Holy basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum), popularly known in the Hindi language as tulsi, is possibly the most revered medicinal herb on the planet. Holy basil is a plant with violet flowers and blossoms; the stalks are green, but occasionally have a purple tinge.

Medicinal preparations are produced from the leaves, stems, and seeds of this plant. Holy basil is commonly used for cooking Thai dishes, and its spicy taste has influenced the frequent title”hot basil.” This sort of basil is significantly spicier than other basil varieties.

Holy basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum) is not like the sweet basil you use to taste in Thai or Vietnamese food. This green leafy plant, also called Ocimum sanctum L. and tulsi, is native to Southeast Asia. It’s a background in Indian medicine as a cure for many ailments, from eye ailments to ringworms.

In Western medicine, holy basil is valued as an adaptogen (a substance that helps the body adapt to stress). The plant was used to fight the adverse effects of stress within the body, maintain steady glucose levels, and promote longevity.

From the leaves into the seed, holy basil is considered a tonic for the body, mind, and soul. Various parts of the plant are recommended for healing different ailments:

Tulsi has many healing properties listed below.

– lowers cortisol levels

– improves immunity

– soothes indigestion

– boosts cardiovascular health

– treats respiratory illnesses

– helps with weight loss

– prevents hair loss

– controls blood glucose levels

– improves liver function

Tulsi leaves are used to treat skin problems like acne, blackheads, and premature aging. Many studies support using the whole plant of sacred basil for human use and its therapeutic value. The nutritional value is too high, as it comprises:

– Vitamin C and A

– calcium

– zinc

– iron

– chlorophyll

Always speak with your doctor before taking nutritional supplements. Like many dietary supplements, holy basil isn’t approved as first-line therapy. It can also interact with medications you are already taking.

How Tusli (Holy Basil) works

What makes Tulsi work?

The phytochemical (bioactive compounds in crops ) makeup of holy basil is thought to be very intricate. Some compounds in holy basil are considered to reduce swelling, swelling, and inflammation. From the 2017 review study, sacred basil leaves were reported to have several bioactive compounds. According to the researchers, one example is eugenol suggested to act via double cellular mechanisms to reduce blood glucose levels.

Health Benefits

Holy basil is used to treat several ailments, such as diabetes, the common cold, flu, headache, fever, anxiety, upset stomach, earache, and much more. Studies have shown that sacred basil has a wide variety of health-promoting properties such as:






Anti-pyretic (prevents itching)



Liver-, brain-. and heart-protective

Antimicrobial (including antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and much more )

Antitussive (treats cough)

Tulsi (holy Basil) adaptogen herb

What Are Adaptogens?

Adaptogens are plant-based substances that boost the body’s resilience in dealing with stressors. 

Holy basil is an adaptogenic herb. Since the effects of stress on the body play such a massive part in the aging process, adaptogens also have anti-aging properties.

They may perform many different functions, such as:

– Balancing hormones like cortisol (the stress hormone)

– Lowering inflammation

– Improving brain function

– reinforces the immune system

– Enhancing energy levels

– Enhancing bodily and organ system (like GI) function

In a 2017 orderly review, study authors suggest that sacred basil might be an effective adaptogen, helping to”address the emotional, physiological, immunological, and metabolic stresses of modern living.”

Tulsi (Holy Basil) health benefits

Tulsi is known for its many medicinal benefits. They include:

– Reduce Your blood sugar

In case you have prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, all pieces of the sacred basil plant can decrease your blood sugar. Animal and human trials have shown that sacred basil can help prevent symptoms of diabetes, such as:

high cholesterol

insulin resistance


weight gain

hyperinsulinemia, or excessive insulin in the bloodstream

Speak with your doctor before adding sacred basil to your daily diet. If you are already taking drugs to control blood glucose, it may decrease your glucose levels even more.

Lower Your cholesterol

Since sacred basil targets metabolic stress, it may also assist with weight loss and cholesterol levels. Animal research saw significant changes in rabbits’ fat molecules when they ate fresh holy basil leaves. They’d reduced”bad” cholesterol (LDL-cholesterol) and high”good” cholesterol (HDL-cholesterol).

Reduce stress and anxiety

All regions of the sacred basil plant behave as an adaptogen. An adaptogen aids your body in adapting to stress and boosts mental balance. The notion of an adaptogen is a holistic approach. But scientific research proves that sacred basil has antimicrobial properties to assist your brain in coping with several kinds of stress. Since it supports the nervous system, it is great for stress and anxiety disorders. Warming in character, tulsi is thought to encourage healthy emotions and improve mental clarity. It is a terrific choice when you are going through times of anxiety or stress.

In the event of physical strain, holy basil is proven to improve endurance in animals. Human and animal studies found reduced:

sleep difficulties


sexual problems



The Journal of Ayurveda & Integrative Medicine suggests that the sacred basil has antidepressant and anti-anxiety properties like diazepam and antidepressant medications. These studies examined the leaves. One study found that subjects who took 500 milligrams (mg) of sacred basil extract daily felt less stressed, anxious, and depressed. People also felt more social.

Ayurvedic practitioners recommend drinking sacred basil as tea utilizing the leaves. And since it is caffeine-free, it is okay and even suggested to drink daily. The act of drinking tea could be ritualistic and as calming as yoga. It promotes clear ideas, comfort, and an awareness of wellbeing. But when the basil’s bitter and hot taste is not your cup of tea, then a supplement in pill form is available.  Studies have shown tulsi can help people feel more social and less anxious.

Protect your gut

Holy basil can fight the effects of stress-induced ulcers. It raises your stomach’s defense by:

– Decreasing stomach acid

– increasing nitric oxide

– increasing mucus cells

Many medications for peptic ulcers have side effects and can lead to distress in some people. Holy basil might be a preferred choice. One animal study concluded that 200 mg of sacred basil extract decreased the number and indicator of seizures significantly in two-thirds of the critters.

Energize your body

Holy basil is high in antioxidants and assists your body detox. StudiesTrusted Source reveals that sacred basil can protect your body against toxic compounds. It could also prevent cancer by decreasing the growth of cancerous cells.

Heal wounds

Leaves extracts are believed to improve wound healing speed and strength. Holy basil is:

– antibacterial

– antiviral

– anti-inflammatory

– analgesic (a painkiller)

– antifungal

Some folks even use holy basil following surgery to cure and protect their wounds. Holy basil raises your wound’s breaking strength, recovery time, and regeneration. Research shows that sacred basil may work against wounds and infections, such as increased scars, mouth ulcers, keloids, acne.

Ease inflammation and joint pain

One can tackle stress, nervousness, and inflammation with a relaxing cup of tea made with holy basil leaves. As an adaptogen with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, sacred basil provides all these benefits. It may help people with arthritis or fibromyalgia.

Scientific studies for Tusli (Holy Basil)

Research of Tulsi

A 2014 review of tulsi indicates that modern-day science is starting to collect enough medical evidence to prove claims of the many touted health benefits of sacred basil. The fact that science isn’t just starting to study these ancient herbal medicines and lends them credibility is a significant jump in Western healing modalities.

Inflammation: Holy basil has been noted in studies as having significant health benefits in several medical conditions involving inflammation. In actuality, among the studies in the individual review of research, concluded that tulsi might have many compounds that act independently or synergistically (along with different compounds ) to inhibit inflammation. Besides, one study found that holy basil could help other medications or supplements for treating metabolic disorders (like diabetes).

Chronic Diseases: Researchers in a 2017 systematic review concluded that the reviewed studies’ clinical consequences suggest the Ayurvedic tradition of consuming tulsi [sacred basil] on a daily effective lifestyle measure to tackle several modern chronic diseases.

Tulsi side effects & precautions

From the 2017 evaluation of 24 independent studies, researchers noted positive clinical effects with no or minimal side effects, with just one subject experiencing mild nausea.

Speak with your physician before integrating sacred basil or another supplement into your daily diet. There’s inadequate research to suggest a use for babies, children, and pregnant or breastfeeding women.

No adverse side effects have been reported through human clinical trials. But you should avoid sacred basil if you are lactating, pregnant, or trying to conceive. Animal studies demonstrated that holy basil might impact fertility and stimulate uterine contractions.

Another animal study demonstrated that holy basil could slow down the speed of normal blood clotting, and it’s suggested to halt using this herb at least fourteen days prior to scheduled surgery and two weeks following any sort of surgery.

Preparation, storage & dosage

Preparation: Holy basil can be taken by making tea from the plant’s leaves, but based on traditional Ayurvedic medicine, using the entire plant is the perfect way to make sure to ingest all the bioactive chemicals out there. The best approach to take tulsi is natural tea, which isn’t difficult to find in many natural-food stores. You can add ginger and drink one cup daily for preventative health or two cups each day for an acute ailment.

– Storage: If you’re growing sacred basil, you can harvest the stalks and leaves before the blossom appears. 

Store the herb in a glass jar in a cool, dark place. Purchased tinctures, dried herb, and nutritional supplements pills should be kept according to the directions provided.

Dosage: The safe and effective dose of any kind of medication varies depending on an individual’s age, weight, health condition, and other factors. A safe long-term holy basil (tulsi) dose hasn’t been well established in medical research studies. In preliminary research, taking 400 mg of sacred basil extract in the daytime and 800 mg at night for six weeks diminished many symptoms associated with stress, these comprised:

Intense fatigue

Sleep issues

Sexual problems

Memory problems


Holy basil has been proven to enhance your body’s health in various ways. It helps protect against disease, reduce your blood sugar, reduce your cholesterol, relieve joint pain, and protect your stomach. Negative side effects have not been reported in human trials, but it’s suggested that you talk with your physician before incorporating holy basil in your daily diet. Try to get it from a reputable source as soon as possible.


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