Holy Basil Living Plant

Tulsi (or holy basil) is particularly known for its ability to help the body deal with stress. However, it’s not known as the "Queen of Herbs” for only that! Read on to find out the amazing benefits of including Holy Basil as a regular part of your healthy lifestyle.

Introduction to Tulsi

Tulsi or holy basil (Ocimum sanctumorOcimum sanctum Linn) is an important herb in Ayurvedic medicine (the traditional medicine of India). It is especially known as an adaptagen, an herb that supports the body’s stress response (whether physical, chemical, metabolic, or psychological) (R).

It is known as the "Queen of Herbs” and in Sanskrit means ‘the incomparable one.’ In fact, Hinduism links the tulsi plant to the figure of a goddess (R).

Tulsi is believed to promote long life and is taken as an elixir to promote balance and resilience to all of life’s challenges (R).

Traditional indications for this herb include common colds, bronchitis,diarrhea, stomach disorders, headaches, inflammation, arthritis, heart disease, skin diseases, eye diseases, various forms of poisoning, insect bites, and malaria. (R).

Tulsi is from the Lamiaceae (mint) family of herbs and alternatively may be calledOcimum tenuiflorum Linn, Tulasi, or Holy Basil (a direct translation from the Latin,Ocimum sanctum)(R).

Different parts of the herb have been used medicinally, including the leaves, stem, flower, root, seeds, and even whole plant (R).

It may be taken as an herbal tea, dried powder, or fresh leaf used in cooking traditional dishes (R).

Health Benefits of Tulsi (Holy Basil)

1) Tulsi Lowers Stress and Anxiety

Tulsi is a calming herb that produces relaxation effects. However, on its own tulsi does not induce drowsiness or sleep.

Tulsi prevented stress-induced changes in blood levels of corticosterone (in rats; comparable tocortisol levelsin humans)(R).

Tulsi constituents ocimarin and the ocimumosides A and B showantistress activity including normalizing blood sugar levels and cortisol levelsat a dosage 40mg/kg (in rats) (R).

In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 158 patients ages 18-65,OciBest, thewhole plant extract of tulsi, was found to be 1.6 times or 39 percent more effective in the management of stress symptomsthan the placebo over a six-week time period (R).

In a study of 35 subjects with Generalized Anxiety Disorder,taking tulsi (500 mg) with two meals daily reduced anxietyandfeelings of depressionover a two-month period (R).

An alcohol extract oftulsi root (400 mg/kg) is a CNS stimulant or an anti-stress agentin mice. It was as effective as the antidepressant desipramine, commonly sold as Norpramin (R).

2) Tulsi Has Anti-Inflammatory Effects

Tulsi essential oil hadstrong anti-inflammatory effectsin an animal model of granulomatous disease (R).

COX-2is a molecule commonly targeted byanti-inflammatorymedications.Tulsi is a natural COX-2 inhibitor(R).

A study ontulsi extract showed significant anti-inflammatory activityin human cells, validating its traditional use in treating cardiovascular disease (R).

A purified extract of the fresh leaves and stems of tulsi yielded appreciable amounts of eugenol, as well as the following compounds: cirsilineol, cirsimaritin, isothymusin, isothymonin, apigenin, and rosmarinic acid (R).

The anti-inflammatory activity of these compounds was comparable to ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirinat 10-, 10-, and 1000-microM concentrations, respectively (R).

3) Tulsi Improves Cognitive Function

In rats, tulsi promotes memory and attention by inhibiting acetylcholinesterase, thus increasing acetylcholine levels(R).

Tulsi inhibitsMMP9in a cell study, suggesting that it may help to restoreBlood Brain Barrier (BBB) integrity(R).

A water extract of driedtulsi protected against drug- and aging- induced memory problemsin mice, indicating that tulsi may be beneficial in the treatment of cognitive disorders such asAlzheimer’s disease and dementia(R).

Tulsi extractmay prevent convulsionsvia its effects on the Central Nervous System (CNS) according to animal studies (R,R2).

4) Tulsi Helps Protect the Heart

An alcohol extract of tulsi leavesreduced heart tissue inflammation in a mouse model of a heart attack(myocardial infarction), possibly due to its high phenol content (R).

Tulsi extract may prevent cardiovascular diseaseby inhibiting myeloperoxidase(MPO), an oxidative enzyme that may cause plaque accumulation in the arteries (known as atherosclerosis) (R).

A study ontulsi extract showed significant anti-inflammatory activityin human cells, validating its traditional use in treating cardiovascular disease (R).

Tulsi leaf essential oil was shown to lower cholesterol and protect the heartvia its antioxidant effects (in rat studies) (R).

In a study of rabbits,tulsi leaf significantly decreased blood levels of cholesterol,triacylglycerol (formerly called triglycerides), and LDL cholesterolwith asignificant increase in HDL cholesterol(R).

5) Tulsi Addresses High Blood Pressure

Because tulsi isrich in potassium(18,991 µg/g), according to a trace element study, it may be useful for balancing high blood pressure (R).

The fatty oil from tulsi seeds hasblood pressure-lowering(hypotensive) effects (R).

The tulsi extract/fractions eugenol and tulsi oilinhibitACE(an enzyme that increases blood pressure)in a concentration-dependent manner and thereforemay help reduce blood pressure(R).

6) Tulsi Helps Diabetes and Blood Sugar Imbalance

InType 2 diabetes patients (DB-RCT),tulsi lowered fasting blood sugar levels by 17.6%and post-meal blood sugar levels by 7.3% (R).

A water-based extract oftulsi decreased blood sugar levelsin a study (R).

7) Tulsi Protects the Liver

An alcohol extract of tulsi leaf at200 mg/kg body weight per daywas shown toprotect the liver from toxin-induced damage(in rats) (R).

Theaddition of milk thistle (50 mg/kg) to tulsi (100 mg/kg) was shown to have a synergistic effectin liver protection (R).

8) Tulsi Protects Against and Heals Stomach Ulcers

Tulsi decreases problematic acid-pepsin secretion, and breakdown of cells that line the stomach. In addition, tulsi increases the protective mucus in the stomach (R).

In rats, tulsi extract healed stomach ulcers after 5 and 10 days’ treatment at a dose of100 mg/kg(R).

An alcohol extract of tulsi leaves (eugenol content 5%) at a dose of 50-200 mg/kg, twice daily for five days orally, wasdose-dependently protective against some types of stomach ulcers(alcohol-induced, but not aspirin-induced) (R).

In a study of rats and guinea pigs,tulsi protected against a variety of ulcer-inducers, including aspirin, alcohol, and histamine(R).

9) Tulsi Works As an Antioxidant

Strong antioxidant capacity was measured from tulsi essential oiland was particularly correlated with its eugenol content (R).

Tulsi leaf powderwas shown to combat cadmium-produced free radicals,and restored liver and kidney functions in a study of broiler chickens (R).

An extract oftulsi increased the levels of antioxidant enzymessuch assuperoxide dismutase(SOD) and catalase (R).

10) TulsiMay Help Reduce Pain

Animal studies (mice) showed an alcoholic leaf extract oftulsi reduced signs of pain, indicatingeffectiveness as an analgesic(R).

Another rat study showed that for both an alcohol extract of tulsi and an aqueous suspension of tulsi(500 mg/kg) were as effective as 300 mg of the NSAID, sodium salicylate(R.

11) Tulsi Increases Immune Function) (Both Th1 and Th2)

Daily ingestion of 300 mg capsules oftulsi leaf extract significantly increased IFN-y, IL-4, and T-helper cells, and natural killer cell activity— all important components of the immune system — after four weeks of intervention in 24 healthy volunteers (R).

Tulsi increases both the Th1 and Th2 immune responses (R).

12-17) Tulsi Is Anti-Cancer

A review study of tulsi’s anti-cancer activity foundeffectivenessagainstskin cancer, lung cancer, breast cancer,andpreventative effectsagainstliver cancer, stomach cancer, and oral cancer(R).

Skin Cancer

An alcohol extract of tulsi raises levels of skin glutathione(R).

In addition,a number of phytochemicals in tulsi, including eugenol, apigenin, luteolin, and rosmarinic acid, are also protective against chemical- or UV- induced inflammation, damage, and tumor growth (R).

In mice, an alcoholic extract of tulsi leaves applied topically was protective against a chemically-induced skin cancer(R).

Pre-treatment with an alcoholic extract of tulsi leaves decreased the number of tumors induced by a range of skin carcinogensin a mouse model of skin cancer (R).

In another study, a water-alcohol extract oftulsi reduced tumor size and increased survival rates of mice with melanoma(R).

Tulsi seed oil was also protective against the development of skin cancerand improved survival rates of mice with tumors (R).

Lung Cancer

In a review study, atulsi alcohol extract induced cell death in human lung cancer cells and suppressed the growth of lung cancer cells in mice (R).

In mice, tulsi extracts reduced MMP9 activity, thus reducing the formation of tumors when tumor cells were injected into the animals.(R).

Tulsi extract reduced the formation of tumorsin mice injected with lung cancer cells (R).

Phytochemicals contained in tulsi, includingcarnosic acid, rosmarinic acid, and luteolin are able to inhibit the growth of lung cancer(R).

Breast Cancer

Cell studies have shown that tulsi leaf extract prevented the spread of breast cancer and prevented an increase in the levels of COX-2/inflammation(R).

In cell-based studies,Eugenol (a primary constituent of tulsi),luteolin, and apigenin killed human breast cancer cells(R,R2).

Carnosic acid and rosmarinic acid were shown to inhibit the growth of human breast cancer cells(R).

Liver Cancer

Tulsi (leaf alcohol extract) protected liver cells from DNA damage and increased antioxidant levelsin response to cancer-causing chemicals and drug exposures (R,R2).

In rats,tulsi significantly prevented chemical-induced liver cancer(R).

Ursolic acid, which is found in tulsi, prevented toxin-induced liver cancer in ratsby decreasing oxidative stress (R).

Additionalanti-cancer effects were also observed in liver cells from the tulsi phytochemicals apigenin, luteolin, carnosic acid, and rosmarinic acid(R).

Studies have also shown that

1. Tulsi reduces stress and anxiety

2. Tulsi fights bacterial infections

3. Tulsi reduces oxidative stress

4. Holy Basil normalizes blood sugar

5. Tulsi treats ulcers

6. Holy Basil treats oral fibrosis

7. Tulsi speeds fracture healing

8. Holy Basil helps prevent cardiovascular disease

9. Holy Basil is a mosquito repellent

10. Tulsi helps prevent cancer

11. Tulsi treats cancer

12. Holy Basil protects the liver

13. Holy Basil boosts immunity

14. Tulsi increases testosterone

15. Holy Basil inhibits Candida

16. Holy Basil inhibits parasite infections

17. Tulsi helps prevent dental caries, gingivitis and periodontal disease

18. Tulsi is analgesic

One-quarter cup of fresh holy basil leaves (six grams) includes the following: (2)

  • 1 calorie
  • No cholesterol
  • 0.2 grams of sodium
  • 0.2 grams of carbohydrates
  • 25 micrograms vitamin K (31 percentDV)
  • 317 IUvitamin A(6 percent DV)
  • .1 milligrams manganese (3 percent DV)

Holy Basil - Anti Aging / Stress Fighting Wonder Herb - Queen of Herbs - Tulsi or Tulasi

Holy Basil - Anti Aging / Stress Fighting Wonder Herb - Queen of Herbs - Tulsi or Tulasi

Tulsi Tea Recipe and Holy Basil Benefits

Tulsi Tea Recipe and Holy Basil Benefits

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