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Holy basil (Latin name: Ocimum sanctum), is an Ayurvedic herb originating from the Indian subcontinent. Also known as sacred basil, or by its Sanskrit name, tulsi, holy basil has been revered as the “incomparable one” for thousands of years. For those who consume it regularly, holy basil is believed to strengthen the body and mind, support physical and emotional endurance, and provide a deep sense of calm and well-being.

A cousin of the culinary European and Thai basils, holy basil has been the subject of numerous research studies. It is shown to help reduce stress, anxiety, over stimulation, excess inflammation and hypersensitivity by helping the body to regulate cortisol, a chemical released by the adrenals when we’re upset, deeply stressed, fearful and have repeated negative thoughts. Excess cortisol levels have been linked to conditions such as obesity, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, IBS, arthritis and numerous autoimmune disorders.

A wealth of information is known about this gentle, yet powerful adaptogenic herb. It first appeared in ancient texts on health nearly 8,000 years ago and has been widely consumed on a daily basis ever since.  Now grown and used throughout much of Asia, Central & South America, holy basil is beginning to catch on in North America and Europe, as well.

Traditionally used to support the digestive, immune and nervous systems, holy basil is now also recognized for helping the body toward healthy cholesterol levels, increased stamina, and slowing the aging process. According to the research, it is said to possess “potent antioxidant activities”.

Researchers state “Holy basil possesses both anti-inflammatory and anti-ulcer activity” and is “comparable to ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin” for pain relief. Holy basil has also been the subject of numerous studies demonstrating a protective effect on the liver and support of liver detoxification. Because of these reports of safety and effectiveness, Holy basil is often used by people who experience ADD, ADHD, headaches, anxiety, poor sleep, a restless mind or the blues. According to the research, there are no known side effects or known contraindications.

Another powerful benefit involved exposure to radiation. The radio-protective effect of the leaf extract is noted in several studies. They confirmed “Pretreatment resulted in faster recovery”, and almost completely eliminated abnormal cells.

Another study cited “O. sanctum leaf extract blocks or suppresses the events associated with chemical carcinogenesis by inhibiting metabolic activation of the carcinogen”, meaning that it can likely prevent harm to the body when we are exposed to various cancer causing toxins.

My older daughter lived in Brooklyn, went to NYU and worked in Manhattan when the terrible tragedy took place in 2001. Unable to reach her for an excruciatingly long while here in Vermont, I found holy basil calmed my anxiety and fears remarkably well, more than anything I had previously experienced. It has also helped my daughter’s ‘test anxiety’ in school, helping her to receive the good grades she’s always been capable of, but feared she could never achieve.

You will find the entire line of Tulsi Teas, made by Organic India, in the tea aisle of your local co-op or health food store. With delicious flavors such as ‘Sweet Rose Tulsi’, ‘Lemon Ginger Tulsi’ and ‘Red Chai Tulsi’, you may want to try them all. In the Wellness section, look for holy basil tincture from Herb Pharm, New Chapter’s supercritically extracted holy basil in gel caps or their extract in veggie caps. I have found the tincture and extract in veggie caps to work wonders for emotional difficulties, with the supercritical extract in gel caps to be most helpful for my excess inflammation issues.

For more information on Holy Basil, please visit: and click on the “Maimes Report” or check out the book “Tulsi, the Mother Medicine of Nature” by Drs. Narendra Singh and Yamuna Hoette.

A peaceful sigh and a smiling heart to you all.

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One Response to “Holy Basil Provides Strength, Calm and Vitality”

  1. on 13 Apr 2010 at 5:01 pm Marie

    I was sent your link from a friend. I have a dog called Basil who I adore and call sweet basil. I like the idea of Holy Basil and I will try this tincture and look out for it, as it resonated with me in terms of the benefits.
    Thank You

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