Holy basil, or tulsi, is a deliciously fragrant relative to sweet basil. It is held incredibly sacred in India and has a long history of medicinal use. For the skin, it is an incredible healer, promoting better elasticity and less wrinkling! It has also shown potential as a skin cancer preventative.
Internally, holy basil is considered an adaptogen, a tonic to the entire body, helping us to adapt under exposure to stress. Traditionally, adaptogens balance the endocrine and immune systems.
Not every herb can boast such a vast range of benefits, encompassing nearly the entire body! Holy Basil offers the potential to:
- improve general vitality
- lower blood sugar
- lower blood pressure
- act as an antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic
- reduce fever
- reduce stress levels
- strengthen the respiratory system in cases of infections or asthma
- support even circulation
- enhance digestion
- protect against damage from radiation and chemotherapy
- support drug and nicotine withdrawal
- elevate the mood
- prevent ulcers and encourage the healing of ulcers already present
Holy Basil may inhibit sperm production, so although it might contribute to a form of natural birth control, men should avoid it if trying to impregnate a partner.
It is one of the most delicious medicinal herbs, especially in teas, elixirs, and oxymels. Holy Basil is medicine that tastes so good!
Holy Basil is also very easy to grow at home. It is so aromatic and a beautiful addition to any herb or tea garden. Mine went to seed last summer and when the rain came, the seeds germinated and I ended up with a ton of late summer plants with zero effort!
Adaptogens in Medical Herbalism by Donald R. Yance
The Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine by Andrew Chevallier