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Basil, the herb adaptogen- viruses, respiratory

Basil, for maintaining homeostasis and fighting the effects of stress. The tulsi plant has a rich history dating back 3,000 years ago to ancient India, as it’s long been considered a medicinal herb and sacred plant in Ayurvedic medicine. Historically, it was used as medicine and still today holy basil leaves are regarded as natural adaptogens (anti-stress agents) that promote health throughout the entire body.
Holy basil Extracts, oils and supplements can be made from holy basil seeds, leaves, flowers and stems. The holy basil leaf, an oval-shaped leaf with a slightly sharp tip is used to make tulsi tea, is where the majority of the plant’s healing compounds are found. Researchers describe holy basil as a natural protector of organs and tissues, defending against chemical stress caused by factors like industrial pollutants, heavy metals, physical stress from prolonged physical exertion, ischemia, physical restraint and exposure to cold and excessive noise. Many of its protective effects are due to its rich concentration of phytochemical constituents, including: eugenol, oleanolic acid, ursolic

acid, rosmarinic acid, carvacrol and others.
but holy basil has therapeutic uses that traditional basil does not. Traditional basil is still a good source of antioxidants and a great addition to healthy recipes, but it’s less commonly used to make extracts, essential oils or supplements.

Health Benefits

1. Fights Skin Infections and Acne
Holy basil has been found to have antibacterial, antiviral, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory and analgesic (painkilling) properties. It can help kill bacteria that can cause breakouts and skin infections, so it’s a great natural remedy for wounds, plus a home remedy for acne and other skin irritations. It’s believed to benefit the skin and treat skin infections both internally and externally.
The primary active compound of holy basil oil is eugenol, also the active ingredient in the powerful antimicrobial clove oil, which is widely believed to help combat many skin disorders. Holy basil also contains other therapeutic components, including gamma- caryophyllene and methyl eugenol.

2. Protects Against Diabetes
Holy basil benefits appear to include the ability to control blood glucose levels as demonstrated by several test tube and animal experiments, as well as human clinical trials.

3. Helps Fight Cancer
In general, holy basil may not only possibly work as a natural cancer treatment, but another of the many holy basil benefits include that it may also help to prevent it. Research shows that people who regularly consume tulsi are less likely to be

immunocompromised and less susceptible to developing cancer cells.
Holy basil benefits also appear to help protect the body from radiation poisoning and help minimize damage from radiation treatment. Many natural agents — especially holy basil leaves and extracts from other plants — prove to be non-toxic, easily available and have potential anti-cancer properties.

4. Balances Stress Hormones
There’s evidence that tulsi can address physical, chemical, metabolic and psychological stress through a unique combination of pharmacological actions. One of the most well-researched holy basil benefits is its ability to keep hormone levels balanced naturally and to lower symptoms of anxiety.
According to a scientific article published in 2014 in the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative
Medicine, “Tulsi has also been shown to counter metabolic stress through normalization of blood glucose, blood pressure and lipid levels, and psychological stress through positive effects on memory and cognitive function and through its anxiolytic and antidepressant properties.”

To use holy basil for anxiety, research suggests taking holy basil leaf extract twice daily after meals can help with managing symptoms. You can also try drinking tulsi tea, or adding tulsi to your meals.

Does holy basil increase testosterone? While some speculate that it can boost testosterone production, perhaps by possibly reducing stress and supporting thyroid/adrenal function, there isn’t much evidence proving it has this effect.

5. Relieves Fever
Holy basil is often recommended as a natural fever reliever, especially by practitioners of Ayurvedic medicine. Holy basil leaves are thought to act as antibiotic, germicidal and disinfectant agents, which means they can protect us from bacteria and

viruses. When we have a fever, it’s proof that our bodies are fighting against an infection. Therefore, with its infection-fighting properties, tulsi may help to fight a fever.

6. Helps Improve Respiratory Disorders Holy basil benefits are found in the components of tulsi leaves, including camphene, eugenol and cineole, which help provide relief from congestion and other symptoms of respiratory disorders. Scientific studies have confirmed that holy basil possesses impressive anti-asthmatic abilities and may make breathing easier, which is why it’s a commonly recommended herb for respiratory issues in Ayurvedic medicine.

7. Good Source of Vitamin K
Vitamin K is an essential fat-soluble vitamin that plays an important role in bone health and heart health. It’s one of the main vitamins involved in bonepage4image16602368

mineralization and blood clotting, but it also helps maintain brain function, a healthy metabolism and cellular health. One cup of tulsi leaves has more than your daily recommended value of vitamin K, making it a perfect source to prevent vitamin K deficiency. Plus, vitamin K can be beneficial to your bone density, digestive health and brain function.

8. Supports Dental Care and Oral Health Tulsi may fight bacteria in your mouth that can lead to dental issues, such as cavities, plaque, tartar and bad breath. It serves as a natural mouth freshener and cleanser because compounds found in the leaves kill bacteria and germs hiding in your mouth. Using a mouthwash containing basil leaf extract twice daily seems to help reduce plaque and the risk for developing gingivitis.

9. May Relieve Headaches
Practitioners of Ayurveda recommend holy basil as
a natural headache remedy that can help relieve migraine pain. Research suggests this is due to its ability to relieve inflammation, sinus pressure and muscular tension due to stress. Try diffusing holy basil essential oil or making tulsi tea to reduce headache symptoms.

10. Supports Eye Health
Our eyes are susceptible to viral, bacterial and fungal infections that can be very dangerous. Thankfully, holy basil benefits include helping to fight these detrimental infections. Tulsi is commonlypage5image16765824page5image16728640

prescribed in Ayurveda to fight against conjunctivitis — also commonly known as pink eye — thanks to its anti-inflammatory and soothing properties.
Tulsi may also help prevent a range of eye issues,

including cataracts. According to Dr. S.K. Gupta of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, topical administration of an herbal eye drop mixture containing turmeric and holy basil extracts helps to counter the oxidative stress and insoluble protein formation that lead to cataracts.

How to Use

Can you eat tulsi holy basil? Yes, the leaves have a sweet, aromatic smell and a minty taste and are used in garnishing foods, sauces and soups in places like India and Thailand. They’re also commonly used to make juices, flavored water and tulsi tea. For example, in India people eat tulsi leaves raw in order to fight off a cough or cold.

Common Holy Basil Uses

• Holy basil essential oil — Holy basil essential oil (or holy basil tincture) can be found in many health food stores or online. The essential oil is extracted from the holy basil plant and is used
in lotions, soap, perfume, shampoo and conditioner. You can also diffuse the oil in your home; the calming and immune-boosting properties can be inhaled as well.page6image16578816page6image16578624page6image16576704page6image16574208page6image16574976page6image16574784page6image16576128page6image16576320page6image16575744

  • Holy basil supplements — You can find dried tulsi leaves in capsule form, sometimes offered in fermented options, which some sources suggest make it more easily digestible. This is a convenient option if you don’t enjoy the smell or taste of basil.
  • Holy basil tea — Ayurvedic practitioners recommend the regular consumption of tulsi tea as an essential lifestyle practice. Tulsi tea is a popular beverage in India that’s consumed in place of coffee. You can find tulsi tea at many health food stores; it comes in boxes of tea bags, or you can make your own using dried tulsi leaves.How to Make Holy Basil Tea at HomeYou can buy dried tulsi leaves in bulk and use a tea ball to make this beneficial and tasty tea. If you’d rather have an iced tea, it’s simple to let the tea cool and add ice and stevia or lemon for flavor. You can also prepare tulsi juice, which includes five tulsi leaves that have been infused in water.To prepare tulsi leaves, clean them thoroughly and then chop them coarsely with a kitchen knife. It’s best to use fresh tulsi leaves within a day or two, but they can be stored in a sealed bag in the refrigerator for five days or so. Combine two to three teaspoons of dried leaves with hot water and let it sit for about five minutes before removing the leaves.
    Cooking with Holy Basil

One tablespoon of fresh, chopped tulsi leaves would be a great addition. The tulsi addition brings the health benefits of this soup up a notch by adding infection- fighting and stress-relieving properties.
Fresh tulsi leaves or tulsi powder can add an interesting and unexpected flavor to everyday salad recipes. Adding tulsi tea to your bath is an awesome way to help enhance organ function and fight bacterial or fungal infections.
You can buy and care for a tulsi plant, or you can purchase tulsi leaves and powder from a health food store. If you buy fresh holy basil, look for leaves that are vibrant and green, without any holes or dark spots.

Dosage

Tulsi holy basil dosage recommendations depend on how you’re using the plant and the symptoms you’re managing. Some studies have found people who take low doses between 200 and 600 milligrams (mg) of holy basil extract each day may experience improvements in symptoms like anxiety, pain, indigestion, etc. However, higher doses are usually recommended for treating persistent symptoms, such as 600 to 2,200 mg/day, divided into several doses for the best results.

Risks and Side Effects

What are the side effects of basil? Researchers have found that holy basil is safe for regular consumptionpage8image16658624page8image16659200page8image16660736

and topical use. However holy basil side effects may include nausea, vomiting, indigestion and changes in certain hormones when used for an extended period of time. Does holy basil make you sleepy? While it may help you feel calmer, it’s not a sedative and shouldn’t cause drowsiness.

To be safe, it’s generally recommended to use holy basil for about six weeks or less before taking a break. One note to keep in mind is that tulsi may slow blood clotting, so taking tulsi along with medications that also slow clotting may increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.
Holy basil is referenced often in Ayurvedic medicine as an herb to treat a large number of conditions. Used for thousands of years, there have been very few holy basil side effects reported. This herb is available in leaf, powder, supplement and essential oil form. One of the most common uses is taking it for anxiety.————————————
Basil seeds are the seeds of the basil plant, which is also

known as great basil or St. Joseph’s Wort. Scientifically known as Ocimum basilicum, the basil plant is one of the world’s most famous herbs, and is used in numerous cuisines across the world. However, the seeds of this plant are often overlooked, despite having a rich concentration of powerful compounds and active ingredients that can impact human health. Some of the key active ingredients in basil seeds are dietary fiber, iron, protein, phytochemicals, polyphenolic compounds, orientin, vicentin, and other powerful antioxidants.

There are many types of basil, including hybrids that are also often counted as basil. This includes varieties like tulsi, Thai basil, lemon basil, and holy basil. Note that these are the seeds from the sweet basil plant, rather than the holy basil plant. The seeds of that basil species are not typically consumed. Basil seeds are completely black and tear-shaped when dry, roughly the same size as chia seeds. While these seeds are not common, their potential health benefits have caused an increase in their popularity. They are readily available in natural health food stores and online.

Basil Seeds Health Benefits

The most notable health benefits of basil seeds include their ability to improve digestive health, aid in weight loss efforts, boost the appearance of the skin, strengthen the hair, regulate blood sugar, cool the body, relieves stress, build strong bones, lower blood pressure, improve vision, reduce inflammations, lower cholesterol, and prevent certain infections.

With such an impressive concentration of antioxidants and flavonoids, basil seeds are able to improve the health of the skin and stimulate the growth of new cells. Antioxidants counter the effects of free radicals, which can cause oxidative stress and eventually lead to cellular mutation, resulting in wrinkles, age spots, and blemishes. Regular use of these seeds acts as anti-aging substance, reducing the appearance of age-related marks and scars.

Hair Care

With a significant level of iron and various antioxidants, basil seeds can stimulate the production of hair and prevent premature hair loss. The iron helps blood circulation to the scalp. It also helps in the growth of strong hair from the follicles. In womenpage10image16663104page10image16663296page10image16663488page10image16663680

with iron deficiency, iron supplements are usually recommended to ensure the efficacy of hair loss treatment. Basil seeds provide a natural alternative to these pills. The antioxidants in these seeds will also help prevent inflammation and oxidative stress on the scalp, which is one of the major reasons for hair loss.

Weight Loss

Basil seeds are extremely high in fiber, which works to bulk up the stool and make you feel full. This prevents overeating and snacking between meals. Furthermore, when these seeds are digested, they may swell to 20 times their original size, physically filling you up and satisfying your appetite, making it much easier to avoid those calorie-heavy snacks.

Studies have shown that sweet basil seeds are directly associated with a decrease in LDL or bad cholesterol levels, which means a lower risk of atherosclerosis and plaque deposition in the arteries and blood vessels. This will also reduce strain on the heart and reduce your chances of heart attack and stroke. The cholesterol- lowering effect of basil seeds may be related to the soluble fiber they contain, which helps the body bind and eliminate cholesterol.

Controls Blood Pressure

Basil is used in traditional Chinese medicine for treating a host of chronic diseases, including hypertension. An animal study published the journal Hypertension Research found that basil has an effect on lipid metabolism and platelets. As a result, its consumption can help in controlling blood pressure. Another study on the efficacy of natural herbs in treatment of hypertension credits this effect to one of basil’s essential components, eugenol. It helps by blocking the calcium channels.

Boosts Bone Health

With a diverse range of minerals in basil seeds, including iron, potassium, copper, calcium, manganese, and magnesium, eating these seeds on a regular basis will help improve bone mineral density. This will lower your risk of developing osteoporosis, keeping you feeling young and strong as you age. An animal study published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine shows that the aqueous extracts of parsley, basil, and

chicory protects bones against glucocorticoid-induced in rats.

Prevents Diseases

Multiple studies show antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anticancer properties of basil seeds. There is a notable amount of vitamin A and other antioxidants in basil seeds, which can help reduce oxidative stress and chronic inflammation around the body. This will lower the pressure on your immune system, and also prevent many different pathogenic infections and medical conditions. Chronic disease is also caused by an excess of free radicals in the body, which is countered by dietary supplementation with basil seeds.

Diabetes Management

A paper published in the Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy journal studied the effect of basil seeds in animals. It concluded that the extracts of these seeds can have an antidiabetic effect on rats with diabetes. On the basis of this, it suggests that basil seeds could be used to help with type 2 diabetes as well as related complications such as liver dysfunction, diabetic nephropathy, and immunosuppression.

Cooling Effects

In many Asian countries, basil seeds are famed for their cooling effects on the body, as they can help retain the cold temperatures of beverages and essentially soothe the stomach. While this is apage12image16664640page12image18508176

vague and somewhat arbitrary health benefit, these seeds are popularly consumed by people suffering from fevers and other inflammatory conditions, where this cooling effect seems most pronounced.

Relieves Stress

If your mind is racing and your stress levels continue to climb, a glass of water filled with basil seeds might be a quick and simple solution to your anxiety. A 30-day experiment conducted on rabbits shows the antistress effects of basil upon regular intake, thanks to its antioxidant properties. Regular consumption of basil seeds can help reduce episodes of depression, boost your mood, and reduce levels of stress hormones in the body.

Given its notable amount of vitamin A, basil seeds are recommended for people with failing vision or those with high levels of oxidative stress. Vitamin A acts as a powerful antioxidant in the retina, preventing the development of cataracts and slowing down the advent of macular degeneration.

Relieves Pain

When it comes to conditions like arthritis, gout, headaches, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), basil seeds are known to reduce the severity of those episodes and provide pain relief rather quickly. By preventing the release of pro-inflammatory compounds and cytokines, the active ingredients in these seeds take an active role in many common health conditions. A study published in the Journal of Bone Research and Reports shows that beta-caryophyllene (a compound present in basil seeds) has a prominent anti-arthritic activity due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

Culinary Uses of Basil Seeds

  • The primary use of basil seeds in most Asian countries is as a thickening agent for certain drinks, ranging from juice to nutritional shakes and smoothies.
  • When you submerge these seeds in water or other liquid, they become gelatinous and soft. This not only thickens the drinks but also boosts their nutritional potential significantly.
  • Basil seeds can also be included in sherbet and milkshakes, and they have a rather mild taste that doesn’t interfere with other flavors. That being said, they are primarily included in sweet foods and beverages.
  • It is simple to make your own basil seed drink at home. Simply add 1/2 cup of basil seeds to a fruit smoothie or glass of juice for a nutrient-rich boost to your day.
  • You may also see this superfood as a topping for salads., They also go well in soups, stews, yogurt, and pasta dishes.
  • The simplest way to consume these seeds is to add a 1/2 cup to a full glass of water. The seeds will swell to roughly 10x their original volume and will release more of their antioxidants and nutrients, making this a much healthier way to consume the seeds than eating them dry.Basil Seeds Side EffectsThese seeds can deliver a significant number of health benefits, but that comes along with a few side effects, such as the choking hazard they pose, as well as potential hormone fluctuations.

• Pregnant Women: One of the side effects of basil seeds is their potential impact on hormone levels in the body, namely estrogen. This can be dangerous for pregnant women, as it can stimulate menstruation and may result in complications for the baby.

  • Thyroid Issues: Those who suffer from thyroid imbalances or other hormonal issues should not use these seeds before speaking with their doctor.
  • Choking Hazard: Due to the effect that water and liquids have on these seeds, an improper ratio of liquid to seeds can result in a large gelatinous clump that can potentially be difficult to swallow. For this reason, these seeds are not recommended for anyone with swallowing difficulties, young children or the elderly.—————————————— Basil flowers are perfectly edible. In terms of fragrance and flavor, the flowers are similar, if milder, then the leaves. Sometimes, flowers can be somewhat bitter, so test them first. When sprinkled over a salad, basil flowers impart a mild basil flavor and add a decorative touch. They also make a great garnish for anything that pairs well with basil, such as pasta, cheese or fresh fruit, or plates of meat or vegetables.Make Basil Flower Vinegar
    Basil flower vinegar works well with olive oil or any citrus juice in salad dressings. Here’s how to make it:
  • Place freshly snipped basil flowers into a clean glass jar and cover them with red or white wine vinegar. You can add more basil flowers to the jar as you have them, along with more vinegar to cover. Keep the jar covered in between basil additions.
  • Once the jar is full, leave it to infuse for at least a week.
  • Strain out the basil flowers (you can compost or discardthem).
  • Transfer the vinegar to a clean glass jar or cruet, and capor cork tightly.

Make Basil Flower Oil
Infuse your favorite olive oil with basil flowers, replenishing with new flowers over time to intensify the flavor:

  • Rinse freshly cut basil flowers and pat them dry.
  • Drop the flowers (with stems attached) into a clean glassjar. Fill the jar with fresh olive oil to completely cover the flowers. Note: The flowers must remain covered to prevent mold growth.
  • Tightly cover the jar and store in a cool, dark place for about one month.
  • Remove the flowers and/or strain the oil before use, or you can leave the flowers in the oil, as long as they remain submerged in oil. If desired, add fresh basil flowers to the same oil to strengthen the infusion.Brew Basil Tea
    Simply add freshly cut basil flowers to a teacup or pot of boilingwater, and let steep for several minutes. Strain the tea through a tea strainer or standard kitchen strainer, and enjoy!Display Them
    Don’t worry if you’ve been neglectful and your basil plants have gone to flower. Big flower buds make nice little bouquets! The leaf growth on the plants will perk up soon after you prune back all the flowers, but the old leaves may be a little bitter or bland; just test them to check.