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Holy Basil - Ocimum sanctumModern research shows that Holy Basil contains powerful antioxidants and it may help protect the liver. Basic clinical studies using Holy Basil suggest an effect on blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetics.
HOLY BASIL has been used for thousands of years as "Tulsi"or "The Incomparable One," Holy Basil was traditionally used to promote a positive stress response and to elevate the spirit. Today, a major U.S. university found that Holy Basil contains at least six phytonutrients that can powerfully promote a healthy Inflammation response.
Tulsi is considered to be an adaptogen, balancing different processes in the body, and helpful for adapting to stress. Marked by its strong aroma and astringent taste, it is regarded in Ayurveda as a kind of "elixir of life" and believed to promote longevity.
Tulsi’s extracts are used in ayurvedic remedies for common colds, headaches, stomach disorders, inflammation, heart disease, various forms of poisoning, and malaria. Traditionally, tulsi is taken in many forms: as herbal tea, dried powder, fresh leaf, or mixed with ghee. Essential oil extracted from Karpoora Tulsi is mostly used for medicinal purposes and in herbal cosmetics, and is widely used in skin preparations due to its anti-bacterial activity. For centuries, the dried leaves of Tulsi have been mixed with stored grains to repel insects.
Recent studies suggest that Tulsi may be a COX-2 inhibitor, like many modern painkillers, due to its high concentration of eugenol (1-hydroxy-2-methoxy-4-allylbenzene). One study showed Tulsi to be an effective treatment for diabetes by reducing blood glucose levels. The same study showed significant reduction in total cholesterol levels with Tulsi. Another study showed that Tulsi's beneficial effect on blood glucose levels is due to its antioxidant properties. Tulsi also shows some promise for protection from radiation poisoning and cataracts.
Holy Basil is an aromatic plant in the family Lamiaceae which is native throughout the Old World tropics and widespread as a cultivated plant and an escaped weed. It is an erect, much branched subshrub 30-60 cm tall with hairy stems and simple opposite green leaves that are strongly scented. Leaves have petioles, and are ovate, up to 5 cm long, usually slightly toothed. Flowers are purplish in elongate racemes in close whorls.