It turns out that holy basil can significantly reduce stress levels and, most importantly, it takes effect in just 40 minutes.
Experts told Womans World how to use holy basil for anxiety, as well as revealed additional benefits of this ancient herb.
What is holy basil
Sacred basil, also called tulsi, is an ancient herb. While this plant belongs to the same family as the basil you use in tomato sauce or caprese salad, holy basil is not a culinary condiment. It is an herb that, according to Breanna Guan, MD, a naturopathic doctor, is traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine.
Holy basil for anxiety
In recent years, holy basil has become a popular natural remedy for stress, and for good reason. Holy basil belongs to a category of substances known as adaptogens. As the name suggests, adaptogens help the body adapt and cope with physical, emotional, and environmental stressors. Stress can be physically toxic, increasing cortisol levels and causing inflammation in the body, Guan says. Holy basil helps lower cortisol levels and has a calming and relaxing effect on the body.
How quickly does holy basil work for anxiety
If you've just experienced a stressful event, holy basil can quickly alleviate anxiety. Studies have shown that drinking one cup of holy basil tea can lead to a 50% reduction in cortisol levels within 40 minutes. Ursolic acid tulsi increases levels of a calming substance for the brain, which reduces cortisol spikes. With regular intake of holy basil, there is a long-term effect on anxiety.
While holy basil is the best natural remedy for anxiety, the ancient herb is capable of more. A number of studies have reported the benefits of tulsi in terms of risk factors for heart disease, blood sugar control, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer activity, according to Dr. Mark Cohen.
Holy basil helps you lose weight
Holy basil may aid weight loss. One small study published in the Indian Journal of Clinical Biochemistry found that people who took 250 mg of holy basil twice a day effortlessly lost more than 1 kg in 8 weeks without any changes in diet or exercise. In addition, they improved cholesterol levels and insulin resistance. Tulsi may help balance blood sugar levels and help with other symptoms of metabolic syndrome, Cohen explained. All of these can contribute to maintaining a healthy weight.
Holy basil accelerates hair growth and reduces gray hair
To strengthen thinning hair, simply add 5 drops of basil essential oil to a water bottle and spray it on your scalp once a day. Studies show that holy basil stimulates hair growth as effectively as topical medications. In addition, it activates the enzyme catalase, which the study showed breaks down hydrogen peroxide in the follicles, reversing graying.
Holy basil / Photo: Credits
Holy basil reduces inflammation
Chronic inflammation affects everything from heart disease to digestive issues, diabetes, and even depression. But this is where the holy basil comes to the rescue. The anti-inflammatory effect of holy basil is likely due to its high concentration of eugenol, says Breanna Guan. Eugenol, one of the most potent compounds found in holy basil, reduces the production of compounds in the body that cause inflammation.
Holy basil reduces the risk of cancer
Researchers have found that the anti-inflammatory effects of eugenol found in holy basil may also help protect cells from mutations that can become cancerous. Additionally, the same study found that eugenol and other compounds in holy basil may also exert anticancer effects.
How to use holy basil
Brewing fresh holy basil leaves in tea is the easiest way to reap the benefits of this plant. As a daily tonic, Dr. Guan recommends drinking a cup of holy basil tea once or twice a day between meals.
This content is not a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always check with your doctor before applying any treatment plan, changing your diet, or adding something new to your daily diet.