Herbal Medicine Benefits of Holy Basil
Holy basil / tulsi / Ocimum sanctum is the first herb I truly fell in love with.
When its sweet purple flowers bloom, they release my absolute favorite scent. I can’t accurately describe it, it’s just intoxicatingly divine. You’ll have to experience it for yourself. 🙂
Some of my favorite ways to use holy basil include:
- Preparing a tea of the leaves by themselves or mixed with another herb such as lemon balm
- Creating an herbal steam and breathing it to support the respiratory system
- Adding the leaves to a stir fry or stew
- Eating the fresh leaves
I’m a little obsessed with holy basil for its incredible scent, sweet taste, and its medicinal uses, too!
In Ayurvedic medicine, holy basil is classified as a rasayana, an herb that promotes long life and nourishes a person’s growth to perfect health and enlightenment. Holy basil aids in processing grief and fear. It nourishes the vital spirit, heart, and promotes cheerfulness. 
Numerous studies have shown that holy has antimicrobial, antibacterial, adaptogenic, antidiabetic, hepatoprotective, anti-inflammatory, anticarcinogenic, antiulcer, anti-tumor, radioprotective, immunomodulatory, anti-viral, anti-hyperlipidemic, neuroprotective, and cardioprotective properties. 
Holy basil exerts beneficial effects on the nervous system, endocrine system, and antioxidant system. 
Holy basil has anti-stress, anti-depressive, and anxiety-regulating effects which improve mood, memory, cognitive function, and adaptation to various stressors. It assists in the normalization of cortisol. 
Holy basil contains compounds that promote skin healing and have potential for preventing and curing skin cancer. It can be used to treat photoaged skin because it reduces the appearance of wrinkles and age spots by restoring collagen and enhancing elasticity. Topically, holy basil can also be used to treat wounds, scars, ulcers, skin diseases, and staph infections on the skin. 
Holy basil can be used to strengthen the respiratory system and to treat coughs, colds, asthma, and bronchitis. 
Holy basil’s anti-inflammatory effects can be used to reduce the symptoms of inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, chronic pain, and Parkinson’s Disease. 
Holy basil can be used to promote circulation, normalize blood pressure, and address heart issues. 
Holy basil is protective against certain types of genotoxicity and oxidative stress. It increases the enzymes needed to rid the body of toxins. It may prevent chemical-induced skin, liver, oral, and lung cancers. It protects the body against radiation and chemotherapy-induced damage. 
Holy basil promotes endurance and increases physical performance. 
Holy basil has a powerful ability to support the immune system and reduce fevers. 
Holy basil can be used to support the digestive system, treat indigestion, protect the liver, balance blood sugar, and promote insulin metabolism. 
Holy basil’s anti-infectious and anti-inflammatory properties make it a great herb for treating bad breath and for promoting gum health. 
If taken in extremely high doses, holy basil increases testosterone and creates a temporary, reversible state of infertility for both men and women. 
Holy basil is a wonderful herb to add to your garden to attract bees and provide you with an abundant supply of the herb. The trick to encouraging an especially prolific plant is to pinch off the tops to delay it from flowering for a while, at least until the plant has grown more widely and fully.
I hope you enjoy holy basil as much as I do!
 Yance, D. (2016, June 6). Holy Basil: An Herb with Incomparable Benefits. Retrieved from https://www.donnieyance.com/holy-basil-an-herb-with-incomparable-benefits/
 Patel, K. (2019, October 3). Holy Basil. Retrieved from https://examine.com/supplements/holy-basil/