In Ayurvedic medicine, Tulsi, (otherwise known as Holy Basil), is revered as a herbal powerhouse, endowed with spiritual properties that are surpassed only by its medicinal ones. Grown throughout India to adorn temples, religious ceremonies and to speed up spiritual progress, Tulsi has shot to fame in the Western world for its powerful, multi-factorial health benefits which have been shown to promote health and wellbeing throughout the entire body. Below you will find the top 8 health benefits afforded by this incredibly versatile Ayurvedic herbal medicine:
1. Fights Acne
As a proven anti-microbial, Tulsi kills bacteria and infections, therefore it’s a great natural home remedy for acne and other skin infections and irritations. The primary active compound of Tulsi is eugenol which is widely believed to help combat many skin disorders. Tulsi also contains other therapeutic components including gamma-caryophyllene and methyl eugenol. Research published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science shows that Tulsi is an effective natural acne treatment, particularly when used with coconut oil as a carrier, which allows the medically active properties of Tulsi to enter into the skin more effectively.
2. Protects Against Diabetes
Tulsi appears to have the ability to control blood glucose levels as demonstrated by several test tube and animal experiments, as well as human clinical trials. In a randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial of Tulsi, patients with non-insulin dependent diabetes taking Tulsi on a daily basis experienced significant decreases in fasting blood sugar levels, post-prandial (after a meal) blood sugar levels, urine blood sugar levels as well as mean total cholesterol levels during the trial period.
3. Helps Fight Cancer
According to research published in the journal Nutrition and Cancer, Tulsi can prevent chemical-induced lung, liver, oral and skin cancers because it increases antioxidant activity, alters healthy gene expressions, induces cancer cell death, prevents blood vessel growth contributing to cancer cell growth and stops metastasis, which is the spread of cancer from one organ to another.
4. Balances Hormones and Lowers Stress
Elevated cortisol levels can be dangerous; it’s commonly known that high cortisol levels can have a major impact on our learning, memory, immune function, bone density, weight gain and heart disease. Luckily, Tulsi has the amazing ability to regulate cortisol levels and in doing so reduce our risk factors for a wide variety of disorders and keep our body and mind in optimal balance.
5. Dental Care and Oral Health
Tulsi has the power to fight bacteria in your mouth that lead to dental issues, such as cavities, plaque, tartar and bad breath. Tulsi leaves serve as a mouth freshener because they kill the bacteria and germs hiding in your mouth. It can also help reduce the prevalence and severity of mouth ulcers, and in vitro studies demonstrate it can stop the growth of oral cancer cells. For natural dental care, try adding a drop of Tulsi essential oil to your toothpaste or drinking one cup of Tulsi tea every day.
6. Helps Improve Respiratory Disorders
Tulsi is famous for its ability to alleviate almost all forms of respiratory disorders, including bronchitis, coughs, flu, colds, sinusitis, rhinitis, sore throats, tonsillitis and general chest infections. Human trials have also shown Tulsi has the ability to increase lung capacity and oxygen exchange, indicating its use in allergies and asthma.
7. Relieves Headaches
Because Tulsi has natural sedative properties, it can be used as a natural headache remedy that can help relieve migraine pain. This is especially true with headaches that are caused by sinus pressure. Tulsi is anti-congestive and helps reduce the build-up of congestion in the sinuses which are a common cause of headaches. An easy way to take advantage of this Tulsi benefit is by drinking one cup of Tulsi tea every day.
8. Supports Eye Health
Our eyes are susceptible to viral, bacterial and fungal infections that can be dangerous. Thankfully, Tulsi has the power to fight these infections, helping to protect against conjunctivitis, general eye infections and inflammatory eye conditions. It has even been shown to counter the oxidative stress and insoluble protein formation that leads to cataracts.
With benefits like these, Tulsi really is one of those rare herbs that provide broad level protection to the whole body. To take advantage of these benefits, aim to drink one to two cups of Tulsi tea a day or alternatively aim to take around one to three 500mg Tulsi capsules a day. Better still, Tulsi plants are now readily available here in the UK so why not buy a few plants to provide you with a ready supply of fresh, pure and organic Tulsi leaves.
Whilst there are no reported side effects to regular low dose Tulsi consumption, please consult with your doctor before taking Tulsi if you are pregnant, breast feeding or are on any form of medical prescriptions.