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Tulsi - Holy Basil - Ocimum sanctum 101

Tulsi Holy Basil (Ocimum sanctum) Frequently Asked Questions

Curious about Ocimum sanctum (Tulsi / Holy Basil) herbal extract? Check out these resources from our site or scroll down to find answers to common questions. If you have more questions, reach out!

Do you sell Tulsi Holy Basil (Ocimum sanctum)?

Yes! You can order Tulsi Holy Basil as an all-natural herbal supplement from our online store

Are Tulsi, Holy Basil, and Ocimum sanctum the same thing?

Yes. Ocimum sanctum is also called Tulsi and Holy Basil. In Ayurvedic tradition, it is known as the Queen of Herbs. The Latin name Ocimum sanctum translates to Sacred Basil or Holy Basil. This medicinal plant is considered sacred by the Hindus for its legendary healing properties. Its Sanskrit name, Tulsi, means “incomparable one.”

What makes your Tulsi Holy Basil different?

You may have noticed that Tulsi seems to be everywhere — eBay, Amazon, grocery store shelves, and local markets. A common misperception is that all Tulsi is alike. The truth, however, is that quality and quantity of Tulsi can differ substantially depending on what you buy.

The Ayurvedic texts mention four types of Tulsi: Rama (green leaf), Vana (wild leaf), Kapoor (heavy flowering), and Krishna (purple leaf). While all have their uses, Krishna is generally the most highly valued.

Many Tulsi herbals on the market are blends that include only a small percentage of Tulsi. The Tulsi is also often not of the Krishna type.

At Linden Botanicals, we source our Tulsi from a region of northern India, where we are able to obtain the Krishna Tulsi variety. Our Tulsi herbal extract is also 100% Krishna Tulsi – no blends or fillers.

What is the plant best known for?

Mounting evidence suggests that Tulsi tea and extract effectively help it address physical, chemical, metabolic, and psychological stress through a unique combination of pharmacological actions. For starters, it’s a nootropic, an adaptogen, and an antioxidant.

Native to India, Tulsi has been used as an herbal therapeutic for over 3,000 years. From “Tulsi – Ocimum sanctum: A Herb for All Reasons,” (The Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine): “The predominant cause of global morbidity and mortality is lifestyle-related chronic diseases, many of which can be addressed through Ayurveda with its focus on healthy lifestyle practices and regular consumption of adaptogenic herbs. Of all the herbs used within Ayurveda, Tulsi … is preeminent, and scientific research is now confirming its beneficial effects.”

These actions may help the body and mind cope with chemical, physical, infectious, and emotional stresses and help support physiological and psychological function.

What are its possible health benefits?

It’s an antimicrobial (antibacterial, antiviral, anti-fungal, anti-plasmodial, antimalarial, anti-protozoa, anthelmintic). It’s known as anti-diarrheal, antioxidant, anti-cataract, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, chemopreventive, radioprotective, hepatoprotective, anti-carcinogenic, neuroprotective, cardioprotective, analgesic, anti-hypercholesterolemia, anti-hypertensive, anti-pyretic, anti-allergic, anti-tussive, diaphoretic, anti-thyroid, antiemetic, adaptogenic, anti-stress, anti-cataract, anti-leukodermal, and anti-coagulant.

In traditional Ayurvedic medicine, it’s believed to help manage many ailments and diseases. It may provide support for bronchitis, bronchial asthma, dysentery, arthritis, chronic fever, insect bites, skin infections like ringworm, and verminois. It may have anticancer, antimicrobial, antiemetic, and antispasmodic actions.

Other actions: blood sugar control, immunomodulation, enhanced memory, central nervous system depressant, mercury poisoning protection, ulcer preventing and healing, and wound healing.

What are other health benefits of Tulsi Holy Basil?

Hundreds of scientific studies have established a basis for therapeutic uses of this plant. It has been used to boost energy, sharpen memory, and calm the nerves. It has also been used to relieve anxiety, bad breath, breathing problems, eye problems like sore eyes and poor night vision, gum disease, headaches, heart problems, respiratory problems, high cholesterol, mouth ulcers, skin diseases, and stress. Regular consumption may help with the elimination of kidney stones.

It interacts with the respiratory, circulatory, integumentary, renal, digestive, and nervous systems. Today, it’s generally believed to support issues related to cardiovascular disease, psychological stress, immunity, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and neurocognition. There is good reason to believe that a lifestyle-related approach to optimal health will benefit from use of Tulsi as a health supplement.

Can it help with mental stress and anxiety?

Regular consumption may help protect and detoxify the body’s cells and organs. Benefits may include reduction of stress, anxiety, and depression by calming the mind and offering psychological benefits, such as anti-anxiety and anti-depressant activity with effects comparable to diazepam and antidepressant drugs. It may also enhance memory and cognitive function and protect against age-induced memory deficits.

Along those lines, Tulsi constituents ocimarin and ocimumosides A and B show anti-stress activity, including normalizing blood sugar levels and cortisol levels. Tulsi has been shown to be as effective as the antidepressant desipramine.

Can Tulsi Holy Basil help with metabolic stress?

Metabolic stress is common today due to poor diet, low physical activity, and psychological stress. “Metabolic syndrome” includes the “deadly quartet”: upper-body obesity, glucose intolerance, hypertension, and elevated triglycerides, and it may affect up to one-third of the population. Also called “pre-diabetes” or “Syndrome X,” Metabolic syndrome is associated with chronic inflammation and a greater risk of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

Evidence suggests it has anti-diabetic activity. It may reduce blood glucose and protect the liver and kidneys from the metabolic damage caused by high glucose levels. Benefits include protecting the liver and kidneys from free radical damage, enhancing insulin secretion and action, lowering cortisol levels, and reducing inflammation.

What are its antioxidant properties?

Physiological benefits are attributed to its high phenolic compound content and antioxidant properties. Studies highlight its ability to protect the liver, kidney, and brain against genetic, immune, and cellular damage. It may also help to reduce DNA damage caused by toxic compounds (e.g., pollutants, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, heavy metals, radiation) and reduce precancerous/cancerous cell growth.

It contains a range of bioactive compounds such as eugenol, ursolic acid, apigenin, carnosol, cirsimaritin, and cirsilineol. These bioactive compounds have shown COX-2 inhibitory effects and antioxidant properties. The antioxidants may protect chromosomes and the liver from lipid peroxidation. High levels of rosmarinic compound in the herb serve as antioxidants against free DPPH radicals, superoxide anion radicals, and hydroxyl radicals. The herb also produces antioxidant properties against oxidative stress and genotoxicity.

Can it offer protection against colds, coughs, flus, and infections?

Tulsi Holy Basil contains bioactive immunomodulatory compounds that may support immunity against coughs, common cold, asthma and bronchitis. An effective expectorant, it may be useful in relieving coughs and sore throats that result from the common cold. It also contains expectorant properties that increase the expectoration rate (expelling the phlegm) in productive coughs. People with dry coughs can also sip the tea to suppress the cough due to its antitussive properties.

Benefits include anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal activity against many pathogens responsible for human infections. Evidence suggests it may help in the management of various human bacterial infections, including urinary tract infections, skin and wound infections, cholera, tuberculosis, gonorrhea, acne, herpes simplex, pneumonia, and fungal infections, as well as mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue and malaria.

Can it help regulate blood sugar and reduce cholesterol levels?

Due to its action on cell metabolism, it may reduce cholesterol levels. It may also be an excellent alternative for diabetic patients, as it may regulate blood sugar levels. Consuming this tea on a daily basis increases the metabolic process. An increase in metabolism enhances the breakdown of fats and carbohydrates, which helps to ensure that sugars are used to produce energy. Ocimum sanctum also stimulates the secretion of insulin in the body, which regulates sugar levels. Since it lowers serum concentrations of cortisol, the herb also helps to regulate diabetes mellitus induced by corticosteroids.

Animal studies have shown that the oil found in the extract (Eugenol) can lower stress-induced cholesterol levels.

In an experiment, there was a significant reduction of cholesterol in the kidney, liver, and heart in rats with or without diabetes after consuming Holy Basil. In addition, the herb is said to improve the insulin secretion function and pancreatic beta-cell once consumed. It has hypoglycaemic properties that have the potential to lower blood sugar levels and prevent the occurrence of Diabetes Type 2.

Does Tulsi Holy Basil provide support for arthritis?

Arthritis is a painful condition that results from swelling of joints. This condition often worsens with age. Sipping this tea may reduce inflammation and relieve joint pain. The herb contains bioactive cinnamic acid compounds that offer anti-inflammatory properties at the affected area.

Is it a mosquito repellant?

The extract can be consumed alone or in conjunction with Cistus incanus tea or extract to help repel insects, prevent insect bites, and relieve itching from insect bites.

What’s the science behind the plant?

Because of its long use in traditional medicine, there has been considerable modern interest in the potential of Holy BasilHundreds of scientific studies have established a basis for therapeutic uses of this plant, including this one, this one, and this one. There is good reason to believe that a lifestyle-related approach to optimal health will benefit from support with Tulsi as a health supplement.

Properties that have been studied and found statistically significant include antioxidant, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulation, mercury poisoning protection, nootropic, radioprotective, ulcer preventing, ulcer healing, and wound healing.

Where does Tulsi Holy Basil come from?

Native to tropical Asia, it is grown throughout India. Botanically, it is part of the mint family. We prefer the Krishna Tulsi variety. We source ours from a specific region of northern India.

How did you choose your supplier?

For each of the products we sell, company owner Michael Van der Linden and members of our team do substantial research, visit the source, and meet with the collectors and processors personally. We back up our faith in our source and our processors with testing.

What are the plant’s traditional uses?

Used for thousands of years, Tulsi Holy Basil is prevalent in ancient Greek and Unani systems of holistic health as well as Ayurvedic medicine. It was thought to be a gift from the divine healer Dhanvantari. In the Vedic traditional texts (the oldest layer of Sanskrit literature and the oldest scriptures of Hinduism), a passage describes a contest between good and evil for the source of immortality. When good eventually triumphed, Dhanvantari cried tears of joy. Tulsi sprang up where his first tear landed.

The ancient Ayurvedic texts consider Tulsi helpful in relieving almost all ailments, including common colds, digestive problems, breathing problems, anxiety, stress, blood sugar, heart problems, fever, and ulcers. It’s an adaptogen that balances different processes in the body and helps the body adapt to life’s stresses. In Ayurveda, it’s seen as an elixir of life and believed to promote longevity.

What phytochemicals does it contain?

Tulsi tea contains natural antioxidants that can help protect the body against free-radical damage. In fact, the complexity of Tulsi’s photochemistry helps explain the diverse Tulsi tea benefits I’ve described here. Essentially, phytochemicals are chemical compounds found in plant foods, which may have health effects.

The complexity of its photochemistry helps explain the diversity of its benefits. Major constituents include eugenol, euginal, urosolic acid, carvacrol, linalool, limatrol, limocene, caryophyllene, estragol, sitosterol, b-stigmsterol, anthocyans, xylose, polysaccharides, saponins, flavonoids, triterpenoids, tannins, urosolic acid, chlorgenic acid, vllinin acid, caffeic acid, rosmarinic acid, palmitic acid, propanoic acid, linoleic acid, apigenin, cirsimaritin, isothymusin, isothymonin, orientin, vanillin, and vicenin.

What does the plant look like?

An aromatic plant, Holy Basil grows like a many-branched shrub, with tender and fragrant oval leaves. Holy Basil can grow up to 30 inches in height. The plant’s flowers bare a purple shade, and its fruits look like yellowish/reddish seeds.

The leaves of Holy Basil have an astringent/peppery taste and can be used for seasoning purposes. (However, cooking is generally done with its culinary cousin Ocimum basilicum.)

How do I consume Tulsi Holy Basil extract?

Instructions: Add 1/2 teaspoon of extract to 8oz of near boiling water, a cup of juice, a gut health smoothie, or a stress relief smoothie. Mix until dissolved. Drink 1-5 servings a day.

These smoothies are blended drinks of fresh fruits, dark leafy greens, supplements, and Holy Basil that will help you improve your health while also energizing you and transforming your body from the inside out. Best of all — they taste great!

What is Ayurveda?

Ayurveda is the world’s oldest medical system. It offers a holistic approach to health and disease that focuses on preserving and promoting good health and preventing disease through healthy lifestyle practices. These practices include consumption of adaptogenic herbs that enhance the body’s capacity to maintain balance in the midst of life’s stressors.

What are other names for Tulsi Holy Basil?

Ajaka, Albahaca Santa, Bai Gkaprow, Baranda, Basilic Indien, Basilic Sacrè, Basilic Sacrè Pourpre, Basilic Saint, Brinda, Green Holy Basil, Hot Basil, Indian Basil, Kala Tulsi, Kemangen, Krishna Tulasi, Krishna Tulsi, Manjari, Ocimum tenuiflorum, Parnasa, Patrapuspha, Rama Tulsi, Red Holy Basil, Sacred Basil, Sacred Purple Basil, Shyama Tulsi, Sri Tulasi, Suvasa Tulasi, Tulasi, and Tulsi Patra.

Does Tulsi Holy Basil have caffeine?


What if I have more questions about Tulsi Holy Basil?

Contact us!

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