Holy Basil is twice the spice and benefits the body, inside and out.
While basil may conjure images of fresh pesto and caprese salad, holy basil (or, tulsi) swaps the spice cabinet for the medicine cabinet.
Holy basil (Ocimum sanctum, or Ocimum tenuiflorum) has roots that run deep in Indian Ayurveda. Its Hindu name, tulsi, translates to “the incomparable one” due to its incredible variety of health and medicinal applications, not just nutritionally — but in mind, body, and spirit.
Not only is holy basil rich in antioxidants like vitamin A and C, it provides a good source of zinc, iron, and calcium for bone health (iii). It is an aromatic herb with a peppery, clove-like scent, and is commonly used to treat respiratory issues like bronchitis, congestion, and sinusitis (ii). Because of these applications, preparing the herb as a tea is the most common way to reap its benefits.
Holy basil is considered an adaptogen, meaning it helps balance our body’s natural response to stress, which, in current times, can be constant. When one experiences stress, our adrenal glands release hormones like adrenaline and cortisol to give the body a boost of energy to overcome the situation. Chronic stress can become a problem as the constant release of these hormones can throw off systems of the body like our immune, digestive and nervous system, which can lead to severe illness. (i)
Additionally, increased cortisol levels encourage bone mineral removal, and can deter calcium absorption and bone cell growth (iv). Therefore, those who experience continual stress and increased cortisol levels are at greater risk of developing osteoporosis.
Holy basil is an herb that can be easily grown at home. While native to India, it can be grown it in your garden just like any annual herb. Harvest it by cutting just above the bottom 3 sets of leaves. This way, the plant will continue to grow and you can harvest several times throughout the season. (v)
Adding holy basil to your daily routine not only brings balance to your body, it’s a great way to protect your bones naturally.
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(i) Holy Basil: Relieve Anxiety and Stress Naturally
(ii) Natural Remedy for Sinusitis – tulsi or basil leaves
(iii) Top 15 Benefits & Uses of Holy Basil (Tulsi) https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/herbs-and-spices/health-benefits-of-holy-basil-tulsi.html
(iv) Cortisol and Bone Loss https://mavendoctors.io/osteoporosis/bone-health/cortisol-and-bone-loss-nNDSjj89cUyitv21oY4X8g/
(v) How to Grow Tulsi Plant – Care and Growing Holy Basil