Holy Basil Extract
Holy basil extract begins as a herb native to tropical Asia where it’s been cultivated for thousands of years. Modernly this extract offers stress-reducing benefits along with other healthful qualities.
Holy basil extract comes from a plant known as Tulasi in the Ayurvedic* healing tradition, a system that still recognizes the benefits of Holy Basil to this day. This herb originally grew in tropical Asia but now appears in numerous parts of the world, being well suited to pot and container gardening in sunny windows. It’s a sacred plant among Hindus, being dedicated to the god Vishnu, the supreme deity in the Vaishnavite tradition.
*Ayruveda means the knowledge of life. It’s an ancient system for health and wellness, used for eons in Asia. Holy basil appears in documentation from this tradition over the last several centuries. It remains an important plant in various alternative medicines globally
Genus & Species
The scientific name for Holy Basil is Ocimum sanctum. It is different from culinary basil. It belongs to a group of some 60 species of the genus, and still remains highly cultivated in India. Tulsi plants may have green leaves (Sri) or purplish leaves (Krishna) and at least one plant of this type grows wild in the forests.
Holy basil extract has specific active compounds. Nutritionally, it’s high in vitamin A and C, and also contains calcium, zinc and iron. Unlike some plants, this extract has no stimulants. Most importantly to the healing community Holy basil has phytochemicals including eugenol, rsmarinic and ursolic acid. While that sounds like a mouthful, what that means is Holy basil is good for you.
Phytochemicals are the part of various plants that have protective qualities, particularly for fighting disease. While the human body doesn’t require these substances for normal operation, increasing our intake of certain phytochemicals boost the immune system. In the case of this specific herb, the extract acts as a stress deterrent while improving mental focus. The extract comes in both powder and capsule form.
It’s Radical: The Antioxidant Connection
Some of the phytochemicals in Holy Basil have antioxidant attributes. That means they fight free radicals in your body, particularly those that undermine the circulatory and nervous system. This allows the body to function efficiently for longer periods of time even when under extended duress. Those types of result put Holy Basil in the category of an adaptogen. That means, just like it sounds, that it normalizes physical function and helps our bodies “bounce back.”
Another application for Holy Basil’s antioxidants is for skin care. If you have dry skin, this extract nourishes skin cells and hydrates them. Itching and soreness decrease, and even wrinkles seem to lessen.
Beyond this the herb seems to have expectorant characteristics. The anti-inflammatory abilities of the plant make it a good choice for minor upper respiratory infections.
Side Effects of Holy Basil
Holy basil extract seems fairly safe for short-term use. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid this herb. Additionally it’s counter-indicated for individuals scheduled for surgery as it may exasperate bleeding.
NOTE: The information provided above, as with everything on BasilBasics, is subject to the Disclaimer. This is not intended to be medical advice, and we suggest you consult with your physician prior to altering any course of action.
Sources for Holy Basil
Below you will find several sources for Holy Basil and its extract. If you do not find exactly what you are looking for, click on the store name to go directly to the store's website to search more easily.
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