Holy Basil Benefits and Side Effects

Holy basil is a multipurpose herb that has medicinal properties. It can be used to treat diabetes, asthma, cancer, and other diseases related to inflammation. What are some of your favorite uses for holy basil? Do you take it alongside any medications or supplements?

Holy basil is a type of plant that has been used for centuries in Ayurveda, the traditional medical system from India. The benefits from holy basil are numerous, and its uses range from food to aromatherapy. However, holy basil also has potential side effects, including elevated heart rate and insomnia if taken too much or on an empty stomach. Holy basil is a plant that has been used for centuries. It is known for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial properties. The herb is also being studied for its possible benefits in treating cancer.

Tulsi, or holy basil, is a Hindu herb noted for its medicinal properties in preserving homeostasis and combating stress.

The tulsi herb has a long history in India, reaching back 3,000 years. Ayurvedic medicine has long been regarded as an “adaptogen” and therapeutic, sacred plant.

Because of its anti-stress benefits that promote equilibrium across the whole body (including the immunological, reproductive, central neurological, and cardiovascular systems), it was utilized as a medicine in the past and is still used today.

Tulsi is now often used as a supplement or in the form of holy basil tea. According to research, divine basil advantages naturally reduce anxiety and adrenal fatigue/dysfunction and lower hypothyroidism, imbalanced blood sugar, acne, and other ailments.

What Is Holy Basil?

The Lamiaceae basil plant family’s holy basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum or Ocimum sanctum) fragrant shrub. It is supposed to have originated in north-central India and currently flourishes throughout Asia.

The holy basil plant, also known as tulsi, which means “the incomparable one” in Hindu, is a perennial with a mild lemon aroma and purple-pink blossoms.

Tulsi, or holy basil, is a popular houseplant in India. Sacred basil seeds, leaves, blossoms, and stems may also make extracts, oils, and vitamins.

The bulk of the plant’s medicinal chemicals are found in the holy basil leaf, an oval-shaped leaf with a somewhat pointy tip used to prepare tulsi tea.

Rama tulsi, which is white and green, and Shyam tulsi, which is dark pinkish-purple, are the two most prevalent varieties of tulsi. Krishna Tulsi (Ocimum tenuiflorum) and Vana tulsi are two different varieties of tulsi (Ocimum gratissum).

What are the health benefits of holy basil? Researchers are still learning how holy basil operates as a natural organ and tissue defender, guarding against things like:

  • industrial pollutants, for example, create chemical stress.
  • thrash metal
  • Excessive physical exercise causes physical stress and overtraining symptoms.
  • Ischemia is a condition in which there is a (poor blood circulation)
  • cold and heat exposure
  • as well as excessive noise

Its high content of phytonutrients is responsible for several of its beneficial properties, including:

  • eugenol
  • oleanolic acid is a kind of fatty acid.
  • Ursolic acid is a kind of ursolic acid that is
  • rosmarinic acid is a kind of rosmarinic acid.
  • carvacrol
  • and many others

Basil vs. Holy Basil

For culinary and medicinal purposes, at than 40 distinct basil types (perhaps as many as 150) are produced across the globe. Ocimum is the genus that includes all forms of basil.

Is there a distinction between basil and holy basil? Holy basil is characterized as having more peppery, spicy, and minty than the usually available form of “regular” basil (O. basilicum), which has a sweet flavor, which is why it’s often nicknamed “hot basil.”

Many additional basil types have lemon, cinnamon, clove, and other citrus scents and flavors.

Both varieties of basil may be used in cooking, whether fresh or dried, but holy basil possesses medicinal properties that conventional basil does not.

Traditional basil is still an excellent source of antioxidants and a tasty complement to healthful meals, but extracts, essential oils, and supplements are less frequent.


1. Fights Acne and Skin Infections

Antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic (painkilling) activities have been discovered in holy basil.

It’s an excellent natural therapy for wounds, as well as a home remedy for acne and other skin irritations since it may help kill germs that cause breakouts and skin infections. Both internally and topically, it is said to help the skin and cure skin infections.

The principal active chemical in holy basil oil is eugenol, which is also found in the potent antibacterial clove oil and is commonly regarded to treat various skin conditions. Other medicinal components found in holy basil include gamma-caryophyllene and methyl eugenol.

According to research published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science, herbs containing holy basil absorb significantly better. In addition, they are even more effective against acne when used with coconut oil as a carrier.

2. Aids in the prevention of diabetes

Several test tube and animal investigations and human clinical trials have shown that holy basil has the potential to regulate blood sugar (glucose) levels.

Holy basil has been shown to have anti-diabetic properties in a randomized, placebo-controlled, single-blind experiment. During the therapy period, individuals with noninsulin-dependent diabetes reported reductions in fasting blood sugar, postprandial (after a meal) blood sugar, urine blood sugar, and mean total cholesterol levels.

Researchers found that this herb might be used as part of a therapy plan for persons with metabolic syndrome or mild to severe noninsulin-dependent diabetes.

3. Aids in the fight against cancer

According to studies, persons taking tulsi daily are less likely to be immunocompromised and develop specific kinds of cancer cells.

According to studies published, Tulsi and its phytochemicals (including eugenol, rosmarinic acid, apigenin, retinal, luteolin, -sitosterol, and carnosic acid) in the journal Nutrition and Cancer may help prevent chemical-induced lung, liver, oral, and skin cancers in certain circumstances.

This is thought to be owing to the herb’s anti-carcinogenic and antioxidant properties, which modify healthy gene expressions, trigger cancer cell death, inhibit blood vessel expansion from contributing to cancer cell growth, and prevent cancer metastasis (the spread of cancer from one organ to another).

According to a study published in the Journal of Cancer Research and Therapeutics in 2016, holy basil seems to protect the body from radiation poisoning. It may help decrease harm from radiation treatment. It selectively shields normal tissues from the harmful effects of radiation.

The journal Nutrition and Cancer published an intriguing study describing how tulsi may have fewer adverse effects than other cancer therapies due to their non-toxic nature.

4. Stress Hormones are Balanced

According to research, Tulsi may serve as an adaptogen by treating physical, physiological, metabolic, and psychological stress via a unique mix of pharmacological effects. One of this herb’s most well-studied properties is its ability to naturally regulate hormone levels while also assisting in managing anxiety symptoms.

A scholarly paper published in the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine claims:

Tulsi has also been proven to help with metabolic stress by lowering blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels and psychological stress by improving memory and cognitive performance and acting as an anxiolytic and antidepressant.

According to research, holy basil has three phytochemical components that aid in achieving these outcomes. The first two, ocimumosides A and B, have been discovered as anti-stress chemicals and have been shown to reduce blood corticosterone (another stress hormone) and modify neurotransmitter levels in the brain.

The third, 4-allyl-1-O-beta-D-glucopyranosyl-2-hydroxybenzene, is similarly able to decrease stress markers in lab experiments, according to a paper published in Alternative and Complementary Therapies.

According to a study, taking holy basil leaf extract twice daily after meals may help manage symptoms when using holy basil for anxiety. You may also consume tulsi tea or include it in your meals.

Is holy basil a testosterone booster? While some believe it may increase testosterone production by lowering stress and boosting thyroid and adrenal function, there isn’t much data to back this up.

Some early animal studies suggest that the essential ursolic acid in holy basil may diminish fertility by causing sperm damage. As a result, it can be an effective male contraceptive, albeit it is not currently used for this reason medically.

5. Helps to Relieve Fever

Holy basil boosts the immune system and is often suggested as a natural fever reducer, particularly Ayurvedic practitioners. In addition, antibiotic, germicidal, and disinfecting properties are present in holy basil leaves, which implies they may protect humans from germs and viruses.

When we experience fevers, it indicates that our bodies are battling illness. As a result of its infection-fighting abilities, tulsi may aid in the treatment of a fever.

6. Aids in the Treatment of Respiratory Disorders

Holy basil advantages include chemicals such as camphene, eugenol, and cineole, which may help relieve congestion and other respiratory issues.

Scientific studies have proved that this plant has outstanding anti-asthmatic properties and may help with breathing, which is why it’s a popular Ayurvedic herb for respiratory problems.

7. Vitamin K is abundant in this food

One cup of tulsi leaves has more vitamin K than the necessary daily amount, making it an excellent way to avoid vitamin K insufficiency. In addition, vitamin K may help with bone density, digestion, and various other things.

Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin that is crucial for bone and heart health. It’s one of the most important vitamins for bone mineralization and blood clotting, as well as cognitive function, metabolism, and cellular health.

Ocimum tenuiflorum/Ocimum sanctum possesses cardioprotective effects, according to animal research published in the Alternative Medicine Review. To put it another way, it seems to promote heart function through promoting healthy arteries and circulation.

8. Promotes Oral Health and Dental Care

Tulsi may help battle germs in your mouth that may cause cavities, plaque, tartar, and foul breath.

Because substances present in the leaves maintain a healthy oral microbiota, including destroying bacteria and germs lurking in your mouth, it acts as a natural mouth freshener and cleaner. Using a herbal mouthwash containing basil leaf extract twice a day seems to help decrease plaque and gingivitis risk.

Tulsi has also been shown to reduce mouth ulcers and block the development of oral cancer cells in vitro trials. Try putting a drop of tulsi essential oil in your toothpaste or drinking one cup of tulsi tea daily for natural dental care.

9. It Has the Potential to Relieve Headaches

Ayurvedic practitioners recommend holy basil as a natural headache cure that may help reduce migraine discomfort.

According to research, this is thought to be related to its capacity to reduce inflammation, nasal pressure, and muscle tension by combating the impacts of stress. Try diffusing holy basil essential oil or brewing tulsi tea to relieve headache symptoms.

10. Helps to maintain eye health

Our eyes are vulnerable to viral, bacterial, and fungal infections, all of which may be deadly. Because of its anti-inflammatory and relaxing characteristics, tulsi is often used in Ayurveda to treat conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye.

It may also aid in preventing a variety of eye problems, such as cataracts—topical application of a herbal eye drop combination combining turmeric and holy basil extracts. Gupta of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences helps fight the oxidative stress and insoluble protein production that leads to cataracts.

How to Use

Is it possible to consume tulsi holy basil? Yes, Ocimum tenuiflorum and Ocimum sanctum are used to garnish dishes, sauces, and soups and have a pleasant, fragrant scent and a minty flavor. This is why they’re used so often in Indian and Thai cuisine.

Juices, flavored water, and tulsi tea are all typical uses for them. Tulsi, for example, is consumed uncooked in India to treat coughs and colds.

Typical Applications

  • Holy basil essential oil (or holy basil tincture) is available at many health food shops and online under Ocimum tenuiflorum or Ocimum sanctum species. The essential oil of holy basil is extracted from the plant and used in lotions, soaps, perfumes, shampoos, and conditioners. You may also use the oil to diffuse in your house. It’s also possible to inhale the relaxing and immune-boosting benefits.
  • Holy basil supplements – You may buy dried tulsi in pill form, which is occasionally fermented, which some sources claim makes it easier to digest. If you don’t like the smell or flavor of basil, this is a good substitute.
  • Tulsi tea — Ayurvedic practitioners encourage drinking tulsi tea daily as a healthy lifestyle practice. Tulsi tea is a popular Indian beverage that may be substituted for coffee. Tulsi tea may be found at a variety of health food shops. Teabags are available in cartons, or dried tulsi may be used to create your own.

Tulsi Tea: How to Make It at Home

To create this healthful and delightful tea, purchase dried tulsi in bulk and use a tea ball. If you prefer iced tea, just let the tea cool before adding ice and flavorings such as stevia or lemon.

You may also make tulsi juice, which is made from five tulsi leaves soaked in water.

To prepare tulsi leaves, properly clean them and coarsely slice them with a kitchen knife. Fresh tulsi leaves should be used within a day or two after purchase, but they may be kept in a sealed bag in the refrigerator for up to five days.

Allow two to three tablespoons of dried tulsi to soak in boiling water for five minutes before straining off the leaves.

Holy Basil in the Kitchen

This green tea chicken soup dish benefits from a fresh, chopped tulsi spoonful. The inclusion of tulsi boosts the soup’s health benefits by providing infection-fighting and stress-relieving capabilities.

Tulsi leaves/powder may also be used to offer an unusual and surprising taste to daily salads.

Bathing with Tulsi

Using tulsi tea in your bath may help improve organ function and prevent bacterial and fungal infections. Take a look at these ten detox bath recipes.

It’s also a good idea to use holy basil essential oil in your skincare routine to help with acne. For clean skin, use this revitalizing honey face wash.

You may either grow your own Tulsi plant or buy tulsi powder from a health food shop. When purchasing fresh holy basil, seek bright green leaves and free of holes or black stains.


Tulsi holy basil dose is determined by how you use the plant and the problems you’re dealing with.

According to some research, people who take modest dosages of holy basil extract each day, ranging from 200 to 600 mg, have reported benefits in symptoms such as anxiety, discomfort, and indigestion.

For the most significant outcomes, greater dosages, such as 600 to 2,200 mg/day, split into multiple doses, are typically suggested for addressing chronic symptoms.

Side Effects and Risks

What are holy basil’s side effects? Holy basil has been confirmed to be generally safe for frequent ingestion and topical application by researchers.

However, holy basil side effects might include nausea, vomiting, indigestion, and changes in some hormones when taken for a lengthy period.

Do you find that holy basil makes you sleepy? While it may make you feel more relaxed, it is not a sedative and should not make you drowsy.

To be safe, it’s best to utilize this herb for no more than six weeks at a time before taking a vacation.

Keep in mind that tulsi may delay blood clotting, so taking it with other drugs that decrease clotting might lead to more bruising and bleeding. Aspirin, clopidogrel, dalteparin, enoxaparin, heparin, ticlopidine, and warfarin are some of the drugs that slow blood clotting.

It would help if you stopped using holy basil two weeks before any planned operation since it affects blood coagulation.

Because holy basil might create issues during pregnancy and nursing, it’s best to avoid it unless you’re working with a doctor.


  • Holy basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum or Ocimum sanctum) is often mentioned in Ayurvedic medicine as an adaptogen plant that may aid in the treatment of a variety of ailments, particularly those involving stress.
  • This plant is available in various forms, including leaf, powder, supplement, and essential oil. Although holy basil has been used for thousands of years, there have been few reports of adverse effects, and it is recognized to promote general homeostasis and balance.
  • Anxiety is one of the most popular applications for this adaptogen. Acne, diabetes, certain forms of cancer, hormone difficulties, fevers, respiratory illnesses, headaches, and dental concerns are all reasons to incorporate it into the daily regimen.

Holy Basil is a flowering plant that has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine. It is also known as tulsi and is an integral part of the Indian diet. Holy Basil has many benefits, including anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, antioxidant, and antiparasitic. The herb can be taken in food or as a herbal supplement.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does basil interact with any medications?

A: Basil does not interact with any medications, but it is often used as a tea or extract to help aid the symptoms of many illnesses.

What are the side effects of basil?

A: The side effects of basil are mild, including headache and dizziness.

Are there any side effects of Tulsi?

A: There are no side effects of Tulsi.

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