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Holy Basil - Tulsi

Posted by Noble Savage on

Tulsi, often called "Holy Basil", is a sacred plant in the Hindu belief. The plant is cultivated for religious purposes, as it's often used in rituals, but also for its health benefits.

As its name implies, the uses and benefits of Tulsi are numerous:

Stress and anxiety

All parts of the plant act as adaptogen. Adaptogens are natural (often organic) compounds that help the body and mind adapt to stress and achieve balance. The concept of adaptogen is a holistic approach, but modern science has proved that stress indeed comes from various sources: e.g. chemical, physical, infectious, emotional, etc., so a holistic approach may be the best approach.

Some studies have shown that animals so regularly took Tulsi and were exposed to environment-induced stress scenarios showed enhanced metabolism, less tissue damage, and lower stress levels in loud environments.

Targeted human studies showed reduced: sexual and sleep problems, forgetfulness, exhaustion, and stress - all of them consequences of (chronic) stress exposure.

Some other studies (Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine) have shown that Tulsi leaves have antidepressant properties similar to diazepam and antidepressant drugs - less anxiousness, stress, and reduced symptoms of depression.

Natural oxidation protection

Tulsi is rich in antioxidants and phenolic compounds, making it a great addition to the body's natural toxin-protection mechanisms. 

Laboratory studies have shown that tulsi protects against toxic chemical-induced injury by increasing the body's levels of anti-oxidant molecules such as glutathione and enhancing the activity of antioxidant enzymes such as superoxide dismutase and catalase, which protect cellular organelles and membranes by mopping up damaging free radicals caused by lack of oxygen and other toxic agents.

Stomach protection

Tulsi can counter the effects of stress-induced ulcers. Through various mechanisms, it increases the stomach's "defense" by decreasing stomach acid, increasing mucus secretion, increasing mucus cells, extending the life of mucus cells. These properties make tulsi a recommended addition to treating numerous stomach issues, especially those caused by hyperproduction of acid.

Other benefits

Some other, less-mentioned benefits of Tulsi are: lowering of blood sugar, protection against infections and wounds, lowering of cholesterol, easing inflammation and joint pain, and help with weight loss.

 

 

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