Holy basil, commonly referred to as tulsi, is classified as a perennial plant originally grown in India. Although it is native to India, holy basil is known to grow in other countries around the world today, including Australia, some countries located in the Middle East, and even West Africa.
In addition to this, holy basil is known for its aromatic properties. These properties give holy basil multiple uses when it comes to health, both when it is ingested (such as in tea) or when it is applied topically.
Health Benefits of Holy Basil
Get to know some of the phenomenal health benefits of holy basil now.
1. Heals Infections and Wounds
Holy basil has the ability to heal infections and wounds because it contains antibacterial properties. These antibacterial properties are responsible for allowing basil to prevent infections as well as heal wounds in shorter amounts of time because the plant increases the body’s production of collagen, a structural protein in the skin.
Holy basil encourages the body’s production of collagen especially at sites on the body with wounds. Because of this boost in collagen production, basil is able to speed up the healing process for bodily wounds.
In addition to this, holy basil is also able to protect the body from infections because the plant combats harmful free radicals that often cause infections as well as other severe medical problems.
Furthermore, holy basil contains various other properties that help heal infections and protect wounds, such as antiviral, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic properties.
2. Lowers High Blood Sugar
Typically, high blood sugar is associated with type 2 diabetes. Consequently, holy basil has the ability to help relieve the symptoms correlated with type 2 diabetes because the plant helps lower the blood sugar of individuals with this condition.
Not only this, but holy basil also has the capability of eliminating other symptoms of diabetes, such as weight gain, high cholesterol, insulin resistance, hypertension, and even excess insulin in the blood.
More specifically, basil contains properties that control the body’s production and release of cortisol, which is essentially a steroid hormone present in the body, specifically in the adrenal gland.
By controlling the body’s production of cortisol, holy basil contributes to the body’s release of sugar in the blood. This gives holy basil the ability to decrease the amount of cortisol in the body, which then gives the plant the ability to lower high blood sugar in affected individuals.
3. Improves Cognitive Function
Basil is capable of helping with an individual’s attention span, hyperactivity, as well as impulsive behavior, which are all symptoms commonly associated with cognitive disorders, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
These cognitive disorders are generally caused by an imbalance of a steroid hormone known as cortisol. Basil helps control the body’s cortisol production, thus regulating behavior as well as cognitive function and increasing the brain’s mental clarity and focus.
In addition to this, holy basil also has the ability to protect an individual’s memory because the plant contains a chemical known as cineole.
Cineole is a terpene, which gives basil the ability to serve as a potential treatment option for individuals negatively affected by Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, as well as other memory disorders.
Moreover, cineole is capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier, which gives the terpene the ability to interact with the brain cells associated with memory.
4. Reduces Joint Pain and Inflammation
Holy basil has the ability to relieve joint pain and inflammation because the plant contains a compound known as eugenol, which is responsible for reducing pain and inflammation in the joints.
Not only this, but holy basil also contains cineole, which can also be beneficial for relieving joint pain because it eases inflammation when it’s applied topically to an affected area.
Furthermore, basil contains a chemical known as beta-caryophyllene. This chemical is capable of fighting bacteria and inflammation in the body.
Typically, inflammation is caused by the brain’s cannabinoid system when it attempts to control pain. Beta-caryophyllene is responsible for activating the endocannabinoid receptor system, thus regulating the way the body feels pain and reducing it.
5. Alleviates Anxiety and Stress
Holy basil has the ability to relieve stress because it acts as an adaptogen, which is classified as a natural substance that promotes a balance in the body’s mental states. Not only that, but holy basil also controls the body’s release of cortisol as well as corticosterone, which are both associated with regulating the body’s stress and anxiety levels.
Stress is typically caused by chemical, physical, or emotional factors. And holy basil is capable of increasing the body’s endurance for physical stress because it has been proven to both enhance metabolism and cause less tissue damage.
Furthermore, holy basil contains a chemical known as linalool, which is defined as a terpene that aids in lowering the negative effects stress has on the body.
Lastly, holy basil has the ability to balance the hormones in the body naturally, which essentially calms the body and keeps it running smoothly. It improves the conditions that stress causes to the body that may have physical, chemical, metabolic, and psychological effects.
The plant also contains phytochemical compounds, which create positive transitions in the neurotransmitter system of the brain, which essentially aids the body in lowering overall stress.
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