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Herb Reference Guide

Holy Basil

History

In the Charaka Samhita the consumate text on Ayurveda writen around 1,000BC; Ocimum sanctum is described as "the incomparable one" and is considered to be an incarnation of Tulasi or Vrindavani, a consort of Lord Vishnu. It is considered a symbol of fidelity and helpful in attaining spiritual enlightenment. It has been used to support a healthy response to stress, maintain blood sugar levels within a normal range, promote longevity, nourish the mind and elevate the spirit. Holy Basil exhibits impressive adaptogenic activity. Helping the body adapt to stresses of various kinds, this plant has a normalizing, broad-spectrum action that maintain homeostasis.

Function

As a Rasayana and Adaptogen, Holy Basil maintains equilibrium among biochemicals associated with the stress system in the body. Ursolic, Rosmarinic acids and Eugenol have all shown antioxidant activity and support normal levels of inflammation. Further research is needed to fully determine the exact biochemical activity found in this plant.

Uses of Holy Basil

Disclaimer

This information in our Herbal Reference Guide is intended only as a general reference for further exploration, and is not a replacement for professional health advice. This content does not provide dosage information, format recommendations, toxicity levels, or possible interactions with prescription drugs. Accordingly, this information should be used only under the direct supervision of a qualified health practitioner such as a naturopathic physician.

Active Constituents

Eugenol, carvacol, linalool, caryophylline, and methyleugenol as well as triterpenes such as ursolic acid and flavonoids

Parts Used

  • Leaf

Important precautions

Additional Resources

Kelm MA, Nair MG, Strasburg GM, Dewitt DL Phytomedicine. 2000 Mar; 7(1): 7-13