Ocimum sanctum

Holy Basil

Ocimum sanctum

Holy Basil

In the "Charaka Samhita" the consummate text on Ayurveda written around 1000 BC, Holy Basil 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 (Ocimum sanctum) exhibits impressive adaptogenic activity. Helping the body adapt to stresses of various kinds, this plant has a normalizing, broad-spectrum action that maintain homeostasis.

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Traditional Health Benefits of Holy Basil

Stress Support, Brain & Cognitive Support, Immune Support, Foundational Support, Glycemic Support, Digestive Support

What is Holy Basil Used for?

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.

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Active Constituents of Holy Basil

essential oil (Eugenol, carvacol, linalool, caryophylline), and polyphenols (rosemarinic acid), triterpenes (ursolic acid) and flavonoids

Parts Used


Additional Resources

1.) Gupta SK, Prakash J, Srivastava S. Validation of traditional claim of Tulsi, Ocimum sanctum Linn. as a medicinal plant. Indian J Exp Biol 2002;40:765-73. 2.) Kelm MA, Nair MG, Strasburg GM, Dewitt DL Phytomedicine. 2000 Mar; 7(1): 7-13 3.) Kumar A, Agarwal K, Maurya AK, et al. Pharmacological and phytochemical evaluation of Ocimum sanctum root extracts for its antiinflammatory, analgesic and antipyretic activities. Pharmacogn Mag 2015;11(Suppl 1):S217-24. 4.) Bhishagratna K. An English Translation of the Sushruta Samhita, Based on Original Sanskrit Text, with a Full and Comprehensive Introd., Additional Texts, Different Readings, Notes, Comparative Views, Index, Glossary And Plates, 2nd ed. Varanasi, India: Chowkhamba Sanskrit Series Office, 1963. 5.) Nadkarni, K.M. Dr. K.M. Nadkarni’s Indian Materia Medica. Vol. 1. 3rd Edition. Bombay Popular Prakashan. 1976. 6.) Dass, Vishnu. Ayurvedic Herbology East & West. A Practical Guide to Ayurvedic Herbal Medicine. Lotus Press: Twin Lakes WI. 2013.

Important Precautions

Not to be used during pregnancy. If you have a medical condition or take pharmaceutical drugs, please consult with your doctor before use.


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.

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