Stress [rate]

Holy basil, scientifically known as Ocium sanctum is an ancient herb used in ayurvedic medicine in India. The herb also known as tulsi, comes in both green and red varieties and its grown for the many perceived health benefits. The herb can be characterized by its strong and pleasant aroma as with its sweet basil cousin, growing a bush of 2 to 3 feet to produce purple flowers. Over the years, holy basil has gained popularity in Western countries because of its special abilities to lower cortisol levels related to stress, as well as being a weight loss alternative herb.

Holy Basil

Stress reducing properties
One of the earlier researches on the herb found that taking about 500 mg of the leaf extract at least twice a day after meals for 60 days could see reduced anxiety, depression and associated stress in people with anxiety. An earlier research had shown that taking 400 mg of the basil leaf extract orally in the morning and 800 mg at night for 6 weeks decreased the symptoms of stress. These symptoms include forgetfulness, sleep problems, sexual problems, exhaustion and fatigue.


How it works
Other than the antioxidant properties given by its oils, chemicals in holy basil have also shown abilities to decrease pain and inflammation. Preliminary research also indicates that basil in the diet may help control blood sugar levels. For diabetics, however, care should be taken as the herb has also shown the abilities to lower blood sugars and this may cause low blood sugar levels to those who are already on medications to control blood sugar.

Stress can harm your stomach in a number of ways. It can cause acid reflux as well as ulcers. Holy basil has, however, shown anti-cancer properties.  Other than regulating the stomach acid, it also increases the production of protective mucus.  A recent animal research has also suggested that fresh basil can significantly lower the harmful cholesterol in the blood as well as guard the heart from chronic stress.