Holy Basil - natural de-stresser ++
06-01-2007 02:22 PM
Holy Basil - natural de-stresser ++
Lift your spirits with holy basil: a sacred herb in India, holy basil is gaining devotion here for fighting stress and lowering blood sugar
Amber D. Ackerson
Known as tulsi in Ayurvedic medicine, holy basil has been used in India since before 1000 BC for numerous ailments, including fever, inflammation, malaria, dysentery, diarrhea, constipation, indigestion, bronchitis, bronchial asthma, arthritis, insect bites, skin conditions and painful eye diseases.
With so many potential applications, it's not surprising that tulsi means "matchless" in Hindi. Incidentally, the holy basil plant was so named because it often graced Indian temples and courtyards.
What It Does Best
Holy basil is primarily used to combat stress, decrease blood sugar and improve digestion. The herb appears to work as an adaptogen--in other words, it helps the body adapt to stress in a healthy way, supports immune function and bolsters resistance against disease.
The whole seed acts as a bulk-forming laxative, soothing irritated mucous membranes and relieving both constipation and diarrhea. The oil is used to enhance digestion and reduce intestinal gas.
In his book Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine, British author and herbalist Andrew Chevallier lists holy basil juice as a remedy for insect bites, ringworm and skin diseases when applied topically.
Research Highlights Multiple Benefits
Preliminary research suggests that holy basil has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and in the case of holy basil oil, antibacterial capabilities. In Indian studies mostly done on animals, this Ayurvedic botanical was shown to help reduce the effects of chronic stress, promote wound healing, lower blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetes, slow age-related memory impairment and lower cholesterol. More research is needed, however, before these applications can become scientifically established for human treatment.
In an older human study from the International Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, holy basil leaf was found to be more effective than placebo at lowering blood sugar. A recent test tube study from the Journal of Endocrinology may explain how this happens: The herb is thought to stimulate the secretion of insulin, the blood sugar--regulating hormone produced by the pancreas.
Holy basil contains polyphenols (antioxidants also found in green tea and other herbs) that theoretically could help reduce cardiovascular disease risk: Some test tube studies suggest that polyphenols from holy basil inhibit the function of genes involved in fatty plaque formation. Eugenol, ursolic acid and rosmarinic acid are the three active compounds that have been identified thus far in holy basil.
Holy basil is not recommended for those who are pregnant, nursing or trying to conceive. This caution comes from the herb's possible (although not established) effect on hormones. Also, avoid ingesting the oil if you have any type of kidney or liver disease, as you may experience difficulty eliminating it from your body. There are no known drug interactions with holy basil.
Getting the Dosage Right
Here is a guide to dosages based on the different forms of holy basil:
* Softgel capsules containing standardized holy basil leaf extract in an oil base (look for supercritical extract): Take 2 capsules daily with 8 oz. water, or as directed on the label.
* Whole dried leaf capsules: Take enough capsules to provide 2.5gm daily, or as recommended on the label.
* Tea (holy basil is commonly referred to as tulsi on tea packages): Drink 3 cups daily.
* Holy basil seed oil: Use 2-5 drops on affected areas three times daily.
QUICK TIP: Canker Sore No More
Got a canker sore? Rub holy basil powder (split open a capsule and use the contents) on the area several times a day.
NEW CHAPTER SUPERCRITICAL HOLY BASIL is harvested in the Himalayan region to ensure purity.
PARADISE HERBS HOLY BASIL VCAPS also have the herbs lotus and bacopa.
ORGANIC INDIA TULSI TEA is caffeine-free drink featuring holy basil leaves and blossoms.
NATURE'S WAY HOLY BASIL VCAPS are standardized to contain 2.5% usolic acid.
06-03-2007 01:24 PM
06-29-2007 05:05 PM
To help combat her depression, which is moderate to severe, my wife has been taking it for about 4 weeks now and last night told me that she feels much better because of it. Normally when she's feeling depressed she'll turn to food, but the last couple of days she hasn't felt the need and her overall mood has improved. Prior to taking this, she was using St. John's Wort, but has found Holy Basil to be much more effective.
03-24-2008 12:17 PM
Been using Holy Basil extract this last several days and I have to say, it does have a profound impact on stress levels. Feel good, energized yet relaxed.
2 caps 3 x per day. On an empty stomach seems to work for me.
Will try to get my stressed out wife on it and report back.
03-24-2008 12:30 PM
Running with the Big Boys
Sounds interesting, I'll be watching to see how it goes for stress levels.
03-24-2008 12:44 PM
It's definitely interesting stuff. I feel "well rested" and relaxed. It's a weener!
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