A sacred herb with wide-ranging benefits
- Reduces anxiety & supports blood sugar balance
- Anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and pain-relieving
- Clinically researched dose
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Though related to the basil we use in cooking, Holy Basil has different medicinal properties. Ocimum tenuiflorum (also known as Ocimum sanctum, tulsi or holy basil) is a medicinal plant with a long history of traditional use in India and in Ayurvedic medicine. Traditionally, holy basil was used to treat everything from malaria, diarrhea, and dysentery, to skin diseases, joint inflammation, painful eye diseases, chronic fever and insect bites. This is likely due to Holy basil’s numerous active constituents including tannins, phenolic compounds and flavonoids which are responsible for its antifungal, antibacterial, anti-parasitic, antispasmodic, analgesic, hepatoprotective, cardioprotective, and cellular protective activities.
Today, Holy basil is mainly used as an adaptogen as it has been reported to induce relaxation, promote a feeling of calm and reduce stress and moodiness. It has also been shown to reduce blood sugar and cholesterol in diabetic subjects, and animal studies have shown reductions in cortisol, the stress hormone.
AOR’s Holy Basil is an excellent option for those looking for an herbal anti-stress supplement with additional blood sugar balancing and cardiovascular benefits.
Holy Basil is traditionally used in Ayurveda as an expectorant or a demulcent to help relieve cough (Kasa) and colds, as well as a cardiotonic (Hrdya) to help support the contractions of the heart.
AOR™ guarantees that all ingredients have been declared on the label. Contains no wheat, gluten, nuts, peanuts, sesame seeds, sulphites, mustard, soy, dairy, eggs, fish, shellfish or any animal by product.
Take two capsules daily with or without food, or as directed by a qualified health care practitioner.
Do not use if you are pregnant or attempting to conceive. Consult a health care practitioner prior to use if you have diabetes, if you are taking any heart or blood pressure medication, if you are breastfeeding or if symptoms persist or worsen. This product contains a corn derived ingredient, do not use this product if you have such an allergy.
- Blood sugar balance
The information and product descriptions appearing on this website are for information purposes only, and are not intended to provide or replace medical advice to individuals from a qualified health care professional. Consult with your physician if you have any health concerns, and before initiating any new diet, exercise, supplement, or other lifestyle changes.
Holy Basil Systemic Review of Human Studies
This 2017 review was the first systemic review of human clinical trials relating to the clinical effects of ingested Holy basil (common name tulsi). The review found 24 articles that met their inclusion criteria with most outcome measures relating to blood glucose levels, lipid profile, blood pressure, immune response, neurocognitive changes, fatigue, and mood. Regarding safety and adverse events, only one of the 24 studies reported occasional nausea in supplementation with obese patients. The review describes effects in multiple categories with results as follows:
- Immune studies: five human clinical studies examined demonstrated an enhanced immune response with as much as 300mg of leaf extract for four weeks. A number of mechanisms have been identified for immune function including increased NK and T-helper cells. Further 10g of fresh leaf aqueous extracts were studied in acute viral infection management.
- Neurocognitive and mood effects: four studies reviewed showed generalized improvements in mood, and cognitive function in healthy participants, with most studies examining 300 mg. Improvements in anxiety with long term use. Stress-related symptoms reduced by 31.6-39% compared to control groups.
- Metabolic conditions: six trials were identified with randomized clinical trials with placebo controls. These studies showed a more pronounced impact on fasting blood glucose levels in longer studies (ie. 12-13 weeks vs four to five weeks of supplementation). It was also shown to be an effective adjunct to current hypoglycemic medication in managing HbA1c levels.
Jamshidi N, Cohen MM. The Clinical Efficacy and Safety of Tulsi in Humans: A Systematic Review of the Literature. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2017;2017:9217567. doi:10.1155/2017/9217567
Immunomodulatory Effects of Holy Basil Supplementation
This 2011 double-blind placebo-controlled trial tested the effects of a 300 mg 70% ethanolic tulsi extract on healthy volunteers between the ages of 18-60 years old compared with placebo (n=24). Whole blood cultures and cytokine assay was performed at baseline, at four weeks of placebo, after a three-week washout period, and after completion of crossover intervention. Two patients were unable to complete the study due to adverse effects of nausea and loose stools at the first visit. While this study found statistically significant increases in both IFN-gamma and IL-4 in the treatment group vs placebo arm, the IFN- gamma increase was still higher and accompanied a significant difference in the lymphocytes and NK-cells after four weeks of supplementation. Though no change in T-cytotoxic and B cells in either group. The significance of this being that INF- gamma mediates the Th1 type response for: antiviral, antibacterial, anti-proliferative, antitumor, and anti-allergic responses. The dual activation indicated that a sufficient TH1 polarisation was initiated followed by TH2 response. A longer duration study would be warranted to understand long term immune effects.
Mondal S, Varma S, Bamola VD, et al. Double-blinded randomized controlled trial for immunomodulatory effects of Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum Linn.) leaf extract on healthy volunteers. J Ethnopharmacol. 2011;136(3):452-456. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2011.05.012
Generalized Stress RCT
In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study published in 2012, 158 participants were sorted into placebo (n=79) or treatment (n=71) to assess the change in self-reported symptoms of stress- including forgetfulness, sexual and sleep dysfunction, headaches, and irritability etc. The treatment group was given 1200 mg of a commercially available Holy Basil extract for six weeks. Individual symptom rating scales were administered at, two, four, and six weeks of the trial for both groups. After six weeks of intervention, Holy Basil was 39% more effective in reducing symptoms of stress compared to placebo. Overall, improvements in forgetfulness (decreased intensity by one third observed in the placebo group), sexual problems (improved by 87.5%), fatigue, daytime sleepiness significantly improved. While the placebo group reported an aggravation in some of the symptoms of stress such as frequent sleep problems and abnormal sensory perceptions from week four to week six. Indicating a stronger correlation between improvements and intervention.
Saxena RC, Singh R, Kumar P, et al. Efficacy of an Extract of Ocimum tenuiflorum (OciBest) in the Management of General Stress: A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:894509. doi:10.1155/2012/894509
GAD and Holy Basil
Holy Basil has been reported to promote relaxation, improve anxiety and symptoms of stress. Thirty-five participants were given a 500 mg capsule of standardized Holy Basil, twice daily for 60 days. According to the modified Hamilton’s brief psychiatric rating scale, Holy Basil significantly improved symptoms of stress (27.5%), depression (30.5%), and generalized anxiety (34.2%). This study also proposed that holy basil may have a significant role in the regulation of the HPA axis in stress-related disorders.
Bhattacharyya, D., Sur, T.K., Jana, U., and Debnath, P.K. (2008). Controlled programmed trial of Ocimum sanctum leaf on generalized anxiety disorders. Nepal Med. Coll. J. NMCJ 10, 176–179. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19253862/