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.
Non-medicinal Ingredients: maltodextrin, sodium stearyl fumarate.
Holy basil has been reported to induce relaxation, promote a feeling of calm and reduce stress. One Indian study examined this effect in patients with generalized anxiety disorder, as anxiety is a central precursor to stress. Thirty-five individuals (21 male and 14 female between the ages of 18-60) were given 500 mg of holy basil twice daily for 60 days. The subjects consisted of people from various professions and walks of life, which is important considering the role played by social status in determining levels of anxiety and stress. Patient progress was measured according to the seven point scoring system of the modified Hamilton’s brief psychiatric rating scale. According to these standardized index scores, depression, anxiety and stress were reduced by 13.2%, 19.2%, and 11.5% respectively.
In animal studies, holy basil helped to lower glucose and cortisol levels that were elevated in laboratory mice. Cortisol is the catabolic hormone released by the adrenal glands in response to stress, and it’s release is synonymous with an inflammatory cascade that is associated with a myriad of ailments in humans, ranging from cardiovascular disease to depression.
Blood Sugar Balance
This role for holy basil has been strongly researched, having reached the multi-clinical stage. One such trial involved patients with unhealthy blood sugar levels and examined the effects of holy basil supplementation on fasting, post-meal blood glucose, and serum cholesterol levels in these patients. It was revealed that holy basil supplementation resulted in a reduction of fasting and post-meal blood glucose levels of 17.6% and 7.3% respectively, with a modest reduction in serum cholesterol levels.
Another human trial involved 27 NIDDM patients, and this one measured more variables and with greater detail. One month of supplementation with one gram of holy basil daily resulted in the significant lowering of blood glucose (20.8%), total amino acids (13.5%), total cholesterol (11.3%), low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (14%), very low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (16.3%) and triglycerides (16.4%). There was also an 11.2% reduction in glycated proteins (which are proteins that are damaged by exposure to glucose without the mediating action of a co-enzyme) as well as a 13.7% reduction in uronic acid, a product of the oxidation of sugar.
Ayurvedic Precepts of Anxiety
There is a significant amount of religious sentiment surrounding the use of Holy Basil in its ancient Ayurvedic form, and it is often planted around Hindu shrines. Even its Indian name of Tulsi is Sanskrit for ‘the incomparable one’, and on an even deeper religious level, the plant is often regarded in India as the consort of Vishnu himself.
With such strong alchemic overtures, it becomes increasingly inviting to view Holy Basil’s evolution into an anti-anxiety treatment as a natural one. Indeed, Holy Basil’s Ayurvedic applications do overlap with some of the symptoms associated with anxiety. One of these is the Ayurvedic practice of using Holy Basil as an aphrodisiac. Another is its use as an anti-stress or adaptogenic remedy, a role shared by another Ayurvedic herb, namely ashwagandha. In fact, ashwagandha and holy basil formed two of the key ingredients in a multi-herbal combination that was shown to reduce numerous measures of stress response in laboratory rats. These stress responses indices included gastric ulceration, plasma corticosterone levels, serum lipid compositions, hepatic/renal functions, glucose intolerance, suppressed sexual drive, induced behavioral despair, cognitive dysfunction and immunosuppression.
The active components of holy basil are powerful antioxidants with a significant ability to scavenge highly reactive and dangerous free radicals and promote normal cell growth. In test tube and animal studies, extracts from holy basil have been shown to increase levels of antioxidant enzymes, prevent lipid peroxidation and protect against oxidative damage. Lipid peroxidation is especially dangerous, as it leads to cellular damage and eventually cell death. As such, lipid peroxidation has been linked to inflammatory conditions and cardiovascular diseases.
Further Benefits Still
This is just the beginning of this amazing herb’s potential actions.
Holy basil seems to exhibit anticonvulsant effects in animal studies in high doses (400-800 mg/kg) comparable to the drug phenytoin.
Research has also shown that holy basil is a very effective anti-inflammatory. In laboratory rats, for example, holy basil reduced paw edema (swelling) by 66%. This seems to be due to the inhibition of the enzyme COX-2 by eugenol, which may also explain holy basil’s capabilities as an analgesic (pain-reliever). COX-2 inhibition is a mechanism common to numerous painkillers.
Holy Basil is also known to be used in India to treat poisonings, and animal studies show that it can decrease measures of mercury toxicity. Holy basil also possesses significant antibacterial properties, effectively killing the species Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus pumilus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Furthermore, holy basil has the potential to be a potent anti-parasitic agent. Studies have shown that active compounds in the plant are effective in killing the parasite Leishmania and the parasite that causes malaria (plasmodium).
There is even some scientific interest in holy basil seed oil as an anti-carcinogenic. Preliminary evidence from laboratory animal studies suggests that the oil can delay progression and improve survival rates in models of fibrosarcoma – a type of malignant tumor derived from connective tissue.
Animal studies also suggest that holy basil seed oil has a protective effect against gastric injury from aspirin, indomethacin, and alcohol. Such studies also appear to demonstrate a vasodilatory effect from holy basil.