Holy Basil has been used from ancient times to boost up the immune system or to cure many bacterial, fungal, and viral infections. It is commonly known by the name of tulsi, and its biological name is Ocimum tenuiflorum. In today’s pollutant environment, people get easily prone to many infections and diseases, where tulsi has proven to be one of the best home remedies to cure such illnesses.
According to Ayurveda science, tulsi is one of the best natural antibiotics that have many remarkable medicinal qualities. In this article, we will further discuss more, what is holy basil, it’s way to intake, its supplements, and how it boosts up our immunity? So, let us take a brief on it.
Content: Holy Basil for Immunity
Holy basil is the sacred herb that has violet flowers, green stems with a purple tinge. It tastes bitter and spicier than the other species and is slightly astringent. Holy basil is one of the revered herb to get rid of inflammation and stress. The whole plant including leaves, stems, seeds are used in the ayurvedic medicinal preparations. Basil is always planted in the courtyard for decades, as Ayurveda makes us believe that it purifies the aura and invigorating our immune system.
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Order: Lamiales
- Family: Lamiaceae
- Genus: Ocimum
- Species: O. tenuiflorum
- Common name: Tulsi
- Origination: It has been originated in India.
Holy Basil as Adaptogens
Adaptogens can define as the herbs or plants that are non-toxic and function as a stimulant in counter to any physical, chemical, and biological stresses. In simple words, we can say that holy basil is an adaptogenic herb that deals with both short term and long term stresses and supports the stress response system.
Far back from the Greek and Roman times, holy basil has been used in the preparation of ayurvedic medicines because of its healing property. So, the adaptogenic herbs protect the body and maintains a wellness. It contains vitamins A and C, calcium, zinc, and iron that are needed for the metabolism of the body.
It protects the body counteracting with different parasitic, fungal, bacterial, and viral agents, lowers blood sugar level, detox the stomach, etc. According to Ayurveda science, holy basil has therapeutic potential for individual health.
A human body deals with daily chemical exposure and various pollutants that can damage our organs and tissues. The regular consumption of holy basil found effective in detoxifying the body’s cells and organs.
In the modern world, the workload causes physical stress. Holy basil is effective against prolonged physical exertion, ischemia, physical restraint, etc.
It reduces metabolic stress by normalizing the blood glucose, blood pressure, and lipid levels in our body.
As the workload increases, the psychological stress will also come into action that can lead to many health issues. It is effective in reducing mental stress through its cognitive function and it’s anxiolytic and anti-depressant properties.
Tulsi’s shares a wide spectrum against the antimicrobial activity of various human and animal pathogens. Nowadays, herbal sanitizers, soaps, mouthwash, ointments are commonly used by many of us, who believe in Ayurveda, which now offers solutions to many modern problems.
Holy Basil Phytochemicals
The active biochemical products of holy basil include:
- Ursolic acid (triterpenoid)
- Eugenol (volatile oil)
- Rosemarinic acid (phenylpropanoid)
Other active compounds includes:
- Ooleanolic acid
- Vitamin C, calcium
Ursolic acid is a potent chemical that is popularly used as an antitumor agent (it suppresses protein kinase C activity, down-regulates MMP-9, and induces apoptosis). Besides, it also shows hepatoprotective, anti-inflammatory (COX-2 inhibition), antiulcer, antimicrobial, antihyperlipidemic, and antiviral properties.
Eugenol and rosmarinic acid treats radiation-induced DNA damage that sometimes cause the formation of cancerous cells . Also, it shows the antioxidant property. Tulsi essential oil contains 70% of eugenol, 11% of β-elemene, 8% of β-caryophyllene, and 2% of germacrene.
Ways to Use Tulsi
Tulsi or Holi basil can be taken naturally from the leaf extract or in a supplemented form (capsules) to boost up or energize the immune system. One can intake tulsi naturally in the following ways:
In raw form
We can intake tulsi in raw form by directly chewing its leaves. Fresh Tulsi leaves are regarded as an ‘adaptogen’ or anti-stress agent. It has been studied that chewing raw tulsi leaves daily maintain blood pressure level and prevent stress. It also purifies the blood.
The leaf extract of holy basil can be used to prepare a variety of drinks that keeps our immune system healthy. Tulsi extract with ginger and spices like cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper is proven to be effective against parasitic infections (like malaria and dengue) and viral infections or flu-like symptoms. In common language, it is called kadha that has been used for a very long time.
We can prepare another drink by taking tulsi extract, honey, and a pinch of turmeric powder show anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal properties that protect us counteract with cough and cold.
We can also add tulsi in our diet by having a tulsi tea prepared by boiling tulsi leaves, jaggery, and water. This drink keeps the digestive system healthy and also show anti-bacterial properties that keep you safe from seasonal fever and flu. The leaves are also used in many of the thai cuisine.
These are available in the form of pills or capsules. Its daily dose ranges from 300 mg to 2,000 mg in case of general preventative purposes, but can be taken only when prescribed by your medical practitioner.
Role in Providing Immunity
Our immune system deals with biological, chemical, physical, and metabolic stresses every day, and to keep it healthy we need to take care of it. Holy basil shows phenomenal healing property because of its phytonutrients.
Fever is not a disease, its an infection caused by some protozoa, bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Holy Basil is an atypical antibiotic and disinfectant agent. These formidable properties of tulsi heal the body from all sorts of infections and cure the resulting fever.
Holy basil is an incomparable herb that boosts the immune system and provides a remedy for treating infections in the respiratory tract. The active phytochemicals, bioflavonoids, and anti-oxidants in a basil extract prove to be an effective anti-microbial agent. It treats cough, sore throat, inflammation of the chest. Intake of tulsi tea (1-2cups) daily power-ups the immune system especially during the monsoon season, when the chances of people getting cold and cough are at higher risks. Tulsi helps to expectorate the mucus.
The basil essential oil shows a strong antibiotic, disinfectant, antibacterial and antifungal effect. If it’s applied to the body, then it protects from the bite of mosquitoes and other insects that sometimes can hamper our immune system. Chewing basil leaves can heal both internal and external skin disorders or infections.
Holy basil is a natural antibiotic that nearly protects the body in counter to viral, bacteria, fungal, and protozoan infections. Tulsi extract escalates the efficiency of helper T-cells and natural killer cells to invigorate the immune system by keeping all sorts of infections aside.
Therefore, we can conclude that holy basil has a limitless role in Ayurveda for decades. Now, modern science has also accepted that it’s a magical plant having innumerable health benefits. We must acknowledge our remedies of ancient times, which now do wonders against life-threatening virus like COVID-19. As we all are aware of pandemic corona disease that has no vaccine yet, but ayurvedic remedies helped people to boost their immunity to fight against such diseases.