Updated: Nov 24, 2019
Ocimum tenuiflorum, ocimum sanctum
Also called hot basil, indian basil, kala tulsi and sacred basil .
Holy basil is an fragrant plant indigenous of india, but also found in australia, west africa, and some middle eastern countries. Popular in ayurvedic medicine, basil is considered a sacred plant utilized by the hindus. The hindu nicknamed holy basil, tulsi, which translates to "the incomparable one". It is also referred to as "hot basil" because of its peppery savor.
Applicable parts used
Leaves, stems, seeds, and oil
Symbolizes good wishes, love, wealth, flying, and protection
Organs & systems affected
Endocrine, cardiovascular, nervous, cardiovascular, immune system.
A tonic for melancholy and low spirits
Mechanism of action
Analgesic, anthelmintic, antibiotic, anticancer, anticonvulsant, antidiabetic, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antilipidemic, antispasmodic, antioxidant, antiplatelet, antipyretic, anxiolytic, anti-thyroidal , antiulcerogenic, hypotensive, immunomodulating, radioprotective, sedative, and wound healing.
Anise and licorice-like (slightly spicy); warming .
Leaves and stems constituents: saponins, flavonoids, triterpenoids, and tannins.
The leaves also contain an essential oil with constituents including eugenol, methyl eugenol, and caryophyllene, polysaccharides.
The seed oil: contains linoleic acid, linolenic acid, oleic acid, palmitic acid, and stearic acid .
Orally: common cold, influenza, hyperglycemia, inflamed lungs, earache, headache, stomach upset, fever, malaria, anxiety, and stress. It is also used for mercury poisoning, to promoted longevity, as a mosquito repellent, and as an antidote to snake and scorpion bites. Topically: ringworm and dental plaque.
Precaution & adverse reactions
Nausea and loose stool have been reported.
Anticoagulants, antidiabetics, and pentobarbital.
Pregnancy and lactation
Do not use this if pregnant or trying to become pregnant as in high doses basil reduce the rate of implantation.
Herbal infusion: 1-2 teaspoon per cup. Steep 5 to 10 minutes. Drink as needed
Tincture: 1 to 10 drops as needed.
Anxiety: holy basil leaf extract 500 mg twice daily following meals for 60 days
Stress: a specific holy bail extract (ocibest, natural remedies pvt. Ltd.) 400 mg orally in the morning and 800 mg orally at night has been used
Dental plaque: 10 ml of a mouthwash containing 4% holy basil leaf extract has been used twice daily for 30 days
Diabetes: holy basil leaf powder 2.5 grams mixed in 200 ml of water and consumed daily in the morning for 4 weeks or holy basil 250 mg twice daily for 3 months
Our favorite pairings
Bay, cilantro, garlic, oregano, mint, parsley, rosemary, sage, and thyme.
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Pursell, jj. The herbal apothecary: 100 medicinal herbs and how to use them. Timber press. Kindle edition.