What Are The Health Benefits of Holy Basil?
Feb 7th 2022
Did you know there’s a remarkable herb that helps with stress relief AND cognitive function AND immune support… all rolled into one? This herbal overachiever is none other than Holy Basil, also known as “Queen of Herbs” or “The Incomparable One.” Let’s get into a Holy Basil state of mind and explore this botanical power player. It’s so good you might want to add it to your supplement pantry, pronto!
What is Holy Basil?
Also known as “Tulsi,” Holy Basil is a member of the mint or Lamiaceae family. It is a square-stemmed herb that loves hot temperatures. Originally from India, it now grows all over the world. New Chapter sources Holy Basil from India, where it grows best. Holy Basil is a small shrub that grows to be about 1-2 feet tall. It gets the name “holy” due to cherished associations with Hindu divinity. Many homes in India have a Holy Basil plant growing in a place of honor in the front courtyard or near the front door. It has been part of the fabric of life and culture in India and other parts of Asia since ancient times! A Holy Basil plant is like a precious piece of history that we can appreciate (and benefit from) to this day.
Is Holy Basil Different Than Basil?
There are about 60 types of Basil overall–Holy Basil (Ocimum sanctum) is one of these types. You can grow Holy Basil in your garden, particularly in hotter climates, and harvest the leaves throughout the summer. Other kinds of Basil include Sweet Basil (Ocimum basilicum), Lime Basil, Lemon Basil, and Thai Basil. When it comes to Holy Basil vs Basil, the former is no ordinary pesto ingredient. Holy Basil is prized for containing plant compounds that include eugenol, ursolic acid, oleanolic acid, and rosmarinic acid. The basil used in cooking is usually sweet basil, also known as Great Basil or Genovese Basil.
History of Holy Basil
Certain plants are so beneficial that they’ve been revered by humankind for thousands of years. These herbs stand the test of time as true allies for wellness and longevity. Holy Basil or Tulsi is one of these important herbs. Considered sacred by Hindu practitioners, Tulsi is known as “The Incomparable One,” “Elixir of Life,” and “The Mother Medicine of Nature.” Holy Basil is a principal herb in the Ayurvedic system and is also used in the Siddha and Unani systems. It is thought to protect and balance the body, mind, and spirit. Tulsi is believed to open the heart and mind and bestow love, compassion, faith, and devotion. The oil of Tulsi is thought to tone up the Chakras or energy points.
What are the Benefits of Holy Basil?
Modern research is proving what herbal healers always knew–that Holy Basil benefits are astounding.
Your immune system is a defense network of cells that are always patrolling the body, ready to defend against invaders like microbes, toxins, or viruses. Holy Basil supports immune cells and provides immune system support.* In fact, a clinical study of healthy volunteers taking Holy Basil extract showed a significant increase in levels of key markers of healthy immune function.
Holy Basil promotes cognitive functions that support your alertness, focus, and healthy attention span, including speed of memory and short-term memory.* In one placebo-controlled Holy Basil clinical study, the herbal extract was shown to improve significantly the subjects’ ability to perform in tests of short-term memory, focus, and attention.
Holy Basil is an adaptogen, a type of herb that can optimize your systems to deal more quickly and easily with the effects of occasional stress. Holy Basil has long been employed to support a positive stress response and healthy mood and spirit.* Holy Basil leaf benefits include supporting calm and balance in the tradition of India’s Ayurvedic masters. Holy Basil leaf has been studied to help relieve feelings of anxiety, stress, and depression.
How to Take Holy Basil
Holy Basil can be a delicious accent in many dishes, from soups and stir-fries to meat dishes and desserts. But for really unleashing those Holy Basil health benefits, look to herbal preparations or a super-convenient supplement.
Herbal preparations for Holy Basil take several forms. Fresh leaves can be infused into hot water for an aromatic hot tea–or cool it down for an iced Tulsi cuppa. Some herbalists make Holy Basil tinctures by soaking the leaves in alcohol for several weeks, then straining for a concentrated extract that can be taken in drops. Holy Basil glycerite is another option. This is similar to alcohol extraction but uses glycerin as the carrier liquid. Holy Basil leaves can also be dried before use in teas or tinctures.
If you want to get serious about adding high-quality, super-pure Holy Basil to your wellness routine, we recommend New Chapter’s Holy Basil Force™. These one-daily vegetarian capsules deliver a potent dose of Holy Basil. We use a 50:50 ratio of supercritical extracts and traditional extracts to ensure you’re getting a full symphony of the active compounds that make this adaptogenic herb so effective.
What to Look for in a Holy Basil Supplement
If you’re thinking about supplementing with the immune-supportive, stress-relieving powers of Holy Basil, you may be wondering: which Holy Basil leaf capsules are right for you? When researching, you can check out the following details.
Check the Supplement Facts panel. Supplement Facts are required on all dietary supplement labels and have a lot of great information. Check here for the type of extract (such as supercritical or hydroethanolic) and the amount of Holy Basil in milligrams. You can also confirm that the Holy Basil is listed with the Latin name Ocimum sanctum, which is the genus and species of true Holy Basil.
Review the health benefits. Most Holy Basil supplements are formulated for stress support. Holy Basil may also be included in a product with additional benefits—like New Chapter’s One Daily Multivitamin + Immunity that provides complete, essential vitamins and minerals for holistic wellness plus Holy Basil for added immune support.*
Look for marks of sustainability and quality. For example, does the product have independent, third-party credentials? Is the company a Certified B Corporation that meets highest standards for environmental impact? Is the product Non-GMO Project Verified to show the ingredients have been assessed for GMO avoidance?
Tips For Buying a Holy Basil Supplement
Here’s a quick guide to our favorite Holy Basil products.
Holy Basil Force
New Chapter’s Holy Basil Force combines supercritical and hydroethanolic extracts of Holy Basil leaf to deliver a broad range of phytochemicals. This convenient one-daily capsule is the highest level of Holy Basil in any New Chapter product, delivering 536 mg of extract per capsule that’s made from 6,928 mg of Holy Basil.
One Daily Multivitamin + Immunity
Our complete multivitamin blend is gentle even on an empty stomach and made with regeneratively farmed Holy Basil, to benefit both people and planet. Each one-daily tablet is packed with clinical-strength Holy Basil for immune support plus high levels of immune-essential nutrients like Vitamins C, D3 and Zinc.*
Zyflamend is New Chapter’s clinically studied 10-herb blend designed with Holy Basil alongside potent Turmeric, Ginger, and Green Tea. It’s a unique formula that supports joint health and mobility as well as a healthy inflammation response.*
We hope you’ll consider adding this friendly, helpful herb to your daily wellness routine. We travel the globe to source the finest quality botanicals, then test them carefully for identity, potency, and purity. So, you can rest assured that when you pick New Chapter’s Holy Basil, you’re getting the exact Ocimum sanctum that you want for the benefits you expect. That’s what we do, so you can do you!