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holy basil | Terezia Farkas | Beliefnet | depression help | tulsi

Holy basil, or tulsi, is part of the mint family of herbs. In Hinduism, holy basil is believed to promote long life and good health. It has been used for centuries to treat depression, stress, and anxiety. Holy basil is a calming herb that won’t make you sleepy. The benefits are the same regardless of your gender, race, or age.

Tulsi is different from the basil used in Italian foods, or the Thai herb used to flavour pho. Tulsi is native to Southeast Asia and is used for herbal medicine. If basil is the “King of Herbs,” tulsi is the “Queen of Herbs.” It is called this because throughout India tulsi is revered as a sacred herb given to humans by a goddess. The herb is also sacred to Vishnu and Krishna. Almost every Indian garden has a holy basil plant, and every part of the plant is considered sacred. In some parts of India, the seeds of holy basil are worn as charms to bring peace and balance. Holy basil is said to balance the third eye chakra.

Here are some benefits plus how to best use holy basil. 

Lowers stress

Holy basil fights depression by lowering the creation of cortisol in your body. Cortisol is a stress hormone. High levels of cortisol are bad for you. It causes depression, fatigue, weight gain, problems with sleep, sexual problems, and anxiety.

Holy basil lowers cortisol levels. This helps improve mental clarity and memory. The herb also acts on dopamine and serotonin, helping balance the two hormones to improve mood. With improved mood comes a calming effect on the mind and soul. 


When it comes to sleep problems, holy basil has a calming effect on the mind. This lets a person sleep. The herb doesn’t have caffeine, but it does have a slight sedative property.

Holy basil also known to help with nightmares and night terrors. This makes sense because it’s been claimed that holy basil helps with lucid dreaming by allowing a person to be in control of what she/he dreams. If you are doing dream work, taking holy basil allows you to relax and enter into a restful state quicker while maintaining the lucidity of your dream. 

Detoxing your body

Holy basil also detoxifies your body. Toxic compounds like heavy metal poisoning are often found in cities or industry. By supporting your immune system against toxic compounds, holy basil protects your nervous system and brain function.

Holy basil is a powerful anti-oxidant. It protects your body from free radicals destruction, which contribute to disease. The herb strengthens your immune system to fight infections. It can also be used as an expectorant to remove phlegm from the lungs and respiratory system. Tulsi also supports beneficial gut microbes.

How to use holy basil

Taking holy basil, or tulsi, by mouth in the morning and night is recommended to help decrease stress, anxiety, depression, and memory problems.

The leaves of tulsi are generally used in tea but the ground up leaves can also be taken in pill form. As a tea, the flavour is bitter and spicy. Tulsi is caffeine-free, so it’s often used ritualistically to calm the mind, relax the body, and give a sense of well-being. Tulsi won’t make you drowsy, but it will lower your blood pressure.

If holy basil is taken in pill form, the recommended dosage is 300 mg to 2,000 mg per day for general preventative purposes. When used as a treatment, the recommended dosage is 600 mg to 1,800 mg taken in multiple doses throughout the day. All parts of the plant might be used in supplements and topical ointments. (Healthline)

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