Holy basil, or tulsi, is a medicinal herb famous in Ayurvedic medicine because of the vast health benefits it offers. For hundreds of years, it’s been widely utilized in Southeast Asia. Today, it’s starting to make a name for itself in Western medicine as more and more people are finding out about its impressive properties. 

It is available as an essential oil, supplement and tea. Continue reading this article to learn more about it and how you can benefit from this supplement today.

What is holy basil?

Holy basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum), is a green leafy plant native to India. It is especially popular in Ayurvedic medicine as an adaptogen, a substance that helps the body normalize when it is exposed to severe stress. The local name for holy basil is “tulsi,” which may be translated to “the incomparable one.”1 This is especially understandable as the plant positively influences human health in more ways than one, making it almost “incomparable” to other herbs.2

Tulsi, sometimes referred to as tulasi, has been treasured in India by Hindus as one of their most sacred herbs3 — it’s the plant manifestation of Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of “wealth and purity”.4,5 In another legend, a single holy basil leaf has more value than gold.6 Judging by how holy basil can positively influence important body processes, it’s no surprise that it’s revered to this day as the “queen of herbs.”7

Today, the number of holy basil products available in the market is increasing, which makes it easier for you to acquire this herb. One of these products is holy basil supplements, which are typically made from powdered leaves, as indicated in one study.8

How can you benefit from holy basil supplements?

Based on the numerous possible benefits of holy basil, it may be one of the most impressive herbs in the plant kingdom. Its usefulness in the realm of Ayurvedic medicine knows no bounds as the whole plant may be utilized for various human conditions. Some of the benefits you might get from holy basil supplements include:

• Helping abate stress and anxiety — Holy basil is well-known for its adaptogenic properties, which may help the human body cope when exposed to stressful environments. In a 2007 animal study, holy basil was found to contain ocimumosides and ocimarin, two compounds that have antistress properties.9

• Supporting the immune system — Holy basil is thought to be useful for combating infections due to its powerful antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties. A 2011 study found that holy basil boosts the immune system by increasing cytokine and immune cell efficacy in mounting immune responses.10

• Protecting the liver — Holy basil may inhibit toxin-induced damage in the liver because of its membrane-stabilizing properties. A 2011 animal study shows that holy basil may help reduce fatty changes and cloudy swelling in the liver.11

• Helping alleviate pain — According to a 2015 study, holy basil contains analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antipyretic properties. It may help alleviate arthritis and joint pain due to these characteristics.12

• Managing diabetes symptoms — Holy basil may manage diabetes symptoms by helping affected people by controlling weight gain and cholesterol, as well as regulating excess insulin in the blood.13