Happy Day, friends! Thanks for joining me as I get overly excited (with reason, of course) about another herb of choice. Lately, I’ve been geeking out over something super powerful and like holy goodness, is it...holy. For real. It’s literally in the name.
HOLY BASIL Y’ALL! Otherwise known as Tulsi (Ocimum Sanctum if you want to get scientific). It’s origins stem to India but can be found in other parts of Asia as well as Europe and North America athough it does not grow sufficiently in the latter two.
A Little Bit About Tulsi
Tulsi is commonly honored as an “elixir of life” and it holds the names of “The Incomparable One”, “Queen of Herbs”, and “Mother Medicine of Nature”. All with good basis. Tulsi bears a prodigious list of properties, some of which include...
Antimicrobial (including antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, antiprotozoal, antimalarial, anthelmintic), a mosquito repellent, anti-diarrheal, anti-oxidant, anti-cataract, anti-inflammatory, chemopreventive, radioprotective, hepato-protective, neuro-protective, cardio-protective, anti-diabetic, anti-hypercholesterolemia, anti-hypertensive, anti-carcinogenic, analgesic, antipyretic, anti-allergic, immunomodulatory, a central nervous system depressant, a memory enhancement, anti-asthmatic, antitussive, diaphoretic, anti-thyroid, anti-fertility, anti-ulcer, anti-emetic, anti-spasmodic, anti-arthritic, adaptogenic, anti-stress, anti-cataract, anti-leucoderma and anticoagulant
I’m not sure if your jaw dropped like mine when I learned of this list, but Tulsi is one goddess of an herb. It’s actually the most sacred plant in the Hindu religion and worshipped as such. It’s also an important medicine in Ayurveda, the world’s oldest health system that is still practiced today. Although I’m obviously not going to cover ALL of this (that would take a book, not a blog), I’m going to share two ways that Tulsi can be important within current lifestyle and how it can increase longevity and state of health. How so? Holy Basil is really good at not only removing and regulating natural toxins within our bodies but also external toxins we choose (or not choose if we aren’t aware) to put in our bodies. As an aside, this is not any type of approval to go ahead and put whatever nasty gnar gnar you want in your body and think Tulsi will fix it. No. Not even. However, it’s recommended for stuff that is not always easy to avoid such as air pollution, pharmaceuticals and other unwanted chemicals in water supplies, radiation from a vast variety of technology, and many other toxins; specifically genotoxins (toxic chemicals that destroy or alter DNA) as a result of human activity. This is because it’s a powerful adaptogen, which means it aids the body in maintaining homeostasis within the body as a whole. This alone covers a huge spectrum of healing physiological processes Tulsi can create within the body. It’s also amazing at regulating blood sugar, which is important with how out of control our society’s sugar intake has gotten. Again, this is not a go ahead to consume dumb amounts of sugar and expect Tulsi to fix it. No. Never. Bad idea. However, I do want to explore how we can use Tulsi in these two areas to recover and reform. Then I want to encourage to consume Tulsi as a well-being supplement instead of a recuperation mechanism.
Recovering from Toxicity
Unfortunately, we live in a culture that uses and produces a lot of toxic chemicals. While you may have heard the term “chemical-free”, that doesn’t exist. I will repeat that one more time for those in the back, “chemical-free” is not a true statement. Ever. In fact, EVERYTHING is composed of chemicals. Water is a chemical. Oxygen is a compound of chemicals. Your body is a mosaic of chemicals. Everything. Is. A. Chemical. With that said, not every chemical is good for humans and this is the origin of negativity surrounding the word “chemical”. Science labels chemicals that aren’t safe for humans or animals as “toxins” and it’s important to know when things are toxic and when they aren’t. As I said before, many humans irresponsibly produce and use toxins, mosty as part of consumerism but also for aspects we’d view as necessary to live today. It’s exciting to see how these practices are shifting but that’s a whole other discussion of which I’m not going to touch today for the sake of staying on topic. No tangents! Back on track, a lot of these toxins are hard to avoid at our current state of culture and it’s vital to have a way to detoxify your body when they can’t be avoided. Tulsi is a great detoxifyer. This is because the plant has high amounts of phenolic compounds and increases the levels of anti-oxidant molecules. This in turn enhances the activity of anti-oxidant enzymes that protect cellular organelles and membranes. They do this by essentially playing school janitor and “mopping up” any free radicals because the anti-oxidant process (literally means anti-oxygen) steals the radical and other toxic agents of the oxygen they need to survive. This is partially why antioxidants in your diet are so important! This process works for almost any toxic foreign matter, making it applicable to heavy metals as well.
With the amount of sugar available on the market, whether hidden or obvious, it’s important to know moderation and personal limitations. This usually looks different for everyone but it’s always safe to say that keeping added sugars to the lowest amount possible is absolutely ideal. Sometimes, we need a litte help regulating the sugar once it goes into our body though and whether it be because too much sugar was eaten, there is an autoimmune disorder at hand, or there is some metabolic imbalance taking place among many potential situations. Whatever it is, it’s good to know options for restabilization and Tulsi is a great way to regulate blood sugar levels. Studies have shown that holy basil can decrease blood glucose, correct irregular lipid profiles, and protect the liver and kidneys from the potential damage of high glucose levels. Consuming this herb daily can help those with high glucose levels and can be a good recovery tea if you had too much sugar in one day. We’ve normalized too much added sugar but that doesn’t change the fact it’s really hard on the body.
**NOTE: One of Tulsi’s properties is anti-fertility because it reduces sperm count. Two things that need to be said about this is that it’s 1) Not a reliable form of birth control but a great birth control compliment! 2) Not recommended if you are trying to conceive! With that said...
Tulsi is such a powerful herb and we hold the goodness of it dearly here at Goodness Tea. In fact, we believe in it so much it’s featured in several of our teas. You can find it in Mountain Ma’am Tulsi Chai (my personal favorite), Our Daily Tea, Zap! and Happy Tummy. It is also available in bulk to purchase by itself.
I’m so stoked to share the magic of my favorite herb with you today. There’s so much more to this plant that I totally suggest reading more about it. I just can’t provide you that information without writing a book! It’s so
healing for many ailments and is an extraordinary addition to your diet. Your body will thank you every time you drink it and a happy body makes a happy human for goodness sake! Get yo’self happy!
Don’t believe me? Check me! <3
Tulsi- Ocimum Sanctum: An Herb For All Reasons https://:www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4296439/
The Clinical Efficacy and Safety of Tulsi in Humans https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2017/9217567/
Ocimum Sanctum: A Reservoir Plant for Therapeutic Applications https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3249909/
About the Author
Say hello to V (on the right); a passionate pursuer of all things health and wellness with emphasis on children and nutrition! She is the mama of one and you’ll almost never catch these two apart. She loves family time and finds deep grounding and joy in times when this union occurs.
Shaelee and V