Sunday, February 19, 2006

Tulsi or Holy Basil

Holy Basil has become all the rage in the natural health market, and frankly I'm not sure what the fuss is about. I dont know much about holy basil ( ocimum sanctum) other than that is has been traditionally used in India and Ayurvedic healing.
I've a little pot of it growing out back, and so decided to do up a fresh plant tincture for experimentation.

It's being touted as an adaptogen, and I've heard of it's use in depression or anxiety. But...right now, all that is hearsay, and I'm combing all my sources for info on this easy to grow, fragrant basil.

Know anything about it? Ever used it? Got a good source for me to check out? I'd love to hear about it!

So, Herb Pharm says
"Holy Basil herb, known as Tulsi in India, is an aromatic herb greatly valued in Traditional Ayurvedic Medicine, and is considered a sacred herb in the Hindu religion," says Ed Smith, medical herbalist and founder and co-owner of Herb Pharm. "It has long been used for its health promoting properties. Traditionally used as an adaptogenic tonic in Ayurvedic Medicine, Holy Basil extract supports the immune system, and is used as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Holy Basil has been known to be useful as a diaphoretic, expectorant, and mild sedative."

Horizon Herbs says:
Traditional uses: The uses of this plant are legion, and it is often taken in combination with other herbs. The fragrant leaves and flowers, in the form of tincture, tea or decoction are considered to be stomachic and expectorant, used in treating coughs, bronchitis, skin diseases, and diarrhea. These preparations are considered to be prophyllactic against epidemics including cholera, influenza and malaria. The Tulsi seeds, taken mixed in water, juice or cow's milk, are antioxidant, nourishing, mucilagenous and demulcent. They are used in treating low energy, ulcers, vomiting and diarrhea, or as an overall tonic. The powder of the dried root, taken in milk, ghee, or as a decoction, is recommended to treat malarial fever, as an analgesic application to the bites and stings of insects, and also to increase sexual stamina and prevent premature ejaculation.
Contemporary uses: Tulsi is an uplifting and energy-enhancing adaptogenic herb, having much in common with other triterpenoid containing plants such as ginseng, eleuthero and jiao-gu-lan. The herb improves resistance to stress and has a normalizing influence on blood pressure and blood sugar imbalances. Used on a regular basis as tea or tincture, Tulsi is likely to prove prophyllactic against the negative effects of environmental toxins, including cancer. The plant is also richly endowed with bioavailable antioxidants, vitamins A and C, and calcium.

Gaia Herbs has a nice monograph on THEIR Holy Basil product:
*maintains healthy cortisol levels
*promotes feelings of emotional wellbeing
*promotes cox 2 modulation

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