(Ocimum sanctum; 250 mg/ml)
Used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine to treat coughs, asthma and bronchitis as well as coughs due to colds and flu
Used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine as an adaptogen to moderate the effects of stress
Used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine to help heal peptic ulcers
Used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine as an anti-rheumatic and anti-spasmodic for muscle spasms
Used as an adjunct to dietary therapy and drug treatment in mild to moderate non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM)
Revered highly in the Indian Ayurvedic tradition as a rasayana, holy basil is used for a host of conditions, including arthritis, asthma, bronchitis, the common cold, diabetes, fever, influenza, peptic ulcer and stress.'
Under laboratory conditions of induced nervous tension in rodents, holy basil prevented stress-induced depletion of brain neurotransmitters and checked enlargement of the adrenal gland while preserving adrenal vitamin C and cortisol content. In addition, pretreatment significantly and dramatically reduced the incidence of aspirin-induced ulcer formation in lab mice. Another author writing on the adaptogenic properties of holy basil concluded that, "A variety of studies using different animal models of stress suggest that sacred basil can ameliorate the physiological responses to stress, thus in effect enabling the body to better cope with stress without becoming ‘stressed out’." One study found holy basil excelled eleuthero and Chinese ginseng (Panax) for anti-stress properties, while also having the highest margin of safety.
A randomized, controlled trial using holy basil in 40 people with type 2 diabetes (non-insulin-dependent) noted significant declines in blood sugar levels. In the treatment group (2.5 grams per day), average fasting glucose declined from an abnormal 7.47 mmol/l to an ideal level of 5.54 mmol/l after four weeks. The difference between active treatment with holy basil and placebo was highly significant (p < 0.001). No adverse effects were documented. A separate one-month study in 27 diabetic adults revealed similar, significant lowering of blood sugar levels (20.8%) in addition to a lowering of other indicators of cardiovascular disease as follow: glycated proteins (11.2%), total cholesterol (11.3%), LDL cholesterol (14.0%), and triglycerides (16.4%).
Various studies have corroborated significant benefits for coughs; peptic ulcers as well as the inhibition of inflammatory COX-2 and LOX enzyme systems, to name just a few other uses.
Administration: 0.8-2 ml (25-60 drops) three-four times daily in a little water on an empty stomach.
Contraindications and Cautions:
Consult a health care practitioner prior to use if you are taking acetaminophen, anti-coagulant medication or if you intend to use this herb for diabetes, bronchitis, asthma, or peptic ulcers. Contraindicated in pregnancy. Available in bottle sizes of 50ml, 100ml, and 250ml.
A NOTE ON TINCTURES
Tinctures are more readily absorbed by the body and have a high degree of bio-availability. As well, they have a long shelf life.
Sometimes people ask us why tinctures are alcohol-based. There are very good reasons. Alcohol is critically important in the extraction of an herb's medicinal ingredients. It also helps to stabilize and preserve them. Alcohol is the ideal carrier substance, conveying the therapeutic goodness of the herb to the body. In itself, too, science has proven that alcohol enhances the immune system and its defences.
As for the amount of alcohol taken in an average dose of tincture, you'll be surprised to learn that it's about the same as what you'd find in an overly ripe banana!
Tinctures remain the most practical way to take advantage of the amazing, health-giving power of herbs.
Holy Basil (Ocimum sanctum)
... I am very impressed with the Holy Basil. Nothing works like it on my anxiety and sense of well being.