Written by Rhian Hunter
Next to the Lotus, Basil is perhaps the most sacred plant of India. Its quality is pure Sattva. Basil opens the heart and mind, bestowing the energy of love and devotion (bhakti) – Hello Heart Chakra
A plant of basil should be kept in every house for its purifying influence. Basil absorbs positive ions, energises negative ions, and liberates ozone from the sun’s rays. Basil is an effective diaphoretic and febrifuge in most colds, flus and lung problems. It removes excess Kapha from the lungs and nasal passages, increasing Prana and promoting sensory acuity. It also removes high Vata from the colon, improves absorption and strengthens the nerve tissue, increasing memory. Basil may be taken as a beverage with honey for promoting clarity of mind. The fresh leaf juice is used externally for fungal infections on the skin.
Tulsi, or holy basil, has been used medicinally for at least a few thousand years. Due to its reputation of improving a wide spectrum of ailments, conditions, and symptoms, tulsi is also known as the “Queen of Herbs”.
From a Western Perspective, It is commonly used as a natural antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and adaptogen.
Adaptogens such as ashwagandha and tulsi help reduce the biochemical developments of stress by balancing cortisol levels. Specifically, too much cortisol affects the thyroid gland, ovaries, and pancreas, so tulsi is able to impact the functioning of these glands. For example, too much cortisol can cause an imbalance of insulin secretion from the pancreas, which can lead to hypoglycaemia or hyperglycaemia. However, tulsi can help balance blood glucose levels indirectly by regulating cortisol secretion. Furthermore, tulsi may impact the secretion of neurotransmitters in the brain, such as serotonin and dopamine, which help regulate mood and mental well-being.