Holy Basil (also called Tulsi) is in the same genus as our culinary basil, and is in the mint family. This herbs grows well throughout India and Southeast Asia. It is a “rasayana” herb in Ayurveda, the Indian system of medicine, meaning that it is a overall body and strengthening tonic herb. The name “holy basil” refers to its sacred status in Hinduism, where it is though to open the crown chakra and increase connection to spirit and to the divine.
Being in the mint family, it has an effect on the central nervous system and on the nervous system of the digestive tract, helping to calm and soothe an anxious stomach and promoting good digestion. It is known for balancing the nervous system, and is considered an uplifting, mood-enhancing herbal tonic. It is also considered an herbal “adaptogen”, meaning that it helps the body adapt better to stress, partly due to an effect on the adrenal glands. Therefore, it can help decrease the experience of stress in the body, increase energy levels, and increase immunity. It is also an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant herb, while helping to balance blood sugar, protect the nervous system, increase mental clarity and accuity.