Stress, Blood Sugar and Nervous System Protection
For over five millennia, tulsi (holy basil) has been used to improve digestion and restore imbalances of the body and mind. Now research has documented that holy basil may do this by decreasing levels of cortisol, a hormone produced and secreted by the adrenal glands. Nicknamed the “stress hormone,” cortisol production increases in response to chronic stress. Cortisol triggers the body to make glucose from amino acids, which causes blood sugar to rise. Through normalizing cortisol levels in times of stress, holy basil may prevent not only the mood changes associated with stress, but also prevent the increases in blood sugar that researchers say can contribute to numerous health imbalances affecting more than half of all Americans. Holy basil has also been found to normalize neurotransmitter levels in the brain. Researchers found in animal studies that holy basil counteracted stress-induced changes in neurotransmitters and enzymes. Stress leads to an increase in brain serotonin levels, increases in dopamine levels and increases in SDH (succinate dehydrogenase) levels, while holy basil may help people maintain normal levels of these brain chemicals in times of stress. Another study found that animals that received the extract showed significant normalization of epinephrine, norepinephrine, serotonin, MAO, and SDH. Epinephrine and norepinephrine are used in coping with stress. The researchers suggest that when dopamine levels rise, these two neurotransmitters may be replenished since dopamine is a precursor for their synthesis. This may be the mechanism by which holy basil assists with stress adaptation.
A Powerful Adaptogen
Holy basil is classified as a premier “adaptogen,” an herb that can normalize body processes and restore overall health by maintaining body systems. Adaptogens support our systemic response to stress and give us stamina. Holy basil was selected for Planetary Herbals by renowned herbalist Michael Tierra, L.Ac., O.M.D., an authority on the world's herbal traditions, who uses this herb daily in his clinical practice. This means you can be assured of obtaining the benefits you are seeking from an herbal product.
- Holy basil is not to be used if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or if you may become pregnant.
- Keep out of reach of children.