7 reasons why holy basil or tulsi is good for your health

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Did you know consuming holy basil or tulsi on an empty stomach is good for your health? Here are the benefits and how you can add it to your diet.

Tulsi or holy basil plant is of significant importance in Ayurveda and naturopathy. It is considered a holy plant in Hinduism and is widely found in the Indian subcontinent. Apart from that, it is commonly found in some tropical regions of Southeast Asian countries. While the holy basil is known for its religious significance, it is also prized for the health benefits it offers. From boosting immunity to supporting heart health, there are many health benefits of the Tulsi plant you must know. Plus, this inexpensive herb is often recommended by mothers for relieving digestive pain to boosting immunity.

What are the benefits of Tulsi?

Consuming tulsi can be extremely beneficial for your health. The benefits of basil leaves include:

1. Promotes digestion

Starting your day with tulsi water may be good for your stomach. It helps activate enzymes and flush out the toxins from your body. It helps relieve symptoms such as gas, bloating, and digestion.

Also Read: Trust these 9 herbs and spices to keep your gut health in check

Tulsi or holy basil can help you get rid of digestive issues. Image courtesy: Freepik

2. Boosts immunity

A strong immunity means that your body is able to protect you against harmful pathogens trying to enter your system and make you sick. A weak immunity can put you at risk of developing infections and illnesses. You can have tulsi on an empty stomach every day to bolster your immunity, says Dr Chanchal Sharma. It is packed with essential oils and antioxidants that help fortify the immune system and protect the body from illness and infections.

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3. Detoxifies the body

Detoxification is the purifying of blood and getting rid of all the impurities from the blood in the liver. Tulsi can help detoxify your body helping you cleanse the body of its impurities, which promotes better health. A study published in the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine found that tulsi contains phenolic compounds and antioxidant properties that help detoxify your body.

4. Promotes respiratory health

Holy basil contains anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, which can help alleviate respiratory issues such as asthma, cough and cold, says the expert. Studies have also found a link between consuming holy basil and promoting respiratory health. A study published in the journal Ayurvedic, holy basil liquefies the phlegm and is effective in treating allergic bronchitis, asthma and eosinophilic lung diseases.

5. Reduces stress and anxiety

Managing life, work and home can trigger stress and anxiety in people. It has become a very common problem these days. You can try Tulsi to combat stress and anxiety. Dr Sharma explains that holy basil contains adaptogenic properties that helps reduce stress and anxiety.

Also Read: Put your stress levels to rest with the power of Tulsi

6. Promotes heart health

Including tulsi or holy basil in your diet might help you keep cardiovascular diseases at bay. A study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology found that ocimim sanctum or holy basil leaves contain anti-inflammatory properties that help lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Tulsi also helps lower cholesterol levels, which is a risk factor for heart disease.

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7. Lowers blood sugar levels

Tulsi or basil leaves might be beneficial for people with type-2 diabetes and those who are prediabetics. A study published in the Journal of Functional Foods found that consuming tulsi can help lower fasting blood glucose levels and reduce the chances of metabolic disease in older adults.

How to add tulsi or holy basil to your diet?

There are various ways to add tulsi to your diet. Here are the ways suggested by Dr Sharma:

1. Tulsi tea

  • Steep some tulsi leaves (fresh or dried) in hot water.
  • Let it cook for a few minutes.
  • Strain it and drink it in the morning to start your day on a fresh note.

2. Tulsi-infused water

  • Add some fresh tulsi leaves to a pitcher filled with water.
  • Refrigerate the mixture overnight to allow the infusion to take place.
  • Drink it first thing in the morning.

Also Read: 6 health benefits of adding tulsi water daily

3. Tulsi juice

  • Extract the juice of tulsi leaves.
  • Now, mix it with a glass of water.
  • Drink the mixture on an empty stomach to boost nutrient absorption.

4. With honey and pepper

  • Take some tulsi leaves and add honey and black pepper to it.
  • Consume it on an empty stomach to prevent allergic cold and sinus.

5. Chew tulsi leaves

Chewing tulsi is a conventional Ayurvedic method that enhances general health when consumed on an empty stomach. However, you must check with your healthcare provider before adding them to your diet.

Also Read: To know more benefits of having tulsi on empty stomach, check this out!

Who should avoid adding tulsi to your diet?

While it is considered safe to consume, here are some people who should avoid consuming tulsi:

  • Pregnant woman: Tulsi may cause contractions in the uterus, which could cause problems during pregnancy. It can also cause issues with labour or the postpartum menstrual cycle.
  • People on blood thinners: Tulsi contains blood thinning properties that may interact with anticoagulants and other drugs that also have similar effects.
  • Before or after surgery: People with a surgery planned or just underwent surgery should avoid consuming tulsi due its possible effects on blood coagulation.
  • People with hormonal imbalance: Consuming tulsi may reduce the levels of thyroid hormone thyroxine, which can worsen conditions such as hypothyroidism.

It is crucial to consult a healthcare professional before including tulsi in your diet. Also, if you purchase tulsi online, make sure it is coming from a reliable supplier to reduce contamination.

tulsi
Consuming tulsi can also lead to some side effects! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Are there any side effects of consuming tulsi?

While it considered to safe to consume, and there are numerous benefits of tulsi, it can also trigger allergic reactions in people. Consuming tulsi may interact with certain medications so it is crucial to consult a healthcare professional before consuming tulsi. Also, stop consuming it in case you notice mild or adverse effects.

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