What Are The Health Benefits Of Tulsi Tea?
Before we explore the benefits of tulsi tea, let’s first take a look at it’s origins.
Holy basil, also known as tulsi, possesses innumerable therapeutic properties in all its forms, from fresh, dried, to powdered.
The Tulsi plant traces its roots to ancient India, where it has long been used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine, owing to its beneficially diverse properties.
This auspicious plant is renowned as the ‘queen of herbs and is considered the most sacred herb in India.
Tulsi is highly valued for its indispensable culinary properties and medical ability to maintain homeostasis while fighting the effects of stress.
Research is now confirming the beneficial effects of this plant, and scientific evidence suggests that it can effectively address both mental and physical symptoms like alleviating anxiety, helping with acne, and balancing blood sugar levels.
What Exactly Is Holy Basil?
Tulsi is also known as Holy Basil.
Holy basil, scientifically known as Ocimum tenuiflorum, is native to India.
This aromatic-medicinal shrub belongs to the family Lamiaceae.
In Hindi, this green, leafy plant is referred to as tulsi to mean the ‘incomparable one.’
Indeed, tulsi might be the most revered medicinal herb in the world!
But in India, the plant is considered a holy herb, an ‘elixir of life, and is grown in almost every household.
It has violet flowers, and its green stems can sometimes have a purple tinge with a light lemon scent.
Therapeutic and medicinal preparations such as supplements, oils, and tulsi extracts are made from tulsi leaves, flowers, stems, and seeds.
Tulsi leaves have an oval shape with a slightly sharp tip and lightly toothed edges.
Tulsi tea is usually prepared from the leaves as they possess most of the plant healing compounds.
How Does Tulsi Tea Work?
Tulsi is known to provide numerous medical benefits, and there is mounting evidence that it can act as a natural protector of our body organs and tissues.
These benefits can be attributed to a myriad of complex micronutrients, including carvacrol, apigenin, ursolic acid, eugenol, and more!
Research suggests that Holy Basil tea can protect the body against things like:
- Heavy metals
- Many types of stress including physical stress
- Chemical stress resulting from environmental pollutants
- Excessive noise, cold, and heat
- Physical stress
The Therapeutic Properties Of Holy Basil
Since ancient times, tulsi has been revered as an ayurvedic herb that can boost the immune system and promote a healthy body, mind, and spirit by keeping diseases at bay.
The plant possesses innumerable healing properties like anti-bacterial, stress-relieving, natural antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory effects which help protect our body tissues from free radical damage.
What Is In Tulsi Tea?
Besides the micronutrients mentioned above, Holy Basil also possesses potent terpenes, including;
- Rosmarinic acid
- Propanoic acid
In addition, the herb comprises vital nutrients such as;
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
Which all help support a healthy body and mind.
Consuming Tulsi Tea
There are many ways to consume tulsi to experience its potent health benefits, such as plucking fresh green leaves from the plant and chewing them raw.
Perhaps the most effective way of integrating the benefits of tulsi is by incorporating it into our foods or drinks.
Brewing holy basil leaves in water help you reap all the amazing benefits of the plant.
That’s because all the potent micronutrients, terpenes, and other beneficial active ingredients are seeped into the water.
The final product is a highly pure, healthy, and natural beverage chock-full of healing proper
Tulsi tea, also called tulsi ka kadha, provides a boatload of health benefits, including:
- Helping with kidney stones
- Enhancing skin glow
- Boosting the immune system
- Balancing senses and more
How Does Holy Basil Compare To Basil?
There are an estimated 50-150 species of basil, all belonging to the genus Ocimum.
Perhaps the most popular type of basil is sweet basil, as it’s commonly used in tomato sauces, soup, and pesto.
It consists of essential oils such as eugenol and citronellol that can help fight inflammation in the body.
Holy basil has a unique history behind its time, and it is deeply respected for its potent medical benefits.
Spot The Difference?
It can be challenging to tell sweet basil from holy basil as they are pretty similar in terms of appearance.
The best way to visually differentiate the two herbs is by looking at their stems.
While holy basil stems tend to be very hairy, the stems of sweet basil are hairless.
The Difference In Taste?
Additionally, sweet basil is supremely aromatic and has a sweet flavor with notes of clove.
It also has a slight bitterness that makes it the perfect complement to any salad and meal.
Comparably, holy basil has a clove-like taste that is mainly peppery, often compared to the flavor of Jamaican peppers.
It is pretty potent, and it becomes even stronger when exposed to heat, hence the name ‘hot basil.’
The two basils can be cooked both in their fresh and dried forms.
And while they make perfect additions to your healthy recipes, holy basil offers therapeutic benefits that sweet basil cannot provide.
10 Powerful Benefits Of Tulsi Tea
We have already touched on some of the key benefits of adding Tulsi Tea to your health regime, but let’s break down the 10 key benefits of Tulsi Tea, one by one.
1. Relieves Stress and Anxiety
Too much long-term stress can negatively impact your health and cause serious problems like depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, heart attack, and more.
The ability of tulsi tea to naturally maintain balanced hormonal levels has been widely researched.
Evidence suggests that this herb possesses anti-stress compounds like Ocimumosides A and B that can help lower blood corticosterone, creating positive alterations in neurotransmitter levels in the brain.
A scientific article in the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine states that tulsi can effectively counter metabolic stress by normalizing lipids, blood glucose, and blood pressure levels.
It achieves this through its antidepressant properties and by imparting positive effects on memory and cognitive function.
2. Helps Combat Infections
Tulsi tea is an excellent source of anti-bacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties.
This, plus the potent phenolic acids, flavonoids, and terpenoids, helps combat many types of infections, including bacterial, viral, and fungal infections.
Tulsi tea can also significantly lower the risk of inflammation as a result of harmful pathogens.
3. Lowers Blood Sugar Levels
Interestingly, all parts of the tulsi plant can help lower blood sugar levels, more specifically for people with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes.
According to an earlier animal experiment, rats given holy basil leaf extracts showed a 24.6% decrease in blood sugar levels after just 30 days.
Those given holy basil leaves also saw blood sugar decrease after a month.
Human clinical trials and animal studies conclude that it can help prevent the following diabetes symptoms:
- Weight gain
- Hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance
Please note that patients should consult their doctor first before incorporating holy basil into their diets to control blood sugar.
4. Helps With Skin Infections and Acne
As noted above, holy basil possesses anti-bacterial, antifungal, antiviral, pain-relieving, and anti-inflammatory properties.
This means that tulsi tea can kill the bacteria that cause skin diseases and breakouts. It’s also a potent and natural home remedy for skin irritations and acne.
It also contains eugenol, a compound used widely in flavorings for foods and tea.Eugenol is also believed to alleviate skin disorders.
In a nutshell, researchers believe that holy basil can treat skin infections both internally and externally and provide other skin benefits.
5. Can Help With Cancer
Scientific research shows that regular consumption of tulsi tea can lower the risk of being immunocompromised, making a host less likely to get certain types of cancer cells.
It also contains anti-carcinogenic and antioxidant properties, which are said to alter our healthy gene expressions, killing cancer cells and preventing blood vessels from contributing to cancer growth.
This stops cancer cells from traveling from one organ to form a new tumor in another organ or cell.
Research in the Journal of Nutrition and Cancer states that tulsi can help prevent the risk of chemical-induced liver, skin, oral and lung cancers.
That’s thanks to its potent phytochemicals such as apigenin, eugenol, β-sitosterol, rosmarinic acid, and carnosic acid.
6. Boosts Heart Health
Holy basil may provide cardioprotective benefits due to the high content of ursolic acid and other medicinal phytochemicals.
Our bodies naturally produce free radicals and antioxidants.
However, the free radicals often outnumber the antioxidants, and an excess of these radicals can damage body cells’ DNA and cause heart diseases.
The free radical scavenging of tulsi prevents cholesterol build-up in the blood vessels.
This allows proper blood flow to all body organs, thereby controlling blood pressure.
Besides, potassium, calcium, and other minerals contained in this herb protect the heart from oxidative stress, myocardial infarction, and heart attacks.
7. Combats Fever
Another incredible tulsi tea benefit is its ability to boost our immune response.
It is commonly used as a powerful and natural remedy for fevers.
A fever is not a disease; instead, it’s a sign that the body is trying to fight an infection, for instance, a virus or bacteria.
Infections are what cause most fevers.
Ayurvedic practitioners used the leaves of tulsi as antibiotics, disinfectants, and germicidal to combat and protect our bodies from the bacteria and viruses that caused the infection.
8. Helps With Respiratory Problems
This is another medicinal use of holy basil- to enhance respiratory health.
The herb contains beneficial compounds like cineole, camphene, and eugenol, which have been shown to relieve congestion and other respiratory disorder symptoms.
Recent scientific studies have also confirmed tulsi’s potent anti-asthmatic abilities, making breathing much easier.
9. Ideal For Weight Loss
Holy basil stimulates the secretion of gastric juices, which helps the digestive system function smoothly.
Consuming tulsi leaf tea daily can stimulate the faster assimilation of carbohydrates and proteins, promoting weight loss.
Tulsi tea also keeps you feeling full for much longer because the fat is broken down slowly, and excess fat is shed.
10. Helps With Kidney Stones
This is another major health benefit of tulsi green tea.
The tea possesses anti-lithiasis properties that effectively prevent kidney stones.
It also helps break and diminish any existing kidney stones, eliminating the possibility of health conditions like cystitis.
It also promotes the healthy functioning of kidneys by stimulating the excretion of excess uric acid levels, ensuring it remains at a healthy level in the kidney.
7 Steps To Making Perfect Tulsi Tea At Home
- Strip the vibrant and green tea leaves without dark spots or patches
- Wash the leaves thoroughly and pat them dry using a clean kitchen towel
- Gather the leaves and use a knife to chop coarsely
- Add a cup of water to a pan and bring the holy basil leaves to a boil
- Let the water absorb the herbs color and strong aroma for up to five minutes
- Strain the herbal tea in a glass, and it’s ready to drink
- (Optional) you can add one spoon of honey, lemon juice, or even ginger to enhance the taste and potential benefits.
How To Cook With Basil
You can add chopped fresh tulsi leaves to your favorite soup recipe.
It naturally adds extra health benefits and flavors to your soup.
Tulsi powder/fresh leaves can be added to your salad recipes, enhancing its flavor and health benefits too.
Possible Side Effects Of Tulsi Tea
Clinical trials suggest that Tulsi Tea is generally safe for consumption and topical application. however, some people have reported the following side effects due to prolonged use:
- Changes in some hormones
- Can cause problems during pregnancy and breastfeeding
- Some people may also experience diarrhea when they first use tulsi
Please note that while a cup of tulsi tea makes you feel calm, it shouldn’t make you sleepy or drowsy.
In addition, Tulsi can slow down blood’s ability to form clots. So you should avoid taking holy basil if you’re taking drugs that slow down clottings like aspirin, heparin, and clopidogrel.
For the same reasons, you should discontinue usage if you’re expecting surgery within 14 days.
Benefits Of Tulsi Tea - The Bottom Line
Holy basil has been consumed since ancient times; ancient India used the herb in Ayurvedic medicine to prepare potent remedies to treat, manage, and cure many illnesses.
Scientific research has confirmed the health benefits of tulsi tea and it is readily available in the form of powder, leaf, essential oils, and supplements.
Holy basil is widely used to help with stress and anxiety, boost heart health, combat cancer, remedy kidney stones, and more.
It’s important to take note of the potential side effects discussed above to ensure safe and beneficial consumption.