Blog   |  28-Oct-2021

Holy Basil

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A sacred herb with magical benefits

Holy Basil, commonly known as tulsi and botanically identified as Ocimum tenuiflorum L (Syn: Ocimum sanctum Linn) is one among the sacred herbs of Indian mythology.  It is considered as the earthly manifestation of Goddess Lakshmi in Hindu beliefs.  Having an inseparable role in spirituality, it is often grown in the traditional homes and temples in India.  Holy basil is believed to have mystical powers of protection from death, disease and misfortune.   Apart from its divinity, the plant possesses immense therapeutic uses that are well documented in the ancient Ayurvedic classics.

The Sanskrit word “Tulsi” translates as the incomparable one. The meaning amazingly mentions the importance of the herb and it implies, there are no substitutions for what tulsi has to offer us.  It also has Sanskrit synonyms like bhootaghni, aperatakshi which indicate the usefulness of the herb in mitigating micro-organisms.  The classical references of this wonderful herb point out the extensive scope of its use in the current scenario.

Some of the traditional uses are listed below,

  • Strengthens the respiratory system, and is prescribed for coughs and colds, especially when they are accompanied by asthma or bronchitis. 
  • Promotes circulation and normalizes blood pressure when combined with popular herbs like Arjuna (Terminalia arjuna Roxb).
  • Being a carminative and digestant herb, it is used for treating indigestion with specific combinations like dried ginger, long pepper etc.
  • Tulsi leaf paste is used topically for treating ringworm etc.
  • Oil extracted from the herb is applied externally for chronic ulcers, inflammation and skin disorders.

A spectrum of biomolecules is reported in holy basil which in turn makes the herb pharmacologically active.  They are ursolic acid, rosmarinic acid, eugenol etc.  Several studies emphasise the health benefits of holy basil and its extracts.  One of the studies published in Pharmacognosy Research has shown the hepatoprotective effect of Ocimum sanctum leaf extract at a dosage of 200mg/ day (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3119265/).  Another study published in the Journal of Ethano Pharmacology has proved the immune-modulatory effect of the ethanol extract of holy basil leaves at a dosage of 300mg in healthy volunteers (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21619917/).   The cognitive effect of leaf extract (300mg) in humans is investigated and published in the Indian Journal of physiology and pharmacology (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26571987/).  Its action on generalized anxiety disorders is also proven and published (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19253862/).

The varied effects of holy basil are,

  • Act as an anti-oxidant
  • Acts as an anti-inflammatory
  • Acts as a hepatoprotective agent
  • Improves immunity
  • Normalize blood pressure and reduce stress
  • Balance blood sugar

Through years of meticulous research, Akay has come up with a speciality ingredient OciForteTM which is a 100% water extract of holy basil standardized to 5% ursolic acid from selected holy basil variety. OciForteTM is manufactured using proprietary Xteralute extraction technology to develop ‘zero ppm’ extracts and MaxFLOW Beadlets technology to adjust the bulk density and particle size as per customer requirements.

Apart from OciForteTM, Akay is offering standardized aqueous extract and solvent extract at different specifications as per customer requirements.  Get in touch with us to learn more about OciForteTM and our other customized products.