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  • Writer's pictureMargreta

Holy Basil Can Help You Lose Weight, Fight Depression, and Improve Your Memory

In my article Add These 5 Anti-inflammatory Herbs And Spices To Your Diet I shared 5 of the best anti-inflammatory herbs. I'm sharing more information on one of them today. Holy basil has amazing healing and anti-inflammatory properties, including antioxidants and phytochemicals.

What is Holy Basil?

Holy basil, also known as tulsi, has a long history of use in Ayurvedic and traditional medicine as a treatment for various ailments, including cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal disorders, and other health conditions. It is not the basil we associate with Italian dishes. Holy basil has a more intense peppery and spicy flavor.

Holy basil has been used in traditional herbal medicine for centuries. It is now gaining popularity in the Western world for its many health benefits, such as boosting the body's natural response to reduce inflammation. The leaves and extracts of the plant are high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. These healing properties are potent tools for treating inflammatory conditions like joint inflammation, type 2 diabetes, ulcers, lower blood pressure, cardiovascular health, and digestive health conditions. Holy basil is also effective at reducing pain and swelling, making it a popular choice for treating rheumatoid arthritis, joint pain, and other chronic diseases.

The Health Benefits of Eating Holy Basil

Holy Basil Reduces Stress and Anxiety

Holy Basil is an adaptogen. Adaptogens are a special class of anti-inflammatory foods that help the body adapt to stress. This can be anything from physical stress, like running a marathon, to emotional stress, like dealing with a difficult situation at work. The body's natural response to stress is to produce hormones like cortisol and cytokines, which are inflammatory markers. Over time, if these hormones are constantly produced, they can lead to health problems like anxiety, depression, and chronic inflammation.

Research suggests anti-inflammatory adaptogens like holy basil can help decrease the inflammatory response caused by stress and anxiety, improve cognitive function, and boost energy levels.

Holy Basil Lowers Blood Sugar Levels

Scientific evidence has shown that holy basil may help prevent common symptoms associated with type 2 diabetes and prediabetes. Common symptoms include high blood sugar or high glucose levels, weight gain, insulin resistance, high blood pressure or hypertension, and high cholesterol. An anti-inflammatory agent in holy basil may also help improve the body's response to insulin, leading to better blood sugar control which helps to reduce inflammation in the body.

Holy Basil Naturally Lowers Inflammation

The anti-inflammatory benefits of consuming holy basil can help reduce symptoms and improve overall health. As an adaptogen, the same properties that help reduce stress and anxiety also help the body to naturally decrease inflammation. This is good news for people who live with chronic inflammation associated with heart disease, autoimmune disease, chronic health conditions, chronic pain, etc.

Holy basil is a rich source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds which help protect the body from damage caused by inflammation. Making holy basil one of the best healing herbs available. Now that you know some of the healing properties and benefits of consuming this fantastic anti-inflammatory herb, here are 4 recipes to get you started:

4 Holy Basil Recipes

Holy Basil Hummus


1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1/4 cup tahini paste

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons honey

1 teaspoon sea salt

2 teaspoons lemon juice

4 teaspoons holy basil leaves, chopped


Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth. Serve with fresh vegetables or pita chips.

Holy Basil Tea


1 cup water

2 teaspoons holy basil leaves

Honey (optional)

Lemon juice (optional)


  1. Bring water to a boil, then remove from heat and add holy basil leaves.

  2. Steep for 5-10 minutes, then strain and sweeten with honey if desired. Serve warm or cold with lemon juice if desired.

Note: if this tea is a bit bitter for your tastes, mix it with green tea or another herbal tea of your choice.

Holy Basil Salad Dressing


1/4 cup olive oil

3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar or apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh holy basil leaves


  1. Whisk all the ingredients together in a bowl until thoroughly combined.

  2. Pour into a jar with a lid and shake until emulsified. Store in the fridge for up to 1 week. Shake well before using.

Holy Basil Pesto


1 cup holy basil leaves

1/4 cup cashews

1/4 cup walnuts

1/4 cup almonds

2 cloves garlic, peeled

2 tablespoons olive oil

sea salt and black pepper to taste


  1. In a food processor, combine the holy basil, cashews, walnuts, almonds, garlic, and olive oil. Process until the mixture becomes a thick paste. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  2. Toss with roasted vegetables, mix into scrambled eggs, or spread onto chicken breasts or steaks before cooking. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Holy Basil is a great anti-inflammatory herb to add to your diet for its many health benefits and healing properties. Since ancient times, humans have been using holy basil for various health complications, to reduce pain, treat skin inflammation, and other immune system responses. Research shows the anti-inflammatory effects of holy basil include reducing stress, reducing anxiety, lowering blood sugar levels, and naturally reducing inflammation.

I shared 4 anti-inflammatory recipes that you can try using Holy Basil. Give these anti-inflammatory recipes a try, and enjoy this excellent herb's benefits! You can find holy basil at grocery stores or online.

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