If you’re looking for the best holy basil supplements to buy this year, then you’ve come to the right place.
You can also get more info by jumping to our Holy Basil Supplements Guide.
Top 10 Holy Basil Supplements
If you buy anything using the links below, we get a commission.
|#1||New Chapter Holy Basil Force||More Info|
|#2||NOW Foods Holy Basil Extract||More Info|
|#3||Gaia Herbs Holy Basil Leaf||More Info|
|#4||Source Naturals Holy Basil Extract||More Info|
|#5||Organic India Tulsi-Holy Basil||More Info|
|#6||Solaray Holy Basil||More Info|
|#7||Nature’s Way Holy Basil||More Info|
|#8||Himalaya Holy Basil||More Info|
|#9||Bluebonnet Nutrition Holy Basil Leaf Extract||More Info|
|#10||Planetary Herbals Holy Basil Extract||More Info|
The Hindu religion considers holy basil to be a sacred plant, revered as a goddess. Every part of the plant is considered sacred. Some Greek Orthodox churches also use the plant for making “holy water.” Holy basil is also used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). The plant grows in two varieties, one of which is pale yellow-green and the other of which is red.
Holy basil has long been used in the traditional Ayurvedic medicine system of India. Ayurveda is considered to be one of the world’s oldest systems of organized medicine, and possibly the oldest still in practice.
What is Holy Basil?
Holy basil, also called tulsi, is related to the sweet basil plant commonly used in Western cooking, which is actually a member of the mint family. Its scientific name is Ocimum sanctum Linn or Ocimum tenuiflorum (either is acceptable), and the shrub is native to the warm parts of the world. The holy basil leaf has a more spicy, citrus-like flavor compared to its Western relative, is also edible, and is often used in Thai cooking.
Side effects as a result of taking holy basil supplements may include low blood sugar, increased tendency to bruise, increased tendency to bleed due to reduced ability to form blood clots, and decreased fertility. The anti-fertility effect is said to be mild.
People who tend to have low blood sugar, are taking blood thinner medications, or who are trying to get pregnant should consult with a health care provider before using holy basil supplements.
Some of the blood thinner medications that may interact with holy basil supplements include:
- Clopidogrel (Plavix)
- Dalteparin (Fragmin)
- Enoxaparin (Lovenox)
- Ticlopidine (Ticlid)
- Warfarin (Coumadin)
It may be unsafe to take holy basil supplements before surgery, since the supplements are associated with decreased blood clotting. Those who take holy basil supplements may decide to stop taking them for two weeks before any scheduled surgery.
Holy basil supplements should not be used by anyone who’s allergic to mint or to plants that are members of the mint family. Tulsi supplements are known to have interactions with several prescription medications. These include diazepam (Valium), pentobarbitol (Nembutal), and scopolamine. Combining pentobarbitol with holy basil supplements may cause excessive drowsiness, although it has not yet been determined whether this causes any long-term effects.
Those who are pregnant should not take holy basil supplements. These supplements have been associated with contractions of the uterus. More study is needed to determine if it is safe to use holy basil supplements while breast feeding.
Always speak with a medical professional or doctor before taking any supplements. Always read the product label for instructions and directions.
Taking Holy Basil Supplements
Holy basil supplements are available in capsule or tablet form. A common method for taking holy basil supplements is to brew the leaves into a tea. In the United States, individual tea bags containing holy basil leaves are available from health food stores. Dried holy basil leaves (approximately two teaspoons) can be steeped in one cup of hot water for about five minutes. Tea drinkers can grow their own holy basil plants at home, provided they place the plant in full sunlight and give it plenty of water, if they wish to harvest the fresh leaves for tea.
What to Look for in a Good Holy Basil Supplement
Consumers who want to use holy basil supplements may want to look for supplements made from organically-grown basil plants. Because one of the effects of the supplement is to help minimize the damage to the body from environmental pollutants, it would be counterproductive to allow environmental pollutants from non-organic growing practices to get into the final product.
It’s also important to buy holy basil supplements from a well-known and trusted manufacturer. Cases have been reported of manufacturers substituting the European basil plant, Ocimum basilicum L., for the holy basil plant. Although the European basil plant is not harmful and is regularly used in food, it does not have all of the same health benefits as the Asian holy basil plant.
Users of holy basil supplements might also choose to look for supplements that are made using “fair trade” practices. This means the farmers who produced the plant were paid a fair wage for their work and were not economically exploited.
As with any supplement, individuals should check with a health care provider before starting a supplement regimen. Those who wish to take holy basil supplements should talk to a health care provider about any specific health concerns before starting to take the supplement.