In This Article
The Promise of Tulsi and Immunity
Tulsi Holy Basil (Ocimun sanctum) has been revered in Ayurveda for more than 3,000 years as both a sacred spiritual herb and an herbal medicine. Ayurvedic texts describe it as life-saving, or the elixir of life, as well as the queen of all herbs and the mother medicine of nature.
I’ve written about tulsi’s potential as a stress-fighting adaptogen, its ability to break up biofilm and its unique ability to protect the body from environmental pollutants.
In this article, I’ll explore tulsi’s ability to support healthy immunity, especially as we move from fall to winter. The transition between seasons is always a time of increased risk of dis-ease and disease.
See also Tulsi–Your Daily Adaptogen
The Science Behind Tulsi and Immunity
In a 2017 study published in the journal of Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 24 studies on tulsi were evaluated, including five studies on immunity.
In the first of those studies—a small randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study—4 weeks of 300mg of a supplemental tulsi extract supported healthy levels of natural killer and T-helper cells compared to the control group, which did not receive tulsi support.
In another randomized-controlled study, in which a tulsi extract was added to a nutrition bar for two weeks, the supplemental tulsi supported less fatigue, improved breathing as measured by improved VO2 max, and a more healthy and robust immune response compared to the responses of the control groups.
Two additional clinical trials included in this review reported that tulsi supplementation supported a healthy immune response to a viral immune event.
Finally, a study that looked at taking 500 mg of tulsi powder 3 times a day improved vital breathing capacity while supporting a speedy and healthy recovery from asthmatic symptoms.
Previous studies, by Dr. Narendra Singh, have documented many of the health benefits of tulsi. In addition to strengthening the immune system and minimizing cold and flu symptoms, it can also promote calmness and clarity, balance metabolism, and build stamina. Tulsi’s abundance of antioxidants make it a natural immuno-modulator.
According to the studies cited in the Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine article, the benefits of tulsi are measurable in any form of a tulsi supplement, whether that supplement is the whole herb or a tulsi extract.
Two of tulsi’s more potent constituents are volatile and lost when the tulsi leaves are dried and taken as a powder or a tea.
At LifeSpa, we have formulated a blend of organic whole dried tulsi leaves with an extract to capture the benefits of the eugenol and ursolic acids that are present in fresh tulsi leaves.
Learn more about LifeSpa’s Whole Herbs Tulsi Holy Basil.