Thursday, April 29, 2010

Adaptogens Part 4 : Elixer of Life

Happy Thursday Everyone!

I'm very excited to complete the adaptogen series, albeit I'm very delayed in doing so:) I've only recently heard about my final powerplayer in the series from Kevin and Annmarie Gianni and their super cool video blog called Renegade Health. Kevin loves this stuff and I know you will too!

I wanted to share with you first off some beautiful piano music that I heard on Caitlin's blog. You can listen to this while reading the rest of the post as it is so relaxing! I also wanted to send this out to Bitt and Zuki. I'm praying and sending good vibes your way:)

So, what is the Elixer of Life? It's called Holy Basil or Tulsi and it is one of the most holiest of herbs used in the Orient and India. Tulsi is in the mint family and is a close cousin to sweet basil which we are more familiar with. There are many different varieties of holy basil some tasting like peppermint or cloves, others like licorice and lemon. It is the leaves that are mainly used for medicinal purposes , although the other parts of the plant (root, stem, seed, flower) also have strong medicinal properties and are also used for religious purposes (rosaries etc).

As an adaptogen, holy basil is extremely powerful at helping individuals "adapt" to stress. But, there are many more amazing benefits that holy basil has to offer us:
  • improves stamina and endurance
  • boosts immunity
  • reduces symptoms of flus and colds
  • reduces inflammation
  • antioxident
  • blood purifying
  • antiparasitic, antiviral, antibiotic
  • digestive aid
  • supports the hearts, lungs, and the liver
  • reduces nausea, vomiting, and cramping
  • helps to manage blood-glucose
  • supports your pearly whites
  • lowers cortisol
  • encourages efficient use of oxygen
  • Plus many more!
Holy basil uses a complicated system of biologically active compounds and its synergy with many different phytochemicals. Holy basil contains vitamin A and C, calcium, zinc, iron, chlorophyll, and many other phytonutrients. Recent studies have shown that holy basil may also be a COX-2 inhibitor like many modern day painkillers. Another study completed way back in 1991 in the Indian Journal of Pharmacology found that when comparing holy basil with Siberian Ginseng and Asian Ginseng, holy basil was the most successful at acting against stress out of the three. You remember how powerful ginseng was, right? No? Okay here is the link to my post on ginseng. Finally, another study was published in the International Journal of Clinical Pharmacology that showed great reductions in blood sugar in diabetics who were given holy basil. Let food be thy medicine becomes more clearer to me everyday!

Due to its powerful clove-like taste, its not recommended to cook with holy basil like you would with its cousin, sweet basil. I'm going to taste some and see if it would go with any dish I never know. Alternatively, can get it in powder and add it to your smoothies (Kevin says the fruit masks its flavor) or make a tea. It is okay to drink 3-5 cups of the tea per day or you could take 2-4 capsules. Consult your MD, ND, or health food store if you want to add holy basil to your herbal repertoire.

I was so impressed by holy basil that I decided to try planting some of it. We shall see how it goes. The little sprouts have just emerged! PS if you are wondering about a simple homemade fertilizer for your garden or house plants, try kelp powder. In my line of work we use kelp fertilizers but I was wondering if I could somehow use the powder that I have from the coop. The answer to that is YES. I read an article on and they explained it really well!

Have a wonderful afternoon! I'm going to be giving a review of two amazing documentaries in the next day or two so stay tuned!


bitt of raw said...

thank you so much for mentioning us and we love the video. zuki put his head up and even looked at it for a bit. he really likes music. it was very calming to me. i need to fnd more of that kind of music right.

i have heard about holy basil but didn't know much about it. thank you for the info.

looking forward to the documentary review.

Nelly said...

hey girl...i've never heard of holy basil...where do you think i can find it? the tea sounds amazing...

thanks so much for sharing this info...

kelli said...

lovely post, and thank you for sharing that song. it was just what i needed to start my day. =)

Lori said...

Hmmm... very very interesting. I will try to find holy basil... sounds promising!

Melissa said...

Hey Bitt - I'm so glad that I could bring you and Zuki some joy with that music! I'm honored that he looked up:)You're very welcome for the tulsi info!

Hey Nelly - I know that you can get it on iherb and vitacost. I'm sure any health food store would have it packaged into tea bags or possibly powder:)

Hey Kelli - Glad the song was helpful for your day:)

Hey Lori - Ye, Kevin Gianni said he really noticed a difference in his stress levels so I'm sure it would be beneficial to everyone on the

Lauren said...

Hey Melissa,
Thanks for writing about this! I learned a lot from your adaptogen series. I had never even heard of holy basil but I will look for it now. I also started taking maca regularly thanks to your info. I'm hoping to see a difference with it soon. I know a lot of people take it and swear by it. Thanks for sharing the lovely music too!

Melissa said...

Hey Lauren - I'm so happy that my adaptogen series was fun and you learned something..I'm honored! Let me know how it goes with the maca:)