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Holy Basil (Aka Tulsi) is one of them supplements most people in the Western world haven’t heard of (yet).
Even I wasn’t aware of this super herb until a couple of months ago, when a buddy of mine recommended it to me.
(He had terrible insomnia and told me it helped him amazingly…)
So that night, I spent a few hours on Google researching Holy Basil to see what the cold, hard science said.
(I very rarely buy supplements based off an anecdotal recommendation. I prefer seeing what the facts are, and recommend you do the same too!)
And I was excited by what I had read.
It turns out this sacred Ayurvedic herb has been used for thousands of years in Southeast Asia for its health-promoting properties.
By then, I had seen enough to convince myself this was a supplement definitely worth trying, so I ordered 90 tablets of Banyan Botanicals Holy Basil from Amazon to try this herb out for myself.
So this article dives deep into my experience with using Holy Basil.
But first, let’s begin with a brief overview of what Holy Basil is:
What is Holy Basil?
Holy Basil is a green, leafy plant native to India that has been safely used for more than 5,000 years.
It is known locally as “Tulsi”, which translates to “the incomparable one”.
Now I’m not entirely sure why this is, but it could be due to the plant improving health in a variety of ways, making it “incomparable” to other herbs.
Hindus view Holy Basil as one of the most sacred herbs out there, as it’s seen as the plant manifestation of Lakshmi – the Hindu Goddess of Wealth, Fortune and Prosperity.
(According to Legend, it’s believed a single Holy Basil leaf has more value than gold when weighed against Lakshmi’s power!)
The benefits of using Holy Basil for Anxiety
Now for some brutal statistics:
Anxiety disorders affect over 40 million adults in the United States alone.
(To put this into perspective, that’s equal to almost 20% of the entire US population. Shocking right?)
This makes anxiety and anxiety-related conditions the most common mental illness in America.
Thankfully, Holy Basil has been clinically trialed in treating Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) with some really exciting results:
In as little as 60 days, taking Holy Basil (at a daily dose of 1000mg) significantly improved anxiety, stress and depression in the subjects of the clinical trial.
Although I’ve never suffered from anxiety, I did notice the following “mental” benefits from taking Banyan Botanicals Holy Basil:
- An increase in energy and self-confidence
- Mental calmness (i.e. less agitated by those annoying little things that make your blood boil throughout the day, such as morning traffic)
The benefits of using Holy Basil for better sleep
By now, we know that Holy Basil can be an amazing supplement for improving anxiety symptoms.
It does this by lowering Cortisol levels, resulting in a calmer state of mind.
But do you know what else relies on healthy Cortisol levels?
A good night’s sleep!
That’s right – Cortisol is a hugely important hormone when it boils down to sleep quality.
It’s naturally elevated in the morning which forces you out of the bed.
(Cortisol is also known as the stress hormone, so it’s not a bit of wonder why most people are grouchy in the morning!)
However chronically elevated Cortisol is terrible for sleep quality, as it can disrupt your natural sleep cycles, causing you to wake in the middle of the night.
And this is where Holy Basil enters the frame…
The compounds found in Holy Basil limit your cortisol response, resulting in less stress, anxiety and improved sleep quality.
So by taking Holy Basil to lower your cortisol levels, you’re doing your health a MASSIVE favor.
As someone who’s never suffered from anxiety, I can’t promise from first hand experience that it will help your anxiety.
Doing so would be dishonest of me.
But, I can say from my own experience that Holy Basil SHOULD help resolve your sleeping issues.
Thanks to Holy Basil, waking up in the middle of the night is a distant memory to me.
Vitalized Future’s review of Banyan Botanicals Holy Basil
Banyan Botanicals Holy Basil (Amazon) is the first Holy Basil supplement I’ve ever tried.
And it’s awesome.
I can usually spot a great supplement with a bit of research and this is no different.
For example, here’s a complete list of ingredients contained in Banyan Botanicals Holy Basil:
- Organic rice flour
- Organic gum acacia
- Certified Organic Holy Basil leaf
You may notice there’s a common theme here.
That’s right, they’re ALL organic!
(It’s great to know your Holy Basil tablets haven’t been poisoned with toxic pesticides, herbicides and who knows what else…)
It’s a nice bonus that each of the ingredients are natural too.
I do my best to keep away from supplements with unpronounceable, man-made additives, and I’d advise you to do the same.
But let’s not kid ourselves…
What good is a natural organic supplement if it doesn’t provide results?
Well I can say with 100% certainty these tablets do the business.
They give me more energy in the morning, mental calmness throughout the day and an uninterrupted deep sleep at night.
Wait… but how can a supplement give you more energy whilst improving sleep quality?
Which is a great question and I wondered the same.
Well it turns out Holy Basil is an adaptogenic herb.
This means it “lifts you up” when you’re tired and calms you down when you’re “wired”.
Pretty awesome, right?
As for the price, you can get a bottle of 90 tablets from retailers for around $20.
For such a high-quality supplement, that is a real bargain.
I’m actually shocked that Banyan Botanicals aren’t charging much, much more than that.
What’s the catch?
In all honesty, this is as close to a perfect supplement as you’ll get.
But if I’m being super picky, it’s a shame the max bottle size is only 90 tablets as I like to buy most of my supplements in bulk.
(Especially ones that are awesome.)
Where to find Banyan Botanicals Holy Basil
As I was super impatient to try Banyan Botanicals Holy Basil, I bought a bottle from Amazon.com for the 2 day shipping.
Alternatively, you can also buy direct from the Banyan Botanicals website if you don’t mind waiting a bit longer for your tablets to arrive.
Holy Basil is probably my favorite herbal supplement.
There, I said it.
With the amazing health benefits it has to offer, there’s really no surprise that it’s known locally as “the incomparable one”.
And If you’d like to try Holy Basil for yourself, then I’d look no further than Banyan Botanicals.
Their Holy Basil tablets (Amazon) are 100% natural, organic, high-quality and affordable.
At the end of the day, they simply work.
To put the cherry on the cake, Banyan Botanicals are a socially responsible brand that make a real impact in the world.
They use eco-friendly farming methods, non-GMO organic herbs, and best of all, they work closely with groups of local farmers.
Knowing that my purchase has directly improved the lives of those less fortunate on the other side of the world is an incredible feeling.
PS: If you enjoyed this article, you may want to read our verdict on the best time of day to take Holy Basil.
Does Holy Basil give you lucid dreams?
There are lots of anecdotal stories of people claiming to have lucid dreams after taking Holy Basil.
Personally? I don’t notice any difference in my dreams if I take Holy Basil or not.
There’s also no research on the subject either, so at this point, it’s very hard to tell.
Does Holy Basil increase GABA?
Since the effects of GABA are similar to those of Holy Basil, many people believe that Holy Basil increases GABA.
Up to now, there’s been only one study which suggests that Holy Basil may increase GABA.
(But bare in mind that the study was done on Sheep.)
So at this point, it’s hard to tell whether the same mechanism applies in humans too.
(Related reading: GABA vs Melatonin – Which One Should You Take?)
Does Holy Basil increase Serotonin?
When under stress, levels of neurotransmitters including Dopamine, Serotonin and Adrenaline rise in the brain.
(This is most likely what makes you feel “on edge” and in “fight or flight” mode.)
Research in animals has shown that Holy Basil helps normalize these levels of neurotransmitters.
So no – Holy Basil doesn’t increase Serotonin, but regulates it to healthy levels.
How long does it take for Holy Basil to work?
Like with most things in life, there isn’t a straight-forward answer to this one!
It all comes down to how your body reacts to it…
As for me, I noticed improvements in sleep the night I started taking it, which is super quick.
Whereas the study looking at Holy Basil and Anxiety had participants see improvements after 60 days.
Does Holy Basil make you sleepy?
Speaking only from personal experience – no.
Holy Basil doesn’t make you sleepy, but it helps you sleep deeper and have an uninterrupted sleep.
If you want a supplement that makes you feel sleepy, then I recommend giving Phosphatidylserine a try.
Anxiety Disorder Statistics
Pubmed (Holy Basil Reduces Anxiety & Stress)