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Both Holy Basil and Ginseng are awesome herbal supplements, and I’m a big supporter of them both.
But as they’re quite similar, it can be hard for people to pick between them.
Well if that’s you, then you’ve come to the perfect place.
This is why I started this Supplement Comparison Series!
In this series, I put 2 supplements up against each other and compare their benefits, price, side effects, and much more.
All so you can make a better decision.
In this piece, we’ll have a look at Holy Basil vs Ginseng.
What is Holy Basil?
Holy Basil (Ocimum Sanctum) is a green, leafy plant native to India that’s been used for its health boosting properties for many thousand years.
Also known as Tulsi, Holy Basil has spiritual importance in Ayurveda and is one of the most sacred herbs in the eyes of Hindus.
In fact, Hindus see Holy Basil as the plant manifestation of Lakshimi.
(She’s the Hindu Goddess of wealth, fortune and prosperity.)
What is Ginseng?
Like Holy Basil, Ginseng’s an ancient herb native to Asia that’s been used for many thousand years to promote health.
A lot of the health benefits that Ginseng has to offer are credited to compounds called Ginsenosides, and more than 30 of these have been found so far.
Ginseng’s name loosely translates to “essence of man” in Chinese, and today it’s one of the most popular herbal supplements in America.
Benefits of Holy Basil
Holy Basil may improve anxiety
Wanna know a shocking fact?
Over 40 million American adults suffer from anxiety disorders.
(This makes anxiety the most common mental illness in the US.)
Now for the good news…
Holy Basil been used in some clinical trials for anxiety and has shown some promise.
In one study, anxiety sufferers took 1000mg of Holy Basil each day for 60 days.
After the 60 days, the subjects reported less anxiety, stress and depression.
(Related reading: Is Phosphatidylserine Good For Anxiety?)
Holy Basil may improve concentration
I could spend hours debating whether Social Media is overall good or bad for society.
But one thing everyone can agree one is that Social Media destroys your attention span.
People can’t go more than 30 seconds without having to scroll on their Twitter feeds.
Now I’m not here to judge, but it’s the truth.
So, with Social Media sticking around for at least the near future, lot’s of smart people look towards smart drugs to increase their attention span.
Research shows that Holy Basil may be an effective smart drug, as it can help improve short term memory and attention.
Holy Basil may improve sleep quality
Nowadays, many people have a screwed-up Cortisol cycle.
I.e. their Cortisol is high in the evening and lower in the morning.
This is the OPPOSITE of how nature intends.
Now, the reasons for this are varied, but one of the biggest culprits is the use of electronic screens before bed.
These blue light emitting devices can spike your Cortisol levels, which can negatively impact your sleep.
(It’s why I recommend turning off all electronics at least 1 hour before you go to sleep.)
Research has shown that Holy Basil can help lower your Cortisol levels, which will do your sleep a massive favor.
(Related reading: Holy Basil For A Deeper Sleep?)
Holy Basil may lower blood sugar levels
A good way to have sustained energy throughout the day is to keep your blood sugar levels stable.
To do this, you need to avoid your blood sugar levels from spiking.
And this is where Holy Basil shines.
In a study of type 2 diabetics, Holy Basil lowered post-meal blood sugar levels by 7% and fasting blood sugar levels by 18%.
Benefits of Ginseng
Ginseng may help reduce inflammation
Chronic inflammation is thought to contribute to many serious diseases, such as:
- Heart disease
So if you want to reduce your risk of those horrible diseases, you really need to minimize chronic inflammation.
And this is where Ginseng can help.
Research has shown that it helps regulate TNFa, which is a cytokine that plays a key role in inflammation.
(Related reading: 3 Best Magnesium Supplements For Reducing Inflammation)
Ginseng may help improve mental performance
Lots of human studies have supported the use of Ginseng to boost mental performance.
In one study, subjects who took 400mg of daily Ginseng had improved calmness and math ability after 8 days.
Another study of 30 people looked at how 200mg of daily Ginseng affected the subject’s mental performance.
The subjects showed improvements in mood, mental health and social functioning after only 4 weeks.
Ginseng may improve erectile dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction can be tricky to treat, as it usually has multiple causes, including:
- Low nitric oxide levels
- Oxidative stress in the penis blood vessels
So with that in mind, you’d think Ginseng would be effective at treating ED, right?
In fact, a study found that Ginseng was twice as effective than actual ED medication for improving ED symptoms!
Ginseng may improve immune function
A massive complication of Cancer treatment is a weakened immune system.
The good news is research supports the use of Ginseng to help boost the immune system.
A study investigated Ginseng’s effects on immune system markers in Cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.
The results showed that those who took Ginseng had better immune system markers than the others.
Holy Basil Cost
Holy Basil comes in many different forms, such as tea, powder, tablets and essential oil.
Here are some general prices for these:
- Tablets: $17 for 100
- Powder: $20 for 1lb
- Loose leaf tea: $30 for 1lb
- Essential Oil: $15 for 1/3 Oz
Ginseng is usually sold in capsules, or as slices.
Typical prices for these are:
- Slices: $30 for 4 Oz
- Capsules: $20 for 120
Holy Basil Side Effects
Holy Basil may slow blood clotting, which can increase the risk of bleeding during and after surgery. So, it’s advised to stop taking Holy Basil at least 2 weeks before surgery.
Also, diabetics or those taking blood sugar lowering drugs should consult a doctor before using Holy Basil.
Ginseng Side Effects
Ginseng is generally well-tolerated, but the following side effects have been reported in some cases:
- Rapid heartbeat
- Blood pressure fluctuations
Also, women may experience further side effects like breast tenderness and vaginal bleeding.
Please speak to a doctor before using Ginseng if you’re taking any other medication, as Ginseng can interact poorly with other drugs.
My Holy Basil Recommendation: Banyan Botanicals Tulsi
Banyan Botanicals Tulsi has been my go-to source of Holy Basil for over a year now.
Ever since I started taking this supplement, my sleep’s been awesome.
What I like about it
It’s nice to see that each ingredient is natural and organic, making this one of the purest, safest and cleanest Holy Basil supplements in existence.
Also, lots of epic reviews show that this is an excellent supplement that many other people are using and loving.
And as a nice touch, Banyan Botanicals support local farmers and use ecologically friendly farming methods.
If you’re on a super tight budget, then it might be out of your price range.
I mean it’s not expensive by any means, but there are cheaper options out there.
My Ginseng Recommendation: Wellbeing Formula Korean Ginseng
High strength. High reputation. Long lasting.
Wellbeing Formula Korean Ginseng is the real deal.
What I like about it
When you look at the 100s of excellent reviews, you can clearly see that this is a trusted Ginseng supplement that’s helped many people for a variety of health issues.
But the key feature of this supplement is that the Ginseng has a minimum of 5% Ginsenosides.
As mentioned before, it’s Ginsenosides that are believed to provide a lot of the health benefits that Ginseng has to offer.
(Just to be clear 5% Ginsenosides is awesome. While 5% is a low percentage, it’s pretty high in the context of Ginsenoside concentration.)
And it’s great that each bottle comes with 180 caps, making it long-lasting.
It would be nice if Wellbeing Formula were a bit more specific with their “Vegetable Capsule” ingredient.
(I like to know exactly what I’m putting into my body, you see. So “Vegetable Capsule” is a little bit too vague for my liking.)
Holy Basil vs Ginseng: The Verdict
Thank you for staying with me to the end of this Holy Basil vs Ginseng showdown.
I hope it’s been a pleasure to read and you’ve learned something.
Most of you should know exactly which one you’re going to use and have epic results with.
But if you’re still on the fence, then here’s what I’d go with:
You might prefer Holy Basil if:
- You want to sleep better
- You want to lower anxiety
- You want to lower your blood sugar levels
You might prefer Ginseng if:
- You have difficulties getting hard
- You want to reduce inflammation
- You want to boost your immune system
See you in the next one!