By Angela, Contributing Writer
Why Adaptogens are Important
Merriam Webster defines it as a nontoxic substance and especially a plant extract that is held to increase the body’s ability to resist the damaging effects of stress and promote or restore normal physiological functioning.
For thousands of years there have been certain plants that have been used and known to those in the herbal world that have the ability to help the body in a general way. That is whatever the body needs, those plants can help create balance and health in the body.
Half a century ago, Russian physician and pharmacologist, Dr. Israel Brekhman, and his mentor, Prof. Lazarev named those type of plants “adaptogens.” This name was chosen due to the scientific proof of their effectiveness in helping the human body to “adapt” to changes in the environment. Scientific studies have shown that humans and other organisms are able to adapt better and survive longer when using these adaptogenic herbs. (1)
Because of adaptogenic herbs ability to benefits the body however it needs, they aren’t used for specific ailments, but rather to increase overall health.
Adaptogens increase the body’s resistance to physical, biological, emotional and environmental stressors. They are unique from other substances in their ability to balance endocrine hormones and the immune system, and they help the body to maintain optimal homeostasis. (1)
Benefits of Holy Basil
Common Name: Holy Basil, also known as Tulsi
Botanical Name: Ocimum sanctum
Holy basil is a member of the mint, or Labiatae, family. It is closely related to the sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum), which is frequently used in cooking.
Eugenol and caryophyllene are aromatic compounds, so named because of their pleasing fragrance or “aroma.” These compounds are present in many plants, including holy basil, and have long been used in essential oils because their fragrant scent is said to elevate both mood and spirit. Scientific studies have shown that eugenol, in particular, helps to combat stress and enhance mental clarity. Research has also shown that the triterpenoic acids isolated from holy basil effectively improve the body”s response to stress. (2)
Holy Basil touts significant health benefits:
- Overall health promotion
- Soothing stress
- Promoting blood sugar balance
- Immune system support
- Gastrointestinal health
- Anti-inflammatory, anti-aging and antioxidant power
- Heart health
- Joint health
- Cellular health/cancer therapy
- Adrenal support
- Liver support
- Antibiotic protection
- Lung and bronchial support
- Increased energy
- Hormonal and reproductive equilibrium
- …and much more!
You can purchase Holy Basil in capsule form, or loose tea form. You can also purchase seeds and grow it in your garden.
Have you had a positive health benefit from taking Holy Basil?