Relax With Holy Basil

Maylin Rodriguez-Paez RN

Anxiety is the most common mental illness in the United States. Roughly 18% of Americans have this condition and many go untreated.

It’s actually estimated that about two thirds of those suffering forgo medical treatment.1

Many are concerned about the side effects associated with anxiety medications, and rightfully so. They’re not exactly risk-free.

Luckily, there are a number of safe herbs that not only alleviate anxiety, but offer additional health benefits as well. Below, we’ll explore the anti-anxiety effects of holy basil, one of nature’s best stress-relieving herbs.

Holy Basil Offers Multiple Health Beneifts

Holy basil has been used traditionally in Asia for thousands of years. Holy basil should not be confused with sweet basil, the popular herb used in Italian dishes.

Research shows holy basil has anti-inflammatory, anti-ulcer, anti-cancer, anti-diabetic, and anti-convulsant properties, making it a versatile herb for a variety of ailments.2-4

It also falls into the category of adaptogenic herbs. These herbs, which also include the popular rhodiola and ashwagandha, help the body adjust to internal and external stresses.

Holy Basil Eases Anxiety And Depression

Animal studies, along with human studies, have verified the mood-enhancing benefits of holy basil.

In a clinical study, 35 adults suffering from generalized anxiety disorder received 500 mg of holy basil twice daily after meals. Their symptoms were assessed using mental health questionnaires and clinical evaluations.

At the end of the 60 days, there were significant decreases in stress, depression, and anxiety scores.5

In a different study, 71 participants took 1,200 mg of holy basil for six weeks while 79 were assigned a placebo. For both groups, symptoms of stress were measured using a standard psychological scale.

Compared to placebo, scores improved for all stress-related symptoms, including forgetfulness, sexual problems, exhaustion, and sleep difficulties.

The stress scores of the treatment group improved 39%.6 The mood-balancing mechanisms of holy basil are not entirely clear.

Holy basil helps to modulate cortisol, the hormone that regulates stress in the human body.7

What About You?

Do you suffer from anxiety yourself?


  1. Available at: Accessed October 17, 2014. 
  2. J Ethnopharmacol. 1999 Apr;65(1):13-9. 
  3. Nutr Cancer. 2013;65 Suppl 1:26-35. 
  4. Indian J Exp Biol. 2003 Nov;41(11):1329-33. 
  5. Nepal Med Coll J. 2008 Sep;10(3):176-9. 
  6. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:894509. doi: 10.1155/2012/894509. Epub 2011 Oct 3. 
  7. Pharmazie. 2004 Nov;59(11):876-8.


Life Extension said...

Rui de Castro- You're welcome!

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