We all know basil as a culinary herb. It’s that bunch of leaves on top of your pizza or salad. It could also be the torn leaves in your olive-oil based marinade. And it’s often seen as the flaky greens on your hot and about-to-be-served marinara sauce on top of your pasta.
But did you know that a particular type of basil is known to have medicinal properties? Holy basil is called “the Queen of Herbs” for a reason. First used in Ayurvedic medicine, this was used to help maintain good health by preventing sickness via daily intake. The different plant parts are also used to treat different existing conditions. 
- Anti-anxiety. Holy basil’s calming property is said to be similar to diazepam and other antidepressant drugs. It is seen as an anti-stress ingredient or an “adaptogen” that resists damaging effects of stress and anxiety.
- Boost the immune system. It is high in vitamins, particularly vitamin C which is potent in enhancing one’s immune system.
- Colds and bronchitis. Traditional Ayurvedic practices use the fresh flowers to alleviate the symptoms of respiratory tract infections.
- Fever. The tender leaves are boiled and taken as tea for prevention of fevers such as dengue and malaria. The extract of the leaves are used to bring down fever-induced temperatures.
- Treating wounds, insect bites, and ulcers. Leaf extracts are also said to be anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and analgesic. Using holy basil improves the healing time of wounds and insect bites. 
Nowadays, modern advances in supplements do away with the tedious task of herbal preparation. Holy basil comes in both its natural plant form or capsules. It is easy to obtain, as you do not need a prescription for it. But if you are currently undergoing treatment, it is best to see your doctor first for proper dosing.
 Marc Maurice Cohen, “Tulsi – Ocimum sanctum: A herb for all reasons”, Oct-Dec 2014, Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4296439/
 Brian Krans, et al, “The Health Benefits of Holy Basil”, 30 August 2017, Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/basil-benefits
 Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS, “Holy Basil”, 6 October 2019, Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/holy-basiil-uses-and-risks
 MP Bhattathiry, “15 Benefits of the Holy Basil (Tulsi) Herb”, Updated 13 January 2019, Retrieved from https://www.learnreligions.com/benefits-of-the-holy-basil-tulsi-1770035