scientific names: Ocimum sanctum / Ocimum tenuiflorum
Holy basil has been used for culinary and medicinal purposes for thousands of years in India and S.E. Asia. Its distinct cooling mellow “peppery” flavor distinguishes it from other varieties of basil. The aroma is a blend of peppermint, cloves, licorice, and lemon. This flavor and aroma make holy basil an essential ingredient for Thai cooking. In addition to its culinary use, holy basil is a medicinal herb in the category known as “adaptogens.”
Adaptogens are the precious gemstones of botanical medicine. Ancient traditions gave them spiritual significance and made fantastic claims of supernormal healing abilities based on their consistent extraordinary results. The Hindu name for holy basil is “Tulsi,” which means “the incomparable one.” Tulsi holds a special status in Hindu mythology where it is considered sacred. Today clinical research and scientific studies are verifying many of the medical claims of the ancient masters.
The wide range and depth of healing abilities of adaptogens are due to their ability to promote homeostasis (balance) throughout the body.
Chronic stress contributes to a broad spectrum of health problems. Holy basil enhances the body’s ability to function optimally in the face of physical, mental, and emotional stress. The primary adaptogenic metabolic pathway taken by holy basil is to balance adrenaline, cortisol, and corticosterone stress hormone levels. While a certain level of stress is healthy, chronic (on-going) stress is damaging and requires therapeutic intervention.
Balanced levels of stress hormones such as corticosteroids promoted by holy basil result in improved cognitive functions such as memory and mental clarity and reduce the risk of age-related degenerative mental disorders.
Aromatic compounds found in holy basil (particularly eugenol) combat stress and enhance mental clarity. Additionally, triterpenoic acid and caryophyllene (a primary terpene) found in holy basil enhance the body’s adaptive stress response. Daily supplementation of holy basil has been shown to significantly reduce corticosterone levels helping the body to handle stress, elevate mood, and improve mental clarity. Holy basil contributes considerably to maintaining standards of stress hormones such as cortisol within normal (healthy) parameters, thereby reducing the damaging effects of chronic stress on many aspects of your health and well-being.
Weight Loss: The stress-reducing properties of holy basil assist in weight loss. When the body is stressed it sends signals to ingest more food and hold on to all energy sources, storing the food you take in as fat in an ill-fated (unbalanced) attempt to protect the body.
Skin health: Holy basil purifies the blood. Elimination of toxins in the bloodstream reduces the appearance of pimples and acne. Holy basil is an essential ingredient in herbal skincare formulations helping to maintain healthy skin and hair.
Anti-bacterial / Antiviral: Bacterial and viral infections are a growing global concern. Allopathic medications are encountering strains that have developed resistance. Research supports the use of holy basil as an effective, natural, and powerful antibacterial and anti-viral agent. The anti-microbial essential oils contained in holy basil are efficient in the prevention and cure of a wide range of infections ranging from malaria, typhoid, flu, and acne. A mild eyewash of a small quantity of holy basil mixed in water will help to prevent conjunctivitis, boils, and eye problems due to viral, bacterial, and fungal infections.
Respiratory Disorders: Camphene, eugenol, and cineole found in holy basil’s essential oils are effective in helping to cure respiratory disorders, including bronchitis and some of the underlying causes of asthma. Lung infections, as well as congestion, respond well to holy basil and lung damage from smoking and tuberculosis, are helped to heal.
Prevents Diabetes: Inclusion of Thai basil in your diet can help lower blood sugar levels. While this helps to prevent diabetes, be careful. If you already have type 2 diabetes and are on medication to control blood sugar, holy basil could result in excessively low blood sugar.
Heals Wounds: Holy basil leaves boost the strength and speed of healing wounds. Healing of injuries is a dynamic process of tissue restoration, re-establishment of the integrity of injured skin and underlying tissues. Topical application of holy basil provides it’s antibacterial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immunostimulatory qualities that have been shown to improve the healing process. Used after surgery, it will help to heal wounds more quickly and protect healing areas from infections.
Lowers Bad Cholesterol: Fresh holy basil appears to significantly lower harmful cholesterol in the blood. This helps to guard the heart against chronic stress.
Joint Protection: Holy basil contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that come from eugenol in the oil in the leaves that help to ease chronic joint inflammation and pain, including arthritis as effectively as aspirin.
Detoxifying Agent: The “Journal of Medicinal Foods” (Sept. 2007 issue) published a study that showed holy basil to exercise substantial detoxifying ability. Holy basil was found to protect the liver against exposure to toxins, inhibition of oxidation of lipids and proteins, and enhanced activity of liver-detoxifying enzymes.
Anti-Aging: Vitamins A and C, phytonutrients, and the essential oils in holy basil provide antioxidant protection. Ayurveda (traditional Indian medicine) considers holy basil as a tonic to preserve youth and avoid premature aging.
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Our Process dramatically increases the exposed surface area, which, in turn, increases the rate of heat exchange, allowing larger quantities to be dried faster. The resulting porous particle structure is more bio-active (better preserved natural ingredients) and more bioavailable (more easily absorbed and metabolized). Our process is unique in that the plant tissue fractures between/along with the layers of the cell walls sustaining cellular integrity and the bioactive extracellular matrix. Exposure of the entire surface area to be dried results in “even” drying which preserves cell wall structure and preserves the biochemical makeup of the plant as it exists in nature. In addition to higher bioactivity, this process results in porous particles that are easier to absorb and are, therefore, more bioavailable. Higher bioactivity, combined with higher bio-availability makes all of our freeze-dried bioactivate botanicals significantly more effective. The analysis and measurement of targeted chemical compounds is a valid analytical tool but does not fully explain the body’s adaptive mechanisms. Our Processing takes you beyond the chemistry per se. Crucial FOUR, INC takes a holistic approach that includes the subtle mechanisms of nature operating with intelligence through patterns of association and encoded information.