Holy basil is related to the familiar sweet basil that's used in cooking. Its leaves are pale green and have a somewhat hairy appearance.
Holy basil has long been used as a traditional medicine in China and India. Some cultures regard the plant as sacred.
Limited studies have shown a possible link between GABA and lowered blood pressure. But research on GABA supplements is lacking. Researchers haven't confirmed whether or not it works for the many reasons people take it.
It is not clear whether GABA taken as a supplement reaches the brain in large enough quantities to have an effect. There isn't a set dosage for GABA at this time.
Can you get GABA naturally from foods?
You cannot get GABA naturally from foods. But a variety of foods contain substances such as flavonoids that influence how GABA works in the brain. These foods include:
What are the risks of taking GABA?
Side effects. There has not been enough research to uncover the side effects of GABA supplements.
Risks. Overall, there isn't enough information to be sure about the safety of GABA. For this reason, it's best to play it safe and not use GABA if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Interactions. Not enough is known about how GABA may interact with drugs, foods, or other herbs and supplements.
Be sure to tell your doctor about any supplements you're taking, even if they're natural. That way, your doctor can check on any potential side effects or interactions with medications, foods, or other herbs and supplements. He or she can let you know if the supplement might raise your risks.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does regulate dietary supplements; however, it treats them like foods rather than medications. Unlike drug manufacturers, the makers of supplements don’t have to show their products are safe or effective before selling them on the market.