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.
People also take lactobacillus to try to treat other problems related to the digestive system. Studies show some promise for:
Colic in babies
Irritable bowel syndrome
Helicobacter pylori infection, which causes ulcers
There isn't enough research to know if lactobacillus helps with Crohn's disease or necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) in premature babies.
Infections. Many studies show that lactobacillus may help prevent infections. For example, it may help prevent lung infections in children in daycare centers. It also may help treat or prevent vaginal infections caused by bacteria.
But there isn't enough known about using lactobacillus for colds or urinary tract infections. And it isn't clear if it can boost the immune system or prevent infections in people on ventilators.
Skin problems. People take lactobacillus to try to treat:
Eczema, especially in children with eczema in the family
Eczema may benefit from the use of lactobacillus, but there isn't enough evidence to know if it helps with these other skin problems.
Researchers have used many different doses of lactobacillus. The optimal dose is not known. But a typical daily dose ranges from 1 to 10 billion living organisms pr day. You take this divided into three to four doses each day, ideally before or with meals. It may work better if the product is kept in the refrigerator.
Lactobacillus is called a probiotic when you take it in adequate amounts to help with health. However, supplement ingredients and quality may vary widely from maker to maker. This makes it hard to set a standard dose.