Overview

Holy basil is a plant. It is originally from India but now grows in Australia, West Africa, and some Middle Eastern countries. It is used in Ayurvedic medicine. The leaves, stems, and seeds are used to make medicine.

Holy basil is used for anxiety, stress, diabetes, high cholesterol, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

In cooking, holy basil is used for its peppery taste, and is sometimes called "hot basil".

How does it work ?

Chemicals in holy basil are thought to decrease pain and swelling (inflammation). Other chemicals might lower blood sugar in people with diabetes.

There is interest in using holy basil seed oil for cancer. Early research suggests that the oil can slow progression and improve survival rate in animals with certain types of cancer. Researchers think this benefit may be explained by the oil's ability to act as an antioxidant.

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