Holy Basil Found to Normalize Neurotransmitter Levels in Brain

Apr 14, 2021

Holy basil, or tulsi, is an aromatic perennial plant native to India that is used by herbalists to treat stress, anxiety, fatigue, headaches, and inflammation. It has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties as well as immunomodulatory effects—meaning, it produces antibodies.1 One study has shown that it boosts cognition and reduces anxiety traits.2 Holy basil is an adaptogen that can assist us in coping with stress. The findings from 24 human studies suggest that holy basil is a safe herbal intervention for psychological and immunological stress.3

Holy basil normalizes neurotransmitter levels in the brain. A 2009 study in India demonstrated a 39 percent reduction of symptoms of stress (insomnia, heart palpitations, headaches, fatigue, irritability, sexual dysfunction, gastrointestinal distress, and more) over a six-week period with participants taking 1,200 milligrams per day of holy basil.4

You can enjoy a relaxing cup of tea made with the leaves of holy basil or use a powdered herbal supplement.

This is an excerpt from my latest book, Anxiety-Free with Food. To read more about this topic, get the book HERE.



1.     R. Mukherjee, P.K. Dash, and G.C. Ram, “Immunotherapeutic Potential of Ocimum sanctum (L) in Bovine Subclinical Mastitis,” Research in Veterinary Sciencevol. 79, no. 1 (2005), pp. 37–43, doi: 10.1016/j.rvsc.2004.11.001.

2.     S. Sampath, et al. “Holy Basil (Ocimum sanctum Linn.) Leaf Extract Enhances Specific Cognitive Parameters in Healthy Adult Volunteers: A Placebo Controlled Study,” Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology, vol. 59, no. 1 (January–March 2015), pp. 69–77, PMID: 26571987.

3.     N. Jamshidi and M.M. Cohen, “The Clinical Efficacy and Safety of Tulsi in Humans: A Systematic Review of the Literature,” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 1 (March 16, 2017), pp. 1–13, doi: 10.1155/2017/9217567.

4.     R.C. Saxena, et al., “Efficacy of an Extract of Ocimum tenuiflorum (OciBest) in the Management of General Stress: A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study,” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine (October 3, 2011), 894509, doi: 10.1155/2012/894509.