The benefits of holy basil

Holy basil, also known as tulsi, has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Antioxidants are plant compounds that can help to tackle excess free radicals which can cause damage or inflammation in the body.

The benefits of holy basil are numerous. The herb has been historically so revered throughout India that it was given the special name of ‘holy’ basil. It may be especially beneficial for sufferers of hay fever. It’s also good for flu-like symptoms such as high temperatures and headaches.

How does holy basil help with hay fever?

Holy basil prevents something called mast cell degranulation. Mast cells help to signal histamine responses in the body and so this herb can be helpful for modulating our immune response. It helps by reducing the amount of histamine sent to deal with pollen, hence reducing the severity of hay fever symptoms.

Holy basil is also known as one of the most effective rejuvenators of the respiratory system and is often used in Ayurvedic cough syrups for this reason. It appears to help mobilise mucus, which may be potentially useful for symptoms such as congestion and the tickly coughs associated with hay fever. Certain plant chemicals also help with swelling and inflammation that can cause discomfort.

Holy basil is also an adaptogen, meaning it can help to abate inflammatory stresses on the body.  It’s a herb that addresses both the root cause and the symptoms of hay fever. By modulating the body’s over-reaction to pollen, it can help support the respiratory system when symptoms appear.

How to take it?

Holy basil is available in capsule form, with a recommended dosage limit of 2000mg a day. This may be a useful supplement to add to your routine during allergy season.

Our favourite way to add holy basil into the day is by brewing tulsi tea. Drunk extensively through India, it’s a delicious way to help soothe hay fever symptoms.

We love this blend from Pukka, which contains a combination of green, purple and lemon tulsi for greater clarity and relief from congestion.

It’s a tasty way to experience the benefits of holy basil in a convenient way. Being low in histamine, it’s also a useful alternative to regular black or green teas. These can be very high in histamine so avoid these if your hay fever symptoms are significant.

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