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Holy Basil 

 

Ocimum tenuiflorum


Holy Basil has been used and highly revered in India within the Ayurveda medicine system for thousands of years. It has mainly been used for its apoptogenic properties but there is a spiritual element to this plant that is well documented in Ayurveda. Within Ayurveda it is also known as ‘Mother Medicine of Nature’ and ‘Queen of Herbs’. It has been used in spiritual rituals and lifestyle practices that appear to have provided an array of health benefits. Science is now looking more closely at this plant. 


Research is showing that Holy Basil helps with general ’housekeeping’ within the body this is attributed to its high content of phenolic compounds. These are the compounds that are associated with the consumption of fruits and vegetables. Holy basil also enhances the liver activity of detoxification enzymes typically in the P450 pathway. This is an important part of keeping our bodies clear of potential damage and change by external toxins such as pollutants and potentially harmful chemicals added to food. 


In terms of spiritually in Hinduism, the main religion of Ayurveda, Holy Basil has been worshiped as a Goddess and every part of the plant is considered sacred including the surrounding soil in which a plant grows. This soil has recently been found to contain beneficial endophytic fungi. This increases the plants ability to uptake nutrients and therefore the plants ability to produce secondary metabolites. Secondary metabolites are the medicinal parts of plant and often referred to as phytochemicals. The fungi also protect the plant from insects and herbivores. A good ally to have around you. The presence of endophytic fungi around the plant is considered an aspect of the divine in Hindu texts. A Hindi household is considered incomplete without a Holy basil plant in it. It is part of everyday life through morning and evening rituals that can involve consuming Holy basil tea. Its high eugenol content is the same phytochemical that give cloves their smell and helps keep insects away. 


The NUDE SOUL bar uses herbs that have a spiritual element to them, and Holy Basil is crucial for this. 

- By Natasha Lloyd (BS) Herbal Medicine,
Licensed Herbalist at NUDE LLC