Holy basil also known as Ocimum Sanctum is a native Indian herb that is known to be the most significant plant in Ayurvedic medicine. The plant is popularly referred to as tulsi in India. It has a pleasant fragrance and is easily available in red and green forms.
It is primarily grown in the Hindu temples. Even though it is well known in India, nowadays it is grown by people throughout the world. This plant is small, hairy with several branches and the leaves are very tender. The stem and the leaves of holy basil are used for its medicinal qualities in Ayurveda. The beneficial effects of holy basil in the treatment of diabetes are discussed below.
Holy Basil for the Treatment of Diabetes
Improves the Beta Cell Function
The leaves of holy basil possess essential oils that produce methyl eugenol, caryophyllene and eugenol. Apart from that they also produce substances like apigenin and ursolic acid.
Studies and research conducted revealed that holy basil leaves have the capacity to improve the functions of the beta cells in the pancreas, which in turn boosts the secretion of insulin and this is effective in the treatment of diabetes.
Elevates The Production Of Insulin
Diabetes is a disorder that is caused by the increase in the glucose levels in the blood. It is classified into two types. People suffering from Type 1 diabetes cannot produce the hormone called insulin and they require insulin injections to compensate this deficit.
Individuals suffering from Type 2 diabetes do produce insulin. However, the insulin produced is inadequate or they are insensitive to it. Some research conducted on this theory found that holy basil has the potential to increase the secretion of insulin in patients suffering from Type 2 diabetes.
Decreases The Levels Of Glucose
Holy basil is known to help in lowering the glucose levels in the blood during fasting and post meal. A study done in forty patients suffering from Type 2 diabetes where they stopped all diabetic medications and supplemented with 2.5 grams of the powdered form of holy basil found that these patients showed a decreased blood glucose level during fasting by about 17.6% and by 7.3% blood glucose levels, post meals.
Reduces The Risk Of Cardiovascular Complications
People suffering from diabetes have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular complications and this is one of the major causes of death in diabetic patients. Holy basil is known to possess antioxidant qualities, which are effective in protecting the body from damage.
The free radicals are said to be the main cause of cardiovascular disorders and the antioxidants are the elements, which help in combating these free radicals. Research and studies have also revealed that holy basil has the ability to decrease the levels of total cholesterol and the levels of triglyceride. Increased cholesterol level is the reason for developing cardiovascular problems like strokes and arteries that get hardened. Therefore, holy basil helps in reducing this risk in the diabetic patients.
To see beneficial results in the treatment of diabetes, holy basil or tulsi is recommended to be consumed every day. The suggested dosage may vary from person to person based on the seriousness of the issue.
However, the generic advisable dosage for diabetic patients is 2.5 grams of holy basil leaves in the powdered form. This has to be taken orally in the morning every day. Holy basil can also be taken as tea by adding a tablespoon of tulsi, which is dried well to a cup of water. Take this decoction thrice every day.