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What is Holy Basil?

  • Holy basil (Ocimum sanctum) is a member of the mint, or Labiatae, family. Though it is closely related to the sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum) frequently used in cooking, holy basil has a much richer history. The plant, which is native to tropical Asia, is now found in most tropical parts of the world. It has only recently gained popularity in the United States although it has been grown in India for more than 3,000 years.1,2.

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.

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    • Holy basil is a plant. It is originally from India and is used in Ayurvedic medicine as an “adaptogen” to counter  stress. Medicine is made from the leaves, stems, and seeds.

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