Food that calms you down: Basil (the herb not the great mouse detective)

In this post we will be talking about how Holy Basil can help you with anxiety and stress; well I say we, but truthfully I’m going to be the one doing all the talking and you guys are just going to read the text (you don’t have a choice).

Tulsi or Tulasi Holy basil

By Shashidhara halady (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

First off, what is holy basil? Holy Basil is an herb that is a member of the mint family and commonly used in cooking. It is native to tropical Asia but now grows in all tropical countries. Fun fact, holy basil is called Tulsi in India and has been used there as a medicinal herb for more than 3000 years.

Now, when I was looking up foods that help relieve stress I was actually surprised to find this. I mean I knew that basil was used as an herb to help a common cold and in food to spice things up a bit, but to treat stress and anxiety too? Well you learn something new every day!

So how does holy basil help you with anxiety and stress? Well, according to this article from, holy basil reduces the amount of the stress hormone cortisol in your body. What’s more, holy basil also increases your physical and emotional endurance, making it easier for people like you and me to deal with stressors. Holy basil also lowers blood sugar levels which helps reduce cravings and stabilises moods, and thus helps you lose weight. The article is called “Holy basil – a key herb for stress, anxiety, depression and fatigue,” written by Joanna Sochan, and has a lot more detail on the subject, including studies conducted testing the effectiveness of the herb. It also talks about the other benefits of taking holy basil. It does give a little warning though, saying you shouldn’t take it if you’re pregnant or lactating and that holy basil can act as a male contraceptive when used in large doses; so be careful about that. The article is worth at least a quick read so I recommend taking a look.

There are of course other articles that talk about how holy basil helps against stress, but they more or less say the same thing as the article I mentioned before, you can look them up for yourself if you want and you’ll see what I mean.

In fact I’ll make it easier for you, here’s a list of some of those articles, you can check them out for yourself

Well this article turned out to be a bit short, but the way I see it the point has been made and nothing more really needs to be said.  I hope you liked this post, I hope you found it useful and if this post has you considering buying some basil to try out, I’ll consider it a success. Now if you will excuse me, I’m off to enjoy my basil and honey tea.

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