Ocimum sanctum / Ocimum tenuiflorum
Sacred plant revered in India for its meditative properties & attracting positive energy. Increases focus, clarity, awareness and demonstrates warm, rich-eugenol notes through its herbaceous nature.
– adaptogen (stress reduction)
– cardio protection
– common colds/flu
– deepen meditative practice
– mood elevation
– reflective introspection
– upset stomach
Dr. Nick Notes
In India, folklore states that no negative energy may exist in this plant’s auric field and when an individual ingests this sacrament into their body, more light & positive energy surrounds the person. It is common for families in India to grow this plant in their back yard on top of their altars. This protects the family, house and brings deep fortune & prosperity ~ Definitely a correlation with it’s common name: Holy Basil.
Tulsi, translating to “the incomparable one”, has been used in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years and in hindu cultures is considered a sacred as well as medicinal plant. Widely considered to have adaptogenic properties, holy basil can assist in adapting to stresses from environmental, physical, or chemical origins and restores balance to the body by normalization of function.
Eugenol, the major constituent of tulsi oil, is thought to be responsible for many properties attributed to the herbaceous shrub. In animal studies, eugenol or tulsi oil, has been shown to reduce raised blood sugar (hyperglycemia), lower triglycerides and cholesterol levels, lower liver enzymes that are diagnostic of liver damage, and have vasorelaxive properties; shedding light onto the favorable cardiovascular profile of the oil (1).
Although holy basil as a plant is Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) it may have blood thinning, blood-sugar lowering, and contractive effects on uterine tissue. Therefore, caution is warranted if taking other medications that thin the blood, lower blood sugar, or are pregnant, respectively (2).
Ocimum sanctum is ridiculously purposeful and one EO that I enjoy sharing tremendously. This essence has very low water solubility unless the water is heated before adding a drop – I love having a meditative cup of tulsi tea with friends ~ 1 drop in 8-16 oz of hot water leads to a peaceful time-inside yourself. The flavor is a rich liquorice-anise flavor and the physical relaxation & mental clarity which ensues is incomparable to anything else I’ve experienced. Vaporizing tulsi is with an Essential VAAAPP is definitely my favorite method of working with this essence.
Here’s a fun story: In November 2013 Dr. Juan Acosta-Urquidi, PhD, Cellular Neurophysiology hooked me up to one of his fancy gadgets which tested for Heart Rate Variability (HRV). We decided to test to see if there were any noticable physiological changes in my body by using essential oils which could be measured by data. My subjective experience of vaporizing tulsi oil provides great psychological ease for about 1-2 hours using an Essential VAAAPP, so we selected this oil to start measuring with. What Dr. Juan observed was a decrease of VLF and elevation of LF – these shifts lasted for over an hour. Towards the end of the hour, a tiny elevation of HF was present, in addition to sub-elevated LF. My VLF was not as high as it had started which also reflected a noticeable shift. From his experience using HRV, he was rather astounded at the dramatic positive correlation that vaporizing tulsi oil with one inhalation had for such a prolonged period of time on HRV testing.
VLF – Very Low Frequency
LF – Low Frequency
HF – High Frequency
How to Use
- Upon vaporization of one drop a deeper meditative space is achieved with some individuals reporting increased mental clarity and focus.
- In a diffuser tulsi can invigorate and purify-stimulating mental clarity for meditation, home, or the office (One of my vendors stated that they measured about a 30% increase in sales by using tulsi oil in their diffuser at their office).
- Not recommended for topical use – extreme dilution is needed [ie. 1-2 drops per 1 oz carrier oil (0.16-0.33%)] since eugenol is present in tulsi.
- Incredible tulsi tea! Heat 8-16 oz of water and infuse one drop; mix well and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes while some of the tulsi oil evaporates off. Breathing in the steam initially after the tulsi oil is added to the hot water may irritate your lungs/eyes, as it’s highly concentrated.
- Difficult to cook or flavor food with since it’s so strong. I’ve had success with 1 drop smirred on a large avocado.
- For internal use, try placing 1 drop of tulsi in an empty vegetarian capsule. May fill with fractionated coconut oil (MCT) to dilute so the body may absorb oil more effectively.
Hazards: May contain methyleugenol; drug interaction; may inhibit blood clotting; skin sensitization (moderate risk); mucous membrane irritation (low risk).
Cautions (oral): May interact with pethidine, MAOIs or SSRIs. Anticoagulant medication, major surgery, peptic ulcer, hemophilia, other bleeding disorders.
Maximum Dermal Use Level: 1%
~ Adopted from Tisserand & Young, Essential Oil Safety, 2nd ed. 2013 ~
Terpenes: Eugenol, 1,8-Cineole, Estragole, β – Bisabolene, (Z)-α-Bisabolene, (E)-β-Ocimene, Chavicol, β-Caryophyllene, Camphene, α-Caryophyllene, β – Pinene, Germacrene D, (E)-α-Bergamotene, Methyleugenol
~ Be Blessed ~
- Prakash P, Gupta N. Therapeutic uses of Ocimum sanctum Linn (Tulsi) with a note on eugenol and its pharmacological actions: a short review. 2005 Apr;49(2):125-31.
- Natural Standard Database: the authority on integrative medicine. Holy basil (Ociumum sanctum L). Accessed December 10th 2013
- Kumar A, Shukla R, Singh P, Dubey NK. Chemical composition, antifungal and antiaflatoxigenic activities of Ocimum sanctum L. essential oil and its safety assessment as plant based antimicrobial. Food ChemToxicol. 2010 Feb;48(2):539-43. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2009.11.028. Epub 2009 Nov 10.
- Suanarunsawat T, Devakul Na Ayutthaya W, Songsak T, Thirawarapan S, Poungshompoo S. Antioxidant Activity and Lipid-Lowering Effect of Essential Oils Extracted from Ocimum sanctum L. Leaves in Rats Fed with a High Cholesterol Diet. J Clin Biochem Nutr. 2010 Jan;46(1):52-9. doi: 10.3164/jcbn.09-52. Epub 2009 Dec 29.
- Tisserand, Robert, and Rodney Young. Essential Oil Safety. Second ed. Churchhill Livingstone, 2013. Print.
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using this product.