Holy Basil and Stress


The many faces of stress

Stress is a word that means different things to different people. For some, it embodies a long workday with deadlines and bills to pay.  For others, it’s over-stimulation, chores, and disorganization. One thing that we all have in common is that we all experience stress on the regular. Some people, when stressed, feel anxious, and have racing minds or generate big feelings of being overwhelmed.  

Cortisol and Stress

When our body is put in a stressful situation it produces a hormone called Cortisol. Cortisol is tricky because it alters our body’s ability to control blood sugar.  We may feel more sluggish, fatigue easily, and feel more irritable. Remember when Johnny dropped his WHOLE cup of milk on the floor and your first reaction was to get angry instead of helping him wipe up the milk and his tears? Or when the meeting was ALMOST over but Susan decided at this moment to ask her 25 questions (Ugh, Susan you’re the worst!). 

What are Adaptogens?

Adaptogens are herbs that can help provide balance when taken consistently.  Holy Basil, sometimes known as Tulsi, has shown over and over again the beneficial properties it possesses. In Ayurvedic medicine, Tulsi (holy basil) is known as the “Elixir of Life,” for its healing powers and efficacy.  Decreasing stress, and anxiety, and improving sleep and immune function are just a few of the ways Holy basil has been studied (1).        

Quality of Herbal Supplements

That is the big elephant in the room.  If you have read our stuff before you know that the FDA does NOT regulate supplements and vitamins the way they do for medications. It is a little-known fact and most people blindly trust what they find on the shelves at Target, Vitamin World, or Amazon (who doesn’t love Prime?).  But the problem arises when we discuss efficacy. Consumer labs is a website that tests out supplements to check if the labeled amount they claim on the bottle matches what it actually contains as well as the purity of the product.  There are TONS of adulterated supplements out there containing toxins that we do NOT want to ingest.  They did an evaluation of Holy Basil supplements and found that less than half of the products they tested actually had the amount of active ingredient they claimed to! They tested bulk herbs, capsules, and liquids, leaving no stone unturned (2). 

Already tried it?

It’s likely, that if you have taken Holy Basil (Tulsi) in the past, you were not taking a dose high enough to allow for the amazing effects to kick in.  If you haven’t taken it and want to, check out our supplement page for a look at our best seller!  Also, this product works best when taken DAILY and for some, twice daily (raises hand).  I don’t know about you, but I will gladly take something that makes me feel more able to handle my stress load (which for the most part is NOT changing anytime soon). Motherhood is the most rewarding and challenging job I have ever had!

Further Research:

If you are looking for more research on the subject, check out the cited research here (3).

Want to know what the FDA does and doesn’t do? Check out this site for more information (4).

Hoping your Holy Basil brings you some balance amongst burnout.




  1. Cohen MM. Tulsi – Ocimum sanctum: A herb for all reasons. J Ayurveda Integr Med. 2014 Oct-Dec;5(4):251-9. doi: 10.4103/0975-9476.146554. PMID: 25624701; PMCID: PMC4296439.
  2. Consumer Labs: https://www.consumerlab.com/reviews/holy-basil-supplements-reviewed/holy-basil/
  3. Jamshidi N, Cohen MM. The Clinical Efficacy and Safety of Tulsi in Humans: A Systematic Review of the Literature. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2017;2017:9217567. doi: 10.1155/2017/9217567. Epub 2017 Mar 16. PMID: 28400848; PMCID: PMC5376420.
  4. FDA Website : https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/fda-101-dietary-supplements#:~:text=The%20FDA%20does%20NOT%20have,are%20sold%20to%20the%20public.