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Holy Basil / Tulsi: Herbal Alternative to Hormone Therapy and Gallstone Treatment

Posted by Jennifer Shipp | Jul 12, 2022


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Holy Basil / Ocimum sanctum / Tulsi

Holy Basil is an adaptogenic herb. In other words, it works by reducing levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. When the body and mind are under stress, the adrenal glands produce higher-than-normal levels of cortisol. In order to produce higher-than normal levels of cortisol, the adrenal glands pull the precursors to other reproductive hormones out of circulation. Reproductive hormones like testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone then become deficient in the body because the precursors the body uses to manufacture them aren’t available. This can cause a downward spiral of generally poor health and debility. Holy Basil helps reverse this process by lowering cortisol levels and by modulating blood sugar levels in the body.

In addition to Holy Basil’s ability to modulate cortisol and blood sugar levels in the body, it is also able to modulate immune system function. As an herbal treatment for autoimmune disease, Holy Basil can be administered to enhance the immune system or to quiet it down. 

If you’re looking for an herbal treatment that you could use instead of bioidentical hormone therapy, consider Holy Basil as a suitable option for both men and women. Holy Basil won’t increase reproductive hormone levels, but rather will simply make the precursor molecules more available to the body so that reproductive hormones can be naturally manufactured. If you want to improve your body’s ability to make its own reproductive hormones, Holy Basil is a good choice.

In addition to its effects on the gallbladder, holy basil also helps clear the lungs. A number of herbs in this list have simultaneous effects on both the digestive system as well as the respiratory system. Indeed, these two systems of the body are intimately connected via the intersection between the esophagus and the trachea and also via the autonomic nervous system.

Holy Basil can be used to treat kidney stones as well as gallstones. It is an anti-parasitic herb that can also be taken to kill intestinal worms. 

Holy Basil / Tulsi increases body heat and dilates blood vessels. It has a relaxing effect on the nerves and on the muscles of the organs and in the blood vessels. Blood vessel dilation increases blood flow to the skin and to the organs. Indeed, many people experience increased blood flow to the brain as relaxing and calming, an effect that can be useful to those who are taking Holy Basil / Tulsi. 

The blood vessel dilation caused by Holy Basil make it possible for this herb to lower fevers. As such, Holy Basil is an antipyretic herb. As a lung tonic that improves breath by expanding the lungs and clearing fluids out of the lungs. If you have a lung infection such as bronchitis with a fever, Holy Basil is a good herbal treatment for both of these symptoms.  

Tulsi can be used to treat lung infection as well as altitude sickness. As an herbal remedy for altitude sickness, Tulsi is able to increase the amount of air taken into the lungs, improve oxygen levels in the blood, and also improve blood flow throughout the body.

Holy Basil / Tulsi also has an effect on menstruation. If you have amennorhea or delayed menstruation (late periods), Holy Basil / Tulsi might help. Be aware that if your periods are normal, Tulsi can make them heavier.  Holy Basil can be taken at 300 mg up to 2000 mg per day in divided doses. If you are working on a cure for autoimmune disease or for any other health issues for which Holy Basil is appropriate, consider taking 1000 mg in the morning and at night for several months. 

Holy Basil can be administered as a tea. Steep 2000 mg in a cup of hot water for 15 minutes. A cup of Tulsi tea can be used to prevent disease or as an herbal treatment for altitude sickness.  

NOTE: Be aware the Holy Basil usually takes at least 1 week of treatment for patients to begin to see progress in terms of autoimmune symptoms or increased stamina. Improvements will improve over time, so patients should commit to taking Holy Basil for at least 1 month before deciding whether or not to continue. 

The Gallbladder and Beyond: A Curious Organ at the Core of Digestive Health - The Alive-N-Healthy Digestive Health Series, Volume 1 - NOW AVAILABLE!


Joyful Belly Ayurveda (2022). Holy Basil Leaf (Tulsi) Leaf (Ocimum Sanctum). Retrieved July 12, 2022 from

Alok, S. et al. (2013). Pathophysiology of kidney, gallbladder, and urinary stones treatment with herbal and allopathic medicine: A review. Retrieved July 12, 2022 from

Jockers, D. (2013). The Amazing Health Benefits of Holy Basil.Retrieved July 12, 2022 from ​
Holy Basil (2021). Dosage and Usage of Holy Basil. Retrieved July 12, 2022 from

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