I’m concerned about diabetes. I’m overweight, and it runs in my family.
My sister has your diabetes book and said you recommend Holy Basil, among other herbs and nutrients.
Is that the same as regular basil and would you tell me more?
–.A.L., Rockwall, Texas
I think Holy Basil is a fabulous herb. Prized for centuries, it’s considered a sacred plant.
Holy Basil is related to other types of basil, but it’s not the same as the fresh basil you buy in American supermarkets (which is great too), or the dried spice form.
Holy Basil acts as an “adaptogen” in the body, meaning it helps you adapt.
It protects cells, improves endurance and helps you cope with stress by supporting adrenal and thyroid function.
Holy Basil is also called “Tulsi” in Ayurvedic medicine; both terms refer to the herb known in latin as Ocimum sanctum.
But whatever you call it, it delivers!
Holy Basil may help fight diabetes with new beta cells
Compounds in Holy Basil have been shown in clinical trials to nourish the pancreas, and specifically help generate healthy new beta cells.
These beta cells are the body’s insulin-production factories, and insulin lowers blood sugar. See the connection?
Holy Basil helps other cells in your body open up their receptor (their door), which welcomes insulin like a long lost friend. This is a beautiful thing, because it lightens the load on your liver and precious adrenal glands.
Faster weight loss with Holy Basil
You may even notice fewer craving for sweets. Hey, getting your hand out of the cookie jar could mean faster weight loss!
Listen up if you have high cholesterol or triglycerides. Conventional medicine might call for statin drugs to reduce these markers. Studies suggest that Holy Basil can help reduce blood fats which, as you know, contribute to heart disease and remain a devastating complication of diabetes.
Multitasking Holy Basil also happens to be a potent antioxidant, helping to sweep away damaged cells that could run amok.
But wait, there’s more. (I’ve always wanted to say that.) This powerful herb has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties as well. I hate fungus. I’m all about killing bad germs, and growing good ones (probiotics). With that in mind, consider Holy Basil to help reduce your risk of cough and cold.
Try Holy Basil tea or supplements
I drink Holy Basil every day, in the form of tea called Tulsi Tea. I even keep a few of the tea bags in my purse so at restaurants I just ask for a cup of hot water and steep it at my table.
Holy Basil is even more potent when taken as an oral supplement. You can find it in your local health food store or online.
As for safety, Holy Basil has been used for eons and has an impressive track record. But because it lowers blood sugar, I wouldn’t want you to combine it with prescribed diabetes medication unless you closely monitor your blood sugar and remain supervised by your doctor so he can reduce medication dosage when necessary.
In addition to writing a syndicated column on health which reaches 20 million people each week, Suzy is the author of a number of books on natural health.
You may have seen Suzy on The Dr. OZ Show (6 different appearances), The View, The Doctors, Good Morning America Health and hundreds of morning shows. Quotes from Suzy, as well as her articles, have also appeared in major publications including Woman’s Day, Reader’s Digest, OK Magazine!, First for Women, Fitness, Natural Health and Better Homes & Garden and dozens more. .
Read more from Suzy at suzycohen.com