Sleep! With some of my migraines and pain, sleep escapes me as I have mentioned. I use a few different sleep aids, but today we are going to discuss Holy Basil is one of those herbs that seems so unassuming, like the basil you are probably familiar with it is a mint relative, and is used infrequently in cooking but is gaining use in America recently.
It is a native of India and is known as Tulsi, which you may see when you purchase ready-made teas. In Hinduism it is a sacred herb, most sacred to Vishnu where it symbolizes Lakshmi. But it also has one of those great stories like Mint, where there is a beautiful lady, Tulsi, who catches the eye of the playboy god, Krishna. Then his real girlfriend, Radha, gets wind of this and turns her into a plant (there is another version where Vishnu is the boy and Lakshmi is the girl). Also, in a story where Krishna is weighed and large amounts of gold could not tip the scales, but a single leaf of Holy Basil did.
You may see it at temples or in homes of Hindu practitioners, usually in a small alter-like setting, and all of the plant, including the soil, is supposed to be holy. It is also part of Ayurveda and was used as a fever reducer, ringworm & skin disease treatment, cold & cough remedy, sore throat, and for many other issues.
The main aspect I am interested in is its stress reduction, headache pain reliever, and wonderful effectiveness as a sleep aid.
Stress is something not something many people think of when it comes to chronic pain. But being in pain, dealing with medical bills, and all the associated things that come with chronic pain can be stressful. Not to mention work, and just life in general these days is stressful and we could all use a cup of tea that made everything a lot more mellow. I have a few friends that suffer from sleep issues and I always recommend this to them and I always hear back how great it is working. This is definitely something that not only calms the body but calms the mind. You feel mellow and relaxed and sleep comes quite easily. This is also great for those stress related headaches, a cup of this tea will wash those away.
Tinctures are available and you can take 40-60 drops 3 times a day for stress. Do not add a tincture of Holy Basil to Holy Basil tea though. More than 60 and you will have more of the sedative-like effects.
My favorite way of ingesting it is tea, I reather like the taste of it and it seems to work well for sleep for me.
Tea for Restful Sleep -
- 4 cups boiling water
- 1 tablespoon Holy Basil
Let it steep for at least 5 minutes in a covered teapot, and drink a cup a half hour before you want to sleep, or if you are suffering from a headache drink 2 cups.
ProTip: If you have a covered teacup, just use 1 teaspoon per cup. Steep 5 minutes and drink. If you need more re-brew as needed.
Stress or Migraine tea
- 2 + teaspoons of Holy Basil (Tulsi)
- 1/2 – 1 teaspoons Lavender (1 tsp if you don’t mind the bitterness of lavender)
- 1/2 tsp Skullcap
- Honey to taste
Steep for 5 or 6 minutes, preferably with a covered teapot/cup, and drink! This is my go-to tea for stressful or painful days, it is fairly potent.
You can increase the dose as needed I really wouldn’t suggest more than 2-3 teaspoons, or if you like you can decrease the amount. Decreasing the dose to 2 teaspoons per pot with any mixer of your choice (you can mix in green tea or black tea for the caffeine, or even lavender or chamomile for their relaxing properties). This will help alleviate stress if you are feeling weighed down by a stressful day. You also have the option to take capsules, you can make your own or purchase them as a supplement and that is another great way to deal with daily stress. You can take this as a supplement or tea daily, but if you are using it as a sleep aid you should not take it for longer than 4 weeks at a time, this is not habit forming but it could make it more difficult to sleep without it.
This will not remove stress completely! There have been some scientific studies into Holy Basil, and there has been documented decreases in stress in individuals who use it, but as always it is in conjunction with exercise and regular, mindful breathing exercises. A life style change is required for full stress reduction, but Holy Basil is definitely something good to have in your arsenal.
Remember educate yourself, make sure you know what you are taking. And always check for drug interactions, WebMD is always a good resource! Remember use common sense!