How Much Holy Basil can You Take a Day? – Uses and Health Benefits

Holy basil is a native plant to India. Holy basil has been used in the traditional Indian medicine system for ages. Holy basil has a peppery taste that gives it the name hot basil. The chemicals present in holy basil decrease swelling and pain. They also lower the blood glucose level in diabetic patients.

Holy basil oil work as an anti-oxidant. People use holy basil to control their cholesterol, anxiety, stress, blood glucose levels, and other conditions. But there is no scientific evidence that can prove all these health benefits. Experts recommend taking 300mg to 2000mg a day for general preventive measures.

People often confuse holy basil with the common basil used in cooking, but these two differ.

Holy basil vs. basil

Holy basil vs. basil

There are more than 40 different basil varieties that expand to more than 150 found all around the world. It is famous for its medical and health benefits. Every basil species are included in the genus Ocimum.

Most people need clarification about the difference between basil and holy basil. The commonly found basil is the traditional basil with a sweet taste. At the same time, holy basil has a peppery, minty, and a little spicy flavor.

There are many other basil varieties that have the clove, cinnamon, and lemon taste in them. You can cook both types of basils in both dried and fresh forms. Holy basil is more famous for its therapeutic uses, while traditional basil is known for its taste in food.

Still, traditional basil is an excellent anti-oxidant source that is a great addition to healthy dishes. It is not usually used to extract oil, supplements, or other extracts like holy basil.

Uses of Holy basil

If you want to use the Holy basil supplement, consult a pharmacist, healthcare provider, or a registered dietitian. No supplement is made to treat, prevent, or cure diseases. Like other herbs, there are different reasons for the use of holy basil usage.

Continue reading to know; how much holy basil can you take a day?

Metabolic conditions

Many short-term studies prove Holy basil’s benefits in improving metabolic conditions. For example, the blood glucose level in diabetics, cholesterol in hyperlipidemia, blood pressure in hypertension, and body mass index. These metabolic conditions can increase the risk of heart-related diseases.

Still, more study is needed to understand how holy basil helps improve metabolic conditions.

Mood, brain, and stress

The study, comprised of two weeks, concluded that holy basil did better than a placebo in improving memory and attention. In addition, there were mixed results regarding stress and mood. It can also depend upon the dosage used in the studies—for example, the powder forms vs. the capsules.

These studies include different parts of the holy basil plants. More research is needed to understand how basil affects this condition’s symptoms.

Immune system and inflammation

In a systematic review, holy basil is linked with asthma relief and improvement in lung functioning. These short-term studies suggest that holy basil lowers inflammation in the airways.

It also suggests that holy basil has some immune system effects, especially against viral infections. More research is needed to claim these results.

Health benefits of Holy basil

Health benefits of Holy basil

Here are some of the health benefits of holy basil:

1. Fights acne and other skin infections

Holy basil has been found to have some antiviral, antibacterial, anti-fungal, analgesic, and antibacterial properties. This herb benefits in fighting against the bacteria that are causing skin infections and breakouts. It makes it a perfect natural wound remedy that treats skin irritation and acne. It also benefits the skin and treats infections both externally and internally.

The primary active compound of holy basil is eugenol, an active ingredient in the powerful antimicrobial clove oil. It also benefits overcoming many skin disorders. Holy basil has many therapeutic components that include gamma-caryophyllene and methyl eugenol.

2. Protects against diabetes

Holy basil can control blood sugar levels, as many animal test tubes and human trial experiments prove. A random single-blind trial of holy basil shows its antibiotic activity.

In this study, the non-insulin diabetic patient’s blood sugar level during a fast, blood sugar levels after a meal, and total cholesterol level during treatment.

3. Benefits against cancer

According to the research, people regularly using holy basil were at a lower risk of developing certain types of cancer. Holy basil has some phytochemicals, like rosmarinic acid, apigenin, β-sitosterol, myretenal, eugenol, and carnosic acid. Sometimes, they also help prevent lung, oral, liver, and skin cancer.

It’s due to the herb’s anti-oxidant and anti-carcinogenic activity that alters the healthy gene expressions, induces cancer cell death, stops metastasis, and prevents the growth of blood vessels that contributes to the cancer cell growth. Metastasis is the spread of cancer from one cell or organ to the other.

4. Improves the respiratory disorder

Holy basil has many beneficial compounds like camphene, cineole, and eugenol that help relieve congestion and other symptoms of respiratory disorders. According to different scientific studies, this herb has impressive anti-asthmatic abilities, making breathing much more accessible.

It’s the main reason it’s commonly used for treating respiratory issues in ayurvedic medicine.

5. Relieves headaches

According to Ayurveda practitioners, holy basil is a natural headache remedy that aids in relieving migraine pain. The research claims that it’s because of its anti-inflammation benefits and reduces muscle tension that fights against stress.

Also, try reducing the headache symptoms by diffusing the holy basil essential oil or using the tulsi tea to reduce the headache pain.

Holy basil dosage and use

The general recommended dosage of holy basil is about 300mg, which you can take two to three times daily. In the case of children, the dosage should be further reduced. Select a liquid or standard freeze-dried liquid extract that can be taken as a tea.

Holy basil works best, but you can also take it as a combination of supplements that includes herbal adaptogens, as they work perfectly together. Holy basil extract supplements are available in many forms, like pills, capsules, or powder. You should take 300 to 2000mg daily for the general preventive measure.

How much holy basil can you take a day? When we used it as a treatment, the recommended dosage was around 600 to 1800 mg, which should be divided into multiple dosages. In topical ointments or supplements, all parts of the plants are used.

The essential oil extracted from holy basil is distilled from the flowers and leaves of the plants. You can make holy basil tea by using the flowers and leaves of the plants. You can also use the herb to make freshly brewed tea by placing 2 to 3 teaspoons of the holy basil in a boiling water cup.   Leave the leaf in the water for 5 to 6 minutes.

The leaves are also used in cooking, and some people eat leaves raw. The holy basil has a bitter and spicy taste to it.

What are the side effects of Holy basil?

Like other medications, there can be many side effects of holy basil. Here are some common side effects of holy basil:

Common side effects

According to the systematic review, holy basil has little to no side effects except for temporary and mild nausea.

Severe side effects

Some clinical trials claim that holy basil isn’t linked to serious side effects. A severe allergic reaction can be a possible side effect of any medication. These symptoms include itchiness, rashes, and difficulty in breathing.

If you face a severe allergic reaction or any life-threatening symptom, call 911 to get immediate help.

Safe use

Before incorporating holy basil or any supplement in your diet, consult your doctor. There is a lack of research to recommend holy basil to infants, children, or pregnant ladies. FDA doesn’t monitor the purity, quality, processing, and effectiveness of the supplements or herbs.

Buy holy basil organically grown by a reputable source in an unpolluted or rural environment. The herb grown in the polluted area contains twice the toxicity. But still, there were no adverse side effects reported during the human trial. However, if you are breastfeeding your baby, pregnant, or trying to conceive, you should avoid holy basil.

Should I take holy basil in the morning or at night?

You can take holy basil at both times. Different studies recommend taking holy basil twice a day, which means you can take holy basil in the morning on an empty stomach and 30 minutes before bed at night.

The timing of the holy basil also depends on the intake’s purpose and the issue’s complexity. If you take supplements for preventive measures, then taking them once or twice a day is enough. But for the treatment purpose, your doctor will recommend multiple small dosages depending upon the condition for better results.

It’s always advised to consult a medical practitioner before adding any supplement to your diet.

How long does it take to work?

Holy basil or tulsi will take at least 15 days to show any results or significant improvement in your health. It’s an ayurvedic herb that takes time to work. It will start working immediately, but you will have to wait to notice some results.

You will have to take this for 2 to 5 weeks to see the desired results, and in some cases, you will have to take it for 8 to 13 weeks. Experts recommend taking it regularly for a period recommended by your Ayurveacharya.


Holy basil is a perennial flowering plant of the mint family. It is generally used as a cooking herb and has potential health benefits. It reduces blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar. In addition, it also benefits the immune system and memory.

Though holy basil is available as a counter supplement and can also be found as the cooking herb tulsi, it can interact with other drugs and cause side effects. Before adding holy basil to your diet, discuss with your healthcare provider or pharmacist to achieve the health goals.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How much holy basil can you take a day?

The holy basil leaf extract can be safely used for a dose of 500mg for 60 to 90 days. Holy basil intake can result in diarrhea or nausea. No reliable information can claim the safe use of holy basil.

Who should avoid using holy basil?

Holy basil is safe for most people. However, due to the lack of research, experts recommend that pregnant ladies, breastfeeding moms, women trying to conceive, hypothyroidism, or diabetes patients avoid it. In addition, people who are going to go through surgery should also avoid holy basil.

What is the best time to take holy basil?

According to the research, you can take holy basil leaf extract twice a day after having meals. It will help in the management of the symptoms. You can also take it as tulsi tea or add tulsi meals.

Should I take holy basil at night or morning?

You can take the holy basil at night or in the morning. The timing depends on the purpose you are taking holy basil for.

Does holy basil make you sleepy?

Due to the calming effect of holy basil, many people think that holy basil can lower your energy or make you sleepy. It doesn’t do any of these things. The intake of holy basil recommended maintains the balance that makes you feel good, relaxed, and ready to sleep as soon as you hit the pillow.

Is Holy basil an anti-depressant?

Ayurveda medicine claims that holy basil is an anti-depressant. It has anxiolytic properties comparable to modern-day drugs like commercial anti-depressant.


Rabia Sehar

Rabia Sehar

Hi! I’m Rabia Sehar, a motivated, passionate and sophisticated writer aspiring to make my dreams come true. Writing about health, wellness, mental health, and lifestyle is something I specialize in and am passionate about. I love traveling, reading, composing, and entertaining. As a health advocate, I am passionate about creating content that educates people on leading a healthy life. Health is the actual wealth so try your best to keep it.