Medicinal herbs have a long history of helping us with various physical and mental illnesses. They have been a holistic way to press pause on mental illnesses and disorders and help in controlling our agitation. Just like any other medicinal herb, Holy Basil, commonly known as Basil and Tulsi, is known for its healing powers and yes, it helps in improving severe mental disorders such as ADHD.
A strictly pharmaceutical approach might not always be the best strategy for treating ADHD because there are so many factors that can contribute to someone having it. In this article, we will drill down into some of the various benefits of using holy basil for ADHD. So read till the end!
What is ADHD?
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, ADHD, is a mental health disorder that arises behavioral problems in individuals.
Normally, a person suffering from ADHD has differences in brain activity and devices which affects attention, the competency to be still, self-control and impulses. They seem to be restless and have trouble concentrating.
Research shows, almost everyone has ADHD once in their life. It is just that they are noticed only when the shown symptoms are severe enough to cause problems in your life.
To many individuals, the signs and symptoms track back to their early childhood.
Indeed, all kids do find it difficult to pay attention, follow directions or listen to others properly. But, with kids who have ADHD the difficulties, however, are more intense and frequent.
Some children show inactive behavior or some hyperactive behaviors.
- They might dally or daydream excessively.
- They could appear disorganized or forgetful and misplace their belongings.
- They might complete tasks quickly and carelessly.
- They might roughhouse, jump, or climb when they shouldn’t.
- Similarly, They may unintentionally disrupt others’ activities.
So, symptoms of ADHD can range from mild to severe.
Benefits of using Holy Basil for ADHD
For 3,000 years holy basil has been a crucial member of our household. Just like its name, Tulsi, this plant is truly incomparable.
Not only as a cultural significance, but Holy Basil is also rich in its antifungal, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties. This is just a drop of ocean water in terms of the health benefits it carries.
According to the study done by Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 9.4 %of children and adolescents from age 2 to 17 have shown the symptoms of severe ADHD and have been diagnosed with it.
This disorder is complex and directed by several factors including nutrition, genetics, lifestyle, etc.
So, it is important to include a healthy diet and nutritious medicinal herbs like holy basil in your diet, if you are suffering from ADHD.
But why Holy Basil?
1. Adaptogenic Properties
Difficulty in managing stress is something that all ADHD patients have in common. Neurobiology makes it hard for them to concentrate, slow down, and block out competing stimuli—all of which contribute to higher levels of irritation. So, managing their tension is a big task for them.
For such cases, Research shows that Holy Basil works like a magic. It is considered a potent adaptogen, which helps with the adaptation to stress.
It nurtures and nourishes the body-mind-spirit and fosters a sense of well-being and relaxation.
2. Energy Stabilizer
Yes. Holy Basil does help in stabilizing your energy and blood sugar levels. Many of you still must be unknown of the fact that, Having low blood sugar levels arrises similar problems like ADHD. Such as having low concentration levels, inability to sit still, hyperactiveness, and a constant feeling of anger and aggression, etc.
Moreover, Holy basil’s ability to assist the body cope with stress is directly tied to the fact that it may control blood sugar levels.
Your mood is more likely to be stable when you’re blood sugar levels are. Additionally, managing stress is simpler when our mood is stable.
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3. Treat insomnia
Research done in 2005 at Mayo College of Medicine, implied that 25%-50% of children and adolescents with ADHD also reported sleep disturbances. They are found to have likely experience shorter sleep time and have problems while falling asleep. This happens because due to ADHD people get a high burst of energy at night along with repetitive thoughts running through one’s minds, which makes them hard to fall asleep.
For this, Holy Basil is recommended hardly. Filled with antioxidants, This herb not only produces relaxing effects but also aids sleep just like chamomile.
It is said that when you are under stress your body releases a stress hormone called cortisol from the adrenal gland which stays on top of your kidney. So, Holy Basil can actually lower the level of cortisol and help you in your sleep.
4. Remedy for Morning Sickness
According to research, pregnant women who experience severe morning sickness have children who are three times more likely to have developmental problems, such as ADHD or speech and language delays.
For these issues, using basil leaves during pregnancy helps in increasing blood levels to support fetal growth. Similarly, basil helps in keeping pregnant women energized and helps in the prevention of malaria in pregnant women.
5. Increases concentration
Holy basil, an adaptogen herb, “will awaken the mind offering mental clarity while also soothing the nervous system, enabling time for the regeneration of the adrenal glands that have gotten fatigued by trauma, despair, or anxiety,” according to the Ayurvedic Professionals Association.
It enhances adaptive energy, modifies the stress response, and nourishes the spirit. The plant is also a well-known mood enhancer.
It enables concentration and helps to improve focus. which is very important for ADHD patients. Similarly, Basil also enhances memory and promotes longevity.
6. High in nutrition
Holy Basil is rich in vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, zinc, iron, etc. These vitamins are very essential for people suffering from ADHD. Studies show that ADHD patients have a low level of dopamine and norepinephrine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is known to be difficult for ADHD brains to produce enough of, thus zinc is expected to assist control it.
By enhancing the brain’s response to dopamine, zinc (present in Holy Basil) may increase the effectiveness of methylphenidate.
Some ADHD children have low zinc levels, and studies have shown that supplementing with zinc lowers impulsivity and hyperactivity.
7. Anti-anxiety and Anti-depressant properties
According to the survey done by Dr. Dipankar Bhattacharya, for his Controlled Programmed Trial Of Ocimum Sanctum Leaf on Generalized Anxiety Disorder research paper, he found that O. Sanctum indigestion debilitated anxiety stress disorder in patients. Similarly, their depression index also decreased significantly.
Many suggest that Holy Basil makes them more social and less anxious, which aids in improving their ADHD disorders.
How can you use Holy Basil for ADHD?
Moreover, here are some tips on how you can use your basic basil for ADHD in your diet.
- Make Basil Tea
Ayurvedic doctors advise making holy basil tea from the leaves. It’s acceptable and even advised to consume every day because it doesn’t contain caffeine. The ritual of drinking tea can be as meditative as yoga. It promotes calmness, relaxation, and a feeling of well-being.
- Add it to your sandwiches and salads
Sandwiches with grilled tomato and cheese can both include basil leaves. To combine with olive oil for dressings, you can put them inside a bottle containing white wine vinegar.
For a salad plate, combine mint, cilantro, and fresh basil with lettuce, bean sprouts, and hot peppers.
- Make a smoothie out of it
You can enjoy basil by making a creamy smoothie out of it. It might not sound as tasty as it does when you have it. Enjoy delicious creamy, green, non-dairy smoothies that have a lovely basil scent.
Blend three frozen cubed and peeled kiwis, one frozen banana, some grape juice, fresh basil, and a few ice cubes in a blender. Pour into the tall glass, smooth out, then top with just a mint leaf for decoration.
However, there is a supplement that comes in pill form or as an alcohol extract if the bitter and spicy flavor of basil isn’t your cup of tea. When consuming an herb in its natural state, there is less chance of contamination.
Summing up in using Holy Basil for ADHD
ADHD, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, is taken as one of the most common mental disorders in adults and children. When not treated on time, this lasts for a lifetime. So, It is essential to take appropriate medications.
But sometimes, medications is always not enough as they can make you dependent on them. So, using medicinal herbs like Holy Basil can be a lot beneficial. But, everything has its own limit. When used in excess even water can have negative side effects.
That’s why make sure you have it on the right amount as well.
Also, Read- 15 ways to improve mental health at work
How many times a day should I have Basil?
It is suggested to have basil normally two times a day. The dosage ranges from 300 mg to 2,000 mg per day for general preventive purposes.
Is ADHD a mental illness or a coping mechanism?
No, ADHD is not a coping mechanism. It is a common mental illness.
How quickly does Holy Basil works?
Many studies suggest that among the people who use Holy Basil for their treatment, the greatest improvement is seen within 60 days.