There are several studies that examine the antistress effects of different components of holy basil. An herbal preparation, which combined a standardized holy basil extract along with three other Ayurvedic herbs, has been shown to improve the body's ability to adapt to stress. The subjects were continually subjected to stress leading to elevated levels of stress hormones. Administration of the combination of herbs brought the hormone levels back to normal. Further testing revealed the combination also exhibited preventative effects against stress. When taken on an ongoing basis, the combination reduced the level to which the hormones were raised following exposure to stressful situations.
When isolated and examined individually, holy basil significantly contributed to these effects. Several studies have shown that certain alcohol extractions of holy basil combat the effects of stress. Supplementation dramatically reduced the corticosterone level, helping the body cope with stress, elevating mood, and improving mental clarity.
Eugenol has been shown to possess similar effects.
These key components of holy basil help the body respond to both physical and mental stressors, reducing the damaging effects that ongoing stress can have on other aspects of health.
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