Health Female Adda
11 months ago
Can tulsi or holy basil be used for treating herpes naturally?

Tulsi, Ocimum basilicum or the holy basil holds a prominent place in Indian Hindu culture and traditions. It is used on almost all religious occasions and is often presented to the gods in the form of garlands. That apart, tulsi is also revered for its many therapeutic benefits. Quick home remedies for coughs, colds, fever and infections feature the heavy usage of tulsi leaves and flowers. The germicidal actions of the plant are also well known, which is why most Indian households believe in keeping a potted tulsi plant in their yard.

While it does help in alleviating minor infections, studies suggest that tulsi can also be used for treating the dreaded herpes infection, a sexually transmitted disease caused by the herpes simplex virus or human herpesvirus. Once the person gets infected, the virus stays dormant in the system for life and can cause breakouts during times of stress. What makes it particularly embarrassing to the sufferer is that herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), which is oral herpes, causes cold sores around the mouth.

There is no cure for the virus and traditional treatment methods for herpes infection include antiviral medications such as acyclovir, famciclovir and valacyclovir. But researchers are now exploring the possibility of treating herpes with a holistic approach, mainly using holy basil.

In a study published in the African Journal of Biotechnology, scientists have studied the antiviral activities of dichloromethane and methanol extracts of tulsi, particularly against the herpes simplex virus. The study found that tulsi had an inhibitory effect on the herpes pathogen at various stages of the virus’ development.

How can tulsi be used against herpes simplex virus?
Tulsi is a natural immune booster, which strengthens your body’s defences. It could either be used as a prophylactic measure or as a curative measure. Regularly sipping a tulsi decoction could fortify your immune system to fight off infections. Or, a paste made out of the leaves and blossoms of tulsi can be applied topically on the site of the infection.

References:

Yucharoen, R., Anuchapreeda, S., & Tragoolpua, Y. (2011). Anti-herpes simplex virus activity of extracts from the culinary herbs Ocimum sanctum L., Ocimum basilicum L. and Ocimum americanum L. African Journal of Biotechnology, 10(5), 860-866.

Cohen, M. M. (2014). Tulsi – Ocimum sanctum: A herb for all reasons. Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine, 5(4), 251—259. http://doi.org/10.4103/0975-9476.146554

Image source: Shutterstock

 

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