Can holy basil help fight fibromyalgia?

Lana Bandoim's picture

Holy basil is a popular herb that is frequently used for medicinal purposes and teas. Also known as tulsi, it is not the same plant as the common basil used for cooking. Some fibromyalgia patients report a reduction in symptoms after using holy basil, but it is important to speak to a medical professional before starting any new treatment.


Patients who use holy basil, also called Ocimum tenuiflorum or Ocimum sanctum, regularly report less inflammation, less joint pain and lower cholesterol. A study from researchers in India found that the plant has a variety of nutrients including vitamin C and vitamin A that contribute to its antioxidant properties. Research done on animals reveals that it can fight diabetes, improve wound healing and reduce ulcers. Scientists encourage more studies on the herb because its adaptogenic properties have the potential for helping many patients.


Other studies have shown that holy basil is able to stop the creation of the Cox-2 enzyme that is linked to inflammation. The plant has been used in traditional medicine for centuries, and it is most popular in Asia. However, researchers are still discovering the potential benefits of the herb. A different study mentions that holy basil could be used in the prevention and treatment of cancer, so more investigations are needed.

Before you try holy basil, you may want to consult a medical professional. Although there are no studies to support side effects in humans, it is still important to proceed with caution while trying a new remedy. Some animal studies indicate it may affect fertility in a negative way. On the other hand, fibromyalgia patients state that the plant boosts their immune system, gives them more energy and helps them fight stress. In addition, it may cut down the production of excess stomach acid and decrease blood sugar levels.

Read more about fibromyalgia:
Memantine drug shows promise for fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia study focuses on brain stimulation to fight pain