Great question! You’re probably also asking, ‘Why do I feel so much stress at times?’ Let’s take a look at whether or not you can take Ashwagandha and Tulsi together for more powerful stress-busting results, and if it’s a safe and suitable option.
Ashwagandha And Tulsi
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), also known as Indian ginseng or winter cherry, is an herb that is essential for longevity. It has many unique properties which a human body requires for a healthy life. It is called a Rasayana in Ayurveda , which means it’s an herb that rejuvenates the body and mind. This plant has miraculous benefits on the nervous and endocrine systems. It brings the body, mind and spirit into harmony, which leads to ultimate rejuvenation.
Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum ) is also known as Holy Basil. It’s an aromatic shrub. Its leaves have been used widely to promote health throughout the entire body. Tulsi has been found to protect organs and tissues against chemical stress from industrial pollutants and heavy metals, as well as physical stress from prolonged physical exertion, ischemia, physical restraint and exposure to cold and excessive noise.
Considered a potent adaptogen, Tulsi has a unique combination of pharmacological actions that promote wellbeing and resilience.
The Ayurvedic Properties Of Ashwagandha And Tulsi
Ashwagandha is an important herb for promoting strength (Balya). It’s included as one of the best ten herbs for building strength, which we call a tonic (Balya mahakashaya), in the ancient Ayurvedic text the Charak Samhita.1 In addition, it is an excellent aphrodisiac (Sukravardhaka) and rejuvenator (Rasayana). It is useful in treating emaciation, under nutritive conditions (kshayapaha), male sexual dysfunctions and loss of libido (klaibya). It also alleviates swelling (Sotha).2
According to another ancient Ayurvedic text, Sushruta Samhita, Tulsi possesses an excellent property for pacifying Kapha dosha. It is antimicrobial (krimighna), and is useful in the treatment of the common cold, asthma, chronic respiratory disorders and cough.3 Acharya (master teacher) Charaka has included it in the top ten herbs for treating asthma (Shwasahara Mahakashaya).4 Tulsi also works excellent in cases of throat infections, hiccups, nausea, anorexia, chest pain and skin diseases.5
Both Ashwagandha and Tulsi have similar Ayurvedic properties. Both are bitter and astringent in taste, light (as opposed to heavy) and have a hot potency. Ashwagandha and Tulsi both pacify Vata and Kapha dosha (vatakaphahara).6
Why Ashwagandha And Tulsi Are Perfect Partners
There is a very important principle that the ancient Ayurvedic physician Charaka mentions in his text.
‘Sarvada sarva bhavanam samanyam vriddhi karanam’ means that an increase in the quality and quantity of a substance or an activity in the body is dependent upon the use of similar substances or activities. And by similar we mean, having the same properties.7
Research proves that Ashwagandha and Tulsi have various similar pharmacological affects.
Both have anti-stress8, 9, adaptogenic10, 11, anti-inflammatory12, 13, antioxidant 14, 15, antimicrobial activity16, 17, analgesic18, 19, anti-pyretic20, 21, memory enhancing22, 23, hepatoprotective24, 25, antidiabetic26, 27, antihypertensive / cardioprotective28, 29, hypolipidemic30, 31, immunomodulatory32, 33 activities.
Both Bust Stress
According to Ayurveda, Vata is the main dosha vitiated by excessive physical stress. Psychological stress, like excitement (udvega), anxiety (soka) also leads to disequilibrium of Vata dosa.34 The combination of Ashwagandha and Tulsi pacifies Vata. In combination, they are a better alternative for stress management.
Modern research shows that stress and the adrenal glands are inextricably connected. The adrenal glands produce cortisol, a stress hormone that is quicker to release than the more physically noticeable stress hormones like adrenaline. It is better to keep a check on stress and cortisol levels to the
extent that you can as a constant release of cortisol chips away health drastically.
Ashwagandha is a calming herb that restores balance in the HPA axis and increases resistance to stress in the body.35 Ashwagandha root extract reduces levels of serum cortisol, which is elevated in stressful conditions.36 It also has neuroprotective properties, relaxes frayed nerves and tones the central nervous system to enhance tolerance to stress.37
The active constituent in Ashwagandha responsible for its anti-stress activity are called withanolides. They are the major biologically active constituents of Ashwagandha which possess neuroprotection and anti-stress activity. These extracts have been shown to increase the body’s resistance to stress and reduce physiological responses to stress events.38 Its anti-stress activity is also associated with glycosides (sitoindosides VII and VIII) present in this plant which makes Ashwagandha an anti-stress adaptogen.39
Tulsi is regarded as adaptogenic (anti-stress agents) and has been used widely to promote health throughout the entire body. It’s used as a natural remedy for anxiety and stress. It has an anti-peroxidative effect, suggesting a potential regulation of corticosteroid-induced diabetes. Studies have shown that treatment with it is effective in treating noise-induced stress changes, including changes in cortisol levels.40 Tulsi has antihypoxic effects and it increases the survival time during anoxic stress. A study done on rabbits showed that Tulsi has a tremendous ability to reduce oxidative stress produced in the body.41
The active constituents in Tulsi are responsible for its anti-stress activity. Ursoli acid present in Tulsi aids in lowering serum concentrations of cortisol, thereby effective in the management of stress.42
Thus, we can see Ashwagandha and Tulsi being both adaptogens, have similar properties and are capable of increasing the body’s ability to resist and recover from fatigue, irritability and stress naturally, by balancing and reducing cortisol levels.
Moreover, they both have the ability to enhance memory and learning thereby helping a person to improve his or her memory and the ability to focus. Ashwagandha and Tulsi can prove to be a powerful combination. They can be taken together as they work synergistically on the body to achieve their therapeutic goals, supporting the health of the adrenal glands, balancing hormones and reducing stress.
Ashwagandha Tulsi Herbal Tea
Take Ashwagandha root powder and Tulsi leaf powder in a ratio of 2:1 according to the desired number of cups of tea. Pour two cups of cold water into a pot and cover it. Add the required mixture of herbs and slowly bring it to a boil and let it simmer for 10 -15 minutes or until the water reduces to one third. Let it steep for another 10 minutes and then sieve.
For sweetness you can add sugar to taste. This tasty and healthy tea supports the adrenals.
Tulsi and Ashwagandha are contraindicated if you have hypoglycemia, are pregnant or breastfeeding. Talk to your doctor or health care provider before consuming herbal supplements.
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25. Kingshuk Lahon ,Hepatoprotective activity of Ocimum sanctum alcoholic leaf extract against paracetamol-induced liver damage in Albino rats Pharmacognosy Res. 2011 Jan-Mar; 3(1): 13–18.doi: 10.4103/0974-8490.79110,PMCID: PMC3119265.
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