Known as the magical herb or the queen of Ayurvedic medicine, the Holy basil comes packed with various good properties. A rich history of usage of thousands of years is also indicative that the herb poses very few dangers and is generally safe to use. However beneficial the herb may be, practitioners warn that it must be taken with care and under the supervision of a good herbal practitioner. Here are a few side effects that the herb could have and a few dangers that it may pose.
Can cause cancer
Few herbalists are of the opinion that excess intake of the juice of holy basil can cause cancer. Chewing a few leaves every day is however beneficial. Also basil juice must be taken with honey or ginger rather than in its purest form.
Reaction with other drugs
In some patients, holy basil is also seen to have reacted with other drugs being taken on the same day. Few herbalists thus opine that people taking paracetamol or acetaminophen should not take holy basil on the same day. These reactions may have occurred due to the blood thinning properties of holy basil.
May decrease fertility
Experiments in animals have indicated that prolonged usage of the herb can decrease fertility. Those who are trying to get pregnant can thus keep the usage of holy basil to a minimum.
Decreases blood sugar
While this is beneficial for many patients, it may not be wise for people with low blood sugar or hypoglycemia. This is because holy basil taken on a regular basis works to decrease blood sugar levels. Too much reduction of blood sugar can further lead to symptoms of dizziness and fainting.
May interrupt with breast feeding
Breast feeding mothers must also be careful about the regular intake of holy basil as it may not suit the child. Nursing mothers may thus benefit by taking the advice of herbalists before using holy basil.
Holy basil has many beneficial properties that have been both historically and scientifically proven. Also the herb poses no real dangers. However as we all know, ‘excess of anything’ is unhealthy. To make the most of its medicinal properties, holy bail must be used under the supervision of a good certified practitioner. It is additionally important to take the herb in its purest form, without any adulterations. Purchasing from a good manufacturer (if you consume basil as pills or powders) is also important.