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Holy Basil May Help Improve Mood and Sleep

Holy basil is related to sweet basil and has been used for centuries as a traditional medicine in China and India. A recent study has found that holy basil extract may help improve mood and sleep.

There were 100 participants in the study aged. All had scored a 14 or higher on the Perceived Stress Scale. They were given 125 mg of holy basil extract or a placebo daily for 8 weeks. Mood was assessed at baseline and at the end of the study period using the Perceived Stress Scale, the Profile of Mood States, the Athens Insomnia Scale, and the Restorative Sleep Questionnaire. A wrist-worn tracker was used to assess sleep quality. Hair cortisol levels were also measured.

Participants in the holy basil group saw a 37% decrease in Perceived Stress Scale scores compared to a 19% reduction in the placebo group. They also saw a 48% decrease in Athens Insomnia Scale scores compared to a 27% decrease in the placebo group.

Holy basil participants also saw significantly lower hair cortisol concentrations at the end of the study compared to the placebo group.

The report was conducted by researchers from Murdoch University. It was published online ahead of print on September 2, 2022 in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition.

A previous study found that probiotic supplementation may help improve mood.

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