The Clinical Effects of Tulsi in Humans
Negar is registered dentist and a molecular biologist who is doing her PhD research into herbal teas, specifically Ocimum sanctum also known holy basil or Tulsi.
Negar has already completed a systematic review of the clinical effects of Tulsi that aimed to answer the question: What is already known about the clinical effects of tulsi in humans? This research found that Tulsi enhances concentration, without the stimulant effects of caffeine and improve metabolic function including carbohydrate and lipid metabolism.
Negar is now working on further reviews of tulsi used in conjunction with other herbs that aims to answer What are the effects of tulsi when used in conjunction with other herbs? She will also review previous research the impact of plant based products on protein transcription.
In addition to reviewing past studies, Negar plans to conduct clinical research on the short-term cognitive, physiological and metabolic effects of Tulsi alone and in combination with other herbs on healthy people, and people with metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome, or prediabetes includes glucose dysregulation, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and obesity, affects around one third of modern western populations in Australia, US and India.
Negar’s clinical research will involve a pilot study that aims to answer the question: What is the time course of cognitive, physiological and metabolic changes after consuming a single cup of herbal tea? This pilot study will not only be used to determine the time it takes for herbal teas to exert their effects, it will also help to establish the clinical effect sizes and sample sizes required for further clinical trials that aim to answer the question: What is the effect of different herbal beverages on metabolism and cognition in people with metabolic syndrome and healthy subjects? This research will involve using cognitive, physiological and metabolic measures to assess the short-term cognition, performance and metabolic effects of different herbal beverages that include tulsi, turmeric, CBD and other chai spices and will use advanced transcriptome analysis in conjunction with Dr Nitin Manti from the metagenomics lab at RMIT.
This research, which is being supported by Cogstate, Ananda Scientific, Organic India and Pukka, along with fellow PhD student Lauren Burns, will examine the effects of herbal beverages on glucose metabolism, lipid metabolism, inflammatory, immune and other metabolic pathway and has specific relevance for Negar who is a brittle diabetic and has trouble controlling her weight and blood sugar levels.