As of January 2015, clinical trials do not demonstrate any side effects of holy basil in human subjects, although studies involving animals suggest consuming large quantities may negatively impact fertility, explains University of Michigan Health System. The herb may slow the rate of blood clotting, notes WebMD.
Researchers have not yet investigated the safety of using holy basil in pregnant and breastfeeding women, as of January 2015, so it is best that such women refrain from consuming the herb until more information becomes available, according to University of Michigan Health System. Because of the potential slowing effect of the herb on blood clotting, it is also recommended that patients stop taking holy basil a minimum of two weeks before any surgical procedures, notes WebMD. The presence of holy basil in a patient's system during surgery may put the patient at an increased risk of bleeding during or following the procedure.
Holy basil also has a moderate interaction with medications designed to slow down blood clotting, as well as with the barbiturate medication Pentobarbital, explains WebMD. Examples of anticoagulant and antiplatelet drugs designed to slow blood clotting are dalteparin, aspirin, heparin, warfarin and clopidogrel. Chances of bleeding and bruising may increase when taking holy basil in combination with these drugs, although there is not yet sufficient information to determine the extent of the concern, as of January 2015.
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