10 Health Benefits of Holy Basil

Health Benefits of Holy BasilHoly basil (Ocimum sanctum) or tulasī  is an aromatic plant  from the family Lamiaceae.This herb  owes its origin in India  where it is  used for religious and medicinal  purposes. There are numerous health benefits associated with this herb.

Health Benefit 1: Curative properties

 The holy basil has various curative properties that make it a great medicinal plant. It improves memory, promotes  healthy respiratory system through clearing catarrhal and phlegm. Leaves of basil improve digestive system and encourages lots perspiration. Basil’s seeds are mucilaginous.

Health Benefit 2: Cures fever

 Holy basil contains anti-bacterial,anti-biotic, germicidal and fungicidal properties, all of which play an important role in curing fever

Health Benefit 3: Fights Diabetes

 Leaves of holy basil are laden  with antioxidants and essential oils which  produce substances such as eugenol, methyl eugenol and caryophyllene.All these substances improve the function of the pancreas hence increasing the sensitivity of insulin. Proper regulation of insulin levels in the body is useful in warding off diabetes.

Health Benefit 4: Cardiovascular Health

 Thanks to a potent anti-oxidant component  in holy basil known as  Eugenol, the level of bad fats are reduced, thereby averting the consequences of various cardiovascular conditions such as stroke.

Health Benefit 5: Stress Management

Studies  have shown that holy basil  aids in regulation of stress hormone cortisol.This is useful in managing stress in the body. Its leaves contain anti-stress agents known as Adaptogen.Adaptogens  improve circulation, fight free radicals  and manage blood pressure, all resulting from bouts of stress..

Health Benefit 6: Removes Kidney Stones

 As a diuretic and detoxifier, basil lowers uric acid in the blood. This substance is one of the main causes of kidney stones in the kidneys. Holy basil together with acetic acid and other essential oils. It also offers relief from the pain caused by the presence of kidney stones.

Health benefit 7: Anti -Cancer Properties

Holy basil contains anti-carcinogenic properties that make it an ideal food to fight off cancer. It contains compounds which block flow of blood that would otherwise feed a growing tumor. It in effect  attacks blood vessels responsible for nourishing such tumors.

Health Benefit 8: Facilitates Quitting to Smoke

Thanks to its anti-stress properties, holy basil assists habitual smokers resist the urge to smoke. Its menthol-like cooling effect in the throat in particular reduces the urge to smoke Helps to quit smoking:

Health Benefit  9: Healthy Skin and Hair

Holy basil has a purifying effect on the skin, fighting skin blemishes  and acne. It contains anti-bacterial and anti-fungal qualities  are useful in delaying breakout of such skin problems. Holy basil also promotes healthy hair by preventing itchiness on the scalp and hair loss.

Health Benefit 10: Healthy respiratory System

Three-fold outstanding  properties in holy basil stand out in this aspect: immunomodulatory and anti-tussive. The former refers to the ability to maintain a regulated immune system while the latter refers to suppression and expulsion of cough; thirdly is the expectorant properties  which aid in removal of phlegm from the chest. Of note  are components such as camphene, eugenol and cineole, all of which serve as de-congestants. Due to basil’s anti-allergic and anti-inflammatory characteristics, it assists in ridding of allergic respiratory disorders.

 Image Credit  : Mokkie via Creative Commons