Health Benefits of Basil
Basil is known as the king of herbs and is an excellent source of nutrients and vitamins. It is originated in Iran, India and other tropical regions of Asia. This highly beneficial plant is termed as “holy herb” in many traditions. This bushy herb is especially grown and used for its medicinally useful leaves and seeds. Basil grows well under warm and tropical climates. There are many other nutrients, minerals and vitamins present in basil such as omega-3 fatty acid and vitamin C. Fully-grown basil plant reaches on an average about 100 cm in height and its leaves are light green, silky about 2.5 inches long The flowers are quite large, white or purple.
Basil leaves contains several health benefiting essential oils such as eugenol, citronellol, citral, linalool, terpineol and limonene. Eugenol can also help block the enzyme cyclooxygenase in the body. These compounds are known to have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. This is important because cyclooxygenase is the same enzyme that has anti-inflammatory medicines like aspirin and ibuprofen and are formulated to help block, making basil a natural anti-inflammatory. Basil herb contains good amount of minerals like manganese, potassium, copper, and magnesium. Potassium is an important component of which helps control heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme named superoxide dismutase.
Basil is useful in the treatment of respiratory system disorder. Tulsi mixed with honey and ginger is an effective remedy for influenza, asthma, bronchitis, cough and cold. A decoction of the leaves, cloves and common salt also gives immediate relief for influenza. Vitamin K contained in basil is essential for many coagulant factors in the blood and plays a very vital role in bone strengthening function by aiding mineralization process in the bones. It has also been tried successfully by some naturopaths in the treatment of leucoderma.
Basil is a better medicine for headache. A mix of basil leaves can be given for this disorder. Pounded leaves mixed with sandalwood paste can also be applied on the forehead for getting relief from heat, headache, and for providing coolness in general. Basil juice is better in the treatment of ringworm and other skin diseases. The leaves of basil are good for treating fevers. Tender leaves, boiled with tea, acts as remedy against these diseases. In case of acute fevers,Mix basil leaves boiled with powdered cardamom in half a liter of water and mix it with sugar and milk brings down the temperature. The juice of tulsi leaves can be used to bring down fever. Extract of tulsi leaves in fresh water should be given every 2 to 3 hours. The benefits of basil are amazing.