The holy basil is being used since ancient years for medicinal purposes. Its germicidal and disinfectant properties make it a more useful herb. Basil leaves have anti-bacterial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties which can treat various health issues ranging from heart diseases to respiratory problems. Also, it has a number of advantages for your skin and hair. It is rich in many essential nutrients and minerals. We have listed some of the best benefits that basil plant can endow your body with.
1. Beneficial for Respiratory System
Basil leaves are really favorable for those who are suffering from respiratory diseases like influenza, cold, bronchitis, asthma, etc. It heals the lungs affected by tuberculosis, smoking or cancer. Camphene, cineole, and eugenol found in the essential oil of basil helps release the stagnant mucus and cures congestion. A sore throat can also be treated by gargling with a mixture prepared by mixing basil leaves extract in the lukewarm water.
2. Keeps Your Heart Healthy
It is one of the healthiest herbs for the heart. Eugenol present in basil lowers the levels of cholesterol, which in turn prevents the danger of stroke and heart weaknesses. It also contains vitamin C and other antioxidants which fight the free radicals. Some studies also suggest that using basil leaves regularly can help you reduce the blood sugar levels to a great extent. Thus, it is good to include it in your daily diet, especially if you have a family history of cardiac diseases.
3. Cures Fever
Basil leaves effectively cure various types of fever such as malaria, dengue, and chronic fever due to their anti-bacterial properties. The decoction of basil leaves can lower the body temperature in no time.
4. Keeps You Away from Stress
Basil is beneficial not only for physical ailments but also for mental health. It soothes the nerves and thus, provides relief from tension and depression. Basil is rich in potassium which replaces sodium and loosens the tensed blood vessels. Therefore, chewing a dozen of basil leaves daily is beneficial to keep yourself stress-free.
5. Fights Mouth Infection
Basil leaves can be a good remedy to heal mouth ulcers and infections. You can also overcome bad breath with them. When you chew basil leaves, they kill around 99% of germs and bacteria present in your mouth. It also reduces the risk of oral cancer caused by chewing tobacco.
6. Beneficial for Eyes
As Basil has vitamin A and C, it is really good for the health of your eyes. It can cure sore eyes, night blindness, conjunctivitis, etc. It also prevents diseases like cataract, glaucoma, ophthalmia and macular degeneration. It improves the vision if consumed on a regular basis. Take some basil leaves and soak them in water. Wash your eyes with it.
7. Keeps Your Teeth Healthy
Basil is useful to maintain your dental health. It is good for both, teeth and gums. Teeth disorders and diseases like pyorrhea can be treated using this wonderful herb. It also gives you relief from gum bleeding and tooth decay. The risk of cavities, plaque, etc., reduces considerably by the daily consumption of basil leaves. Its astringent properties enable the gums to hold the teeth tighter, which reduces their chances of falling.
Note – Basil leaves contain mercury which can be harmful to your teeth. So, avoid direct contact with these leaves with your teeth for too long.
8. Prevents Damage of DNA
Basil leaves are rich in phytonutrients and antioxidants. They prevent cell damage caused by UV rays, which protects your DNA and thus, keeps your body in the pink.
9. Helpful in Quitting Smoking
There are many remedies to quit the habit of smoking, but basil is the simplest and most effective of them all. It reduces the urge to smoke. It will give a cooling effect to your throat, and the antioxidants present in it will cure the damage done to your lungs by smoking. Just grab a few basil leaves, chew them or drink the decoction whenever you feel the urge to smoke.
10. Prevents Cancer
Basil can heal various types of cancer as it contracts the blood vessels which promote cancer-causing tumours. It has anticarcinogenic properties which help prevent breast cancer and oral cancer. Mix 10 grams of basil juice in 20-30 grams of fresh curd or 2-3 spoons of honey and consume it daily. It will be a great remedy to treat cancer, if taken religiously.
11. Treats Nausea and Frequent Vomiting
Basil is a rich source of iron which prevents anemia, treats nausea and cures body weakness. If basil juice is taken along with ginger juice and honey, it helps cure frequent vomiting.
12. Cures Insect Bites
Basil is also known as an insect repellent. Basil juice or paste can give you an instant relief from insect bites. It will also take the venom out of the affected area. It is often advised to keep a basil plant inside your house as it keeps the diseases caused by the insects at bay.
13. Keeps Your Kidneys Healthy
Basil is one of the most effective remedies to cure kidney diseases. Being diuretic in nature, it increases the frequency of urination and lowers down the uric acid level. It also detoxifies your kidneys. It is really useful in treating the kidney stones due to the presence of acetic acid. This acid dissolves the stone and thus, cures the condition.
14. Improves Immunity
Basil strengthens the immunity of your body and helps fight against viruses, fungi, protozoa, and bacteria. Also, it keeps a check on free radicals. Basil also helps inhibit the growth of HIV and carcinogenic cells.
15. Helps Treat Wounds Quickly
Basil is really good at healing the wounds quickly and prevents the infections in these wounds. You can apply the paste on the wound topically or can consume it orally to treat the injuries.
Basil seeds are especially beneficial to lose weight. It is rich in dietary fiber which helps you keep on with your dieting. It also detoxifies your body in a great way and thus, reduces excessive fat from your body. Consume a mixture of basil leaves and fresh home-made curd daily and see the difference.
17. Gives You a Healthy Gut
Basil is an amazing cure for stomach problems like indigestion, constipation, acidity, and piles. It ensures the proper functioning of digestive system. It alleviates stomach ache and cramps. Adding half teaspoon of basil leaves (fresh or dried) to some water soothes the digestive system and reduces the feeling of a stuffed stomach.
18. Cures a Headache
Basil has sedative, analgesic, disinfectant, and anti-congestive properties due to the presence of eugenol, camphene, cineol, carvacrol, and methyl-chavicol. It can cure a headache caused by sinus, migraine, cough and cold or high blood pressure. A single serving of basil soothes the muscles in your head and gives instant relief from the pain. So, don’t go for those headache relieving pills next time. Try basil instead!
19. Increases Your Energy Levels
Basil enhances your energy level. It is helpful in the formation of new blood cells. Therefore, it wards off laziness and fills the new energy in your body. Also, it helps reduce excessive weight which makes you more active.
20. Keeps Inflammation at Bay
Basil is a great anti-inflammatory agent and is really effective in curing rashes or any other inflammatory diseases. It contains essential oils like eugenol, citral, terpineol, etc. All of them help reduce inflammation.
21. Cures Ear Infection
Basil is anti-bacterial and has disinfectant properties due to which it is used for curing ear infections. It is also a good pain-reliever and helps alleviate the pain caused by these infections.
22. Controls Blood Pressure
Research says that basil affects the levels of endothelins proteins which contracts the blood vessels. It helps control the blood pressure. Just add a few leaves to your breakfast and observe the effects.
23. Benefits for Children
For the children having a weak immune system, basil is a great remedy. It can cure child health problems like cold, cough, fever, tooth eruption, vomiting, etc. Consumption of basil leaves with saffron can prevent the appearance of chicken pox pustules to a great extent. If your child is facing loose motions at the time of tooth eruption, you can give him/her a mixture prepared by mixing pomegranate juice and dried basil leaves powder.
24. Balances the Hormones
A balanced hormone level is necessary for a healthy body. Basil maintains the balance of various hormones. It regulates the levels of cortisol, which is a stress-causing hormone and is also related to heart and auto-immune diseases. Therefore, basil helps you keep healthy not only physically, but also mentally.
25. Maintains the Bone Health
Basil is rich in vitamin K, which is necessary for the health of bones. This vitamin maintains bone mineralization as well as prevents blood clotting. It improves the bone density and thus, makes them stronger.
Beauty Benefits of Basil
26. Cures Skin Infections
Basil has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties which help fight with skin infections. It restricts the growth of Bacillus anthracis and E.coli which are the main causes of these infections. You can prepare a concoction by boiling and grinding 200-300 grams of basil leaves with an equal quantity of sesame seed oil. It will help treat the itching.
Basil can also treat ringworms. You just need to apply a mixture of basil leaves and lemon juice to your skin to get rid of those unwanted ringworms.
27. Prevents Aging
The essential oils, phytonutrients, and vitamin A & C work as great antioxidants and remove all types of free radicals from your body. It avoids premature aging and keeps you look younger for long. Basil leaves also lighten your skin tone which gives you glowing skin.
28. Strengthens Your Hair
Basil strengthens your hair shaft and thus, prevents hair thinning and brittle hair. Also, it rejuvenates hair follicles and cures the itchiness on your scalp. It also promotes hair growth by improving blood circulation in your scalp. If you are suffering from excessive hair loss, make a paste of basil leaves and add it to your hair oil. Apply it regularly to see the difference.
29. Cures Pimples and Acne
Basil purifies the blood and removes harmful toxins from the body. It has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties which prevent acne and pimple outbreak. It opens the clogged pores, removes excessive oil, and cleanses your skin.
30. Treats Grey Hair
The leaves of basil plant can help you get rid of grey hair. You can use it with Lawsonia inermis and fenugreek seeds to treat your grey hair or soak some dried basil leaves powder with Indian gooseberry powder in water overnight and wash your hair the next day. It will promote the growth of black hair.
Basil leaves are antiseptic and anti-bacterial in nature. Also, it has anti-inflammatory properties which help prevent the breakout of blackheads. You can either consume it orally to purify your blood or use it topically to treat the blackheads.
32. Treats Vitiligo
Vitiligo is a skin condition in which white patches appear on the skin. The antiviral and anti-aging properties of basil heal the vitiligo. When the paste of basil leaves mixed with lime juice is applied on the affected skin, it increases the production of melanin and reduces the white patches.
33. Say Goodbye to Dandruff
This is one of the best natural ways to get rid of dandruff. Extract the juice from basil leaves and add a few drops of olive oil to it. Massage your scalp with it. Along with dandruff, it will also cure itchiness and dryness.
34. Lightens the Scars
A paste made by mixing gram flour and basil leaves helps remove those annoying scars from your face. The skin-whitening property of gram flour will reduce the visibility of black marks and scars whereas basil leaves will destroy the bacteria.