Basil or tulsi (Ocimum basilicus) is a perennial plant belonging to the Lamiaceae (mint) family. This bushy plant is a culinary herb with a strong, sweet, and aromatic smell with over 150 species. It is native to the regions of Africa and Southeast Asia. As established by the Greek philosopher and botanist Theophrastus, in the 3rd century BC, the name Basil is derived from the Greek “basilikos”, which means “herb worthy of a king.” The Romans considered it as the magical and sacred plant to be harvested only after following certain rituals, and to date, the plant is used for sacred and pharmaceutical purposes.
Basil contains flavonoids and many essential oils, apart from being a rich source of calcium, iron, folate, magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acids. Although it first originated in India, it has travelled the world because of its health benefits and medicinal values. Here, we list five reasons why basil is truly a boon to mankind.
It Is Helpful For Mental Alertness
Lack of clarity can be a huge struggle in everyday life. The revered herb does wonders to improve concentration and mental focus. The herb is often used to connect to the higher state of consciousness and helps tune in to the present moment with just its smell. It also helps eliminate the mental fog caused by the excessive intake of drugs. It is great aromatherapy to help protect memory and enhance the functions of the brain.
It Maintains Cardiovascular Health
Basil is a rich source of Vitamin A that helps protects epithelial cells. Beta-carotene helps reduce the conditions that cause asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Basil is also rich in magnesium that helps the cardiovascular muscles to relax. It, ultimately, helps in maintaining the heart rhythm and improving blood flow.
It Provides Anti Inflammatory Effect
Basil contains volatile oils like eugenol, citronellol, and linalool, which helps block an enzyme in the body called cyclooxygenase (COX). It is one of the very few medicinal plants in nature that helps provide relief against rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel conditions, and other problems, just like other anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen, aspirin, etc.
It Has Antibacterial Properties
Basil has strong antibacterial properties that stop the growth of unwanted bacteria, yeast, and mold due to the presence of volatile oils in basil like myrcene, linalool, limonene, cineole, estragole, eugenol, sabinene. According to the July 2003 issue of the Journal of Microbiology Methods, the volatile oils present in basil help fight dangerous bacteria called Staphylococcus, Enterococcus and Pseudomonas that can pose serious health issues and cause treatment difficulties by showing strong resistance to antibiotic drugs.
It Provides Skin & Hair Benefits
Basil is an excellent skin cleanser and purifier and a boon for oily skin people. The essential oils in basil have antimicrobial properties. Vitamin C found in basil oil helps boost skin cell metabolism. Also, the raw basil leaves help remove toxins from the blood, thereby preventing acne, scars, and blemishes by the process of internal cleansing. Not just this, basil also helps to relieve itching, wounds, and burns. On the other hand, basil also treats itchy and dry scalp and promotes hair growth, ultimately giving your hair a darker, more lustrous appeal.
Basil is a magic herb full of medicinal properties. It is a plant that can provide maximum benefits and can be put to daily use.