Sick with a runny nose plus the temperature’s rising? Need instant relief but not the nauseating side effects of antibiotics? Well, basil here comes to your rescue. It is a superhero herb that can cure almost anything and everything. From menstrual cramps to diabetes, basil has conquered and provided relief to people suffering from several illnesses. Maybe that is why, it has been such a famous culinary ingredient in India, Italy, and many Mediterranean countries. Along with the notable vitamins and minerals it contains, basil shines out because of its strong antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and anti-septic properties.
Although there are countless benefits of this traditional herb, listed down are the top 20 health benefits you can get from Basil leaves.
- Treats stomach problems
A full tummy or an empty one, stomach troubles hardly ever cease to exist. But no worries peeps, because basil is globally used in most of the home-cooked dishes, as the basil juice is a remarkable remedy for stomach troubles. Try it, you’ll see the results. It can cure cramps and aches very smoothly. Basil leaves are used to treat indigestion, acidity, constipation, and piles. Adding basil in your cup of tea can provide you relief from such stomach problems quite quickly. Or a teaspoon of basil juice mixed with the same measure of ginger juice will pacify the pain as well.
- Boosts your immune system
Consuming fresh basil leaves helps in purifying your blood by eliminating toxins, and boosting your immune system so that you are ever ready to combat infections and illnesses. A study says that the basil leaves contain such chemical compounds which stimulate the production of antibodies by around 20 percent. However, you should keep in mind that the fresh leaves are better than the dried ones.
Basil leaves are considered as adaptogens that are blessed with strong stress-busting abilities. Consuming 10 to 12 fresh leaves of basil twice a day will keep your blood pure and relax your state of mind easily. It clears your mind and gets you rid of anxiety, plus sharpens your cognitive function. You can also soak basil leaves in your bath water to calm your senses.
- Treats common cold, cough and fever
A concoction of a few fresh basil leaves with some cloves or a little bit of cardamom will present as an excellent remedy for common cold, cough or fever. The juice extracted from basil leaves is highly efficacious in bringing down the elevated temperature. It is so popular in treating coughs that it is an important ingredient in many cough syrups. You can chew fresh leaves or boil it in water and drink the water along with the leaves. Also, you can use the basil leaves to prepare a delightful tea to improve your condition during acute fever.
- Gives relief from headache
Basil leaves ease the tension built in your muscles and thus relieve you from headache. You can have basil tea twice a day to prevent the headache. Or you can massage basil oil on your forehead for a quick response. Other than that, you can also make a paste of grounded basil leaves and sandalwood, and then apply it on your forehead to get instant relief. Chewing fresh basil leaves also helps in dulling the pain.
- Heals infections of all kind
Basil leaves have terrific anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-microbial properties because of which these are broadly used to treat skin infections. A paste of basil leaves if applied on the affected area renders a cooling sensation and cures the infection pretty quickly. A potion can also be prepared by grinding and boiling 250 grams of basil with equal measure of sesame seed oil. Apply it on the infected portion and itching will vanish within a few days. Moreover, basil leaves blended with lemon juice also offer as a great remedy for ringworms. It has also proven itself as a part of treatment of ear infections.
- Eliminates kidney stones
Fresh juice extracted from basil leaves promotes better functioning of kidneys. If you have kidney stones, basil leaves pose as brilliant pain-free remedy to eliminate those. Consume six or seven fresh basil leaves with a cup of tepid water on empty stomach every morning. Or you can mix the extracted basil juice with honey and drink the concoction every day. Continue to have this potion till five to six months. The chemical compounds present in basil help in disintegrating the stones and then expel them through the urinary tract. Easy and pain-less.
- Maintains eye health
Basil leaves are profuse in Vitamin A and thus prove to be very beneficial for eyes and vision. It averts eye infections, night-blindness, macular degeneration, cataracts and glaucoma. Basil leaves can also be employed to treat sore eyes, and reduce the puffy appearance and redness. The basil juice when drank in tea before you go to bed relaxes your eyes and diminishes all the stress it had been through. 100 grams of basil leaves are enough to feed you with the daily recommended dose of Vitamin A, say doctors and nutritionists. Including basil in your daily diet helps in improving your vision extensively.
- Prevents acne
Basil has potent anti-inflammatory property which aids in dealing with the outbreaks of acne. Crushed leaves of basil can be applied directly on the pimples, or you can apply the herb oil on them for a rapid recovery process. The basil oil helps in clearing the clogged pores on your skin and thus reduces the possibility of developing further acne. Applying basil leaves also gives you soft and smooth skin.
- Maintains oral health
Basil excels in enhancing oral health by warding off bad breath and curing pyorrhoea. The anti-bacterial properties of basil help in keeping your dental hygiene at the top and prevent cavities or plaques. Dried basil leaves can be crushed to make a powder and then mixed with mustard oil to prepare a home-made toothpaste. Brushing your teeth and massaging your gums with this paste will do a great favour in improving your dental health and hygiene.
- Works as an anti-ageing agent
Basil contains a group of organic compounds called phenolics which are responsible for its powerful anti-oxidant properties. And these properties prevent your skin to sag down plus make the lines disappear, reinvigorating your skin and making you look younger. The flavonoids in basil fight against the free radicals effectively and protect your body from premature aging.
- Excellent for hair care
Hair fall, dandruff, itchiness on scalp, hair thinning, and premature greying of hair? You name it, and basil will tackle all these hair problems for you in the blink of an eye. You can strengthen the hair roots by massaging them with a mixture of basil leaves paste and your hair oil. Application of this mixture also cools your scalp and reduces itchiness. The massaging enhances blood circulation and promotes hair growth. For even more benefits, you can add amla juice to the paste.
- Beneficial for heart health
One of the remarkable benefits of basil is that it purifies the blood by eliminating toxins. Basil leaves are also believed to control blood pressure. The presence of eugenol in basil aids in lowering cholesterol levels and maintaining blood glucose levels, hence reducing the risks of acquiring any heart diseases.
- Cures respiratory disorders
Basil leaves are also very rewarding in the treatment of various respiratory disorders such as bronchitis, influenza, asthma, and nasal congestion as well. Boil basil leaves and cloves in half a litre of water. Add salt and drink it in case of influenza. It will provide instant relief. You can prepare a decoction of basil leaves with ginger and honey to cure the aforementioned respiratory disorders naturally. The anti-inflammatory properties of basil come into play and facilitate easy breathing.
- Helps to cure cancer
In recent years, it was scientifically proven that the sacred herb, basil, can also combat cancer. The components present in it prevent the formation of free radicals that are responsible for damaging cells. The most significant compound that displays the cancer fighting properties in basil leaves is eugenol. Eugenol inhibits the proliferation of cancer cells and also induces apoptosis (programmed cell death). Basil juice in fresh yogurt or honey can work wonders to remedy cancer.
- Helps to quit smoking
Basil leaves are rich in antioxidants that help in rejuvenating the damage to your cells caused due to years of smoking. It helps in reducing the craving for nicotine, and thus facilitates people to quit smoking. Chewing fresh basil leaves instead of lighting a cigarette will help those who want to quit smoking seriously.
- Heals stings and insect bites
Basil leaves possess powerful antiseptic properties that come useful also when you get stung by an insect. Or be it an ant bite, chewing basil leaves and then applying the juice on the bitten area reduces the burning almost immediately and diminishes the pain as well. Application of basil juice soothes the bitten skin and draws out the venom too.
- Prevents diabetes
Extracts from basil leaves, namely, eugenol, caryophyllene, and methyl eugenol, help in the proper functioning of pancreatic beta cells. This in turn regulates the blood glucose level and increases insulin sensitivity. As a result, basil leaves also prove to be effective in preventing diabetes. Furthermore, the essential oils extracted from basil leaves reduce the triglyceride and cholesterol levels, thereby placing the diabetic patients at lower risks of developing perilous health conditions.
- Relief from menstrual cramps
Basil leaves serve as an excellent remedy for menstrual cramps. Chewing fresh basil leaves or using it in food will aid in easing the pain. You can also soak the basil leaves in water and drink it along with the leaves. Additionally, basil leaves being a rich source of iron, replenish the iron lost while you menstruate.
- Provider of essential vitamins and minerals
Basil leaves are abundant in Vitamin K, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C. Vitamin K is highly essential in our body for the formation of blood clotting factors and strengthening of bones. Vitamin A fights for the wellness of our vision and Vitamin C is, needless to say, the most powerful of the antioxidants. Basil leaves also provide iron and calcium which are very much needed for better blood circulation and nourishment of bones respectively. Other than that it is also rich in omega-3-fatty acids that is beneficial for cholesterol reduction in our body.