Health Benefits of Basil (Tulsi)

Basil

Basil (Tulsi) also known as French Basil or Sweet Basil is an erect glabrous herb, 30-90 cm high is indigenous to India. The leaves of basil have numerous oil glands with aromatic volatile oil. The freshly picked bright green leaves turn brownish green when dried and become brittle and curled. The major types are American Basil, French Basil, Egyptian Basil and Indian Basil.

It is indigenous to the lower hills of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh and is cultivated throughout India. It is also cultivated in Southern France, Egypt, Belgium, Hungary, and other Mediterranean countries and also in USA.

The dried leaves and tender four sided stems are used as spice for flavouring and for extraction of essential oil. Apart from flavouring numerous foods, it is used for seasoning in tomato paste products. The sweet basil oil is widely used in perfumery compounds.

Health Benefits:

Aids Metabolism:

Basil is very helpful for metabolism. It aids digestion and bowl movement. It also can improve appetite and reduce stomach cramps.

Also read about the benefits of other commonly used spices like Mint, Ginger, Fenugreek, Fennel, Curry Leaves, Cumin Seeds, Coriander, Cloves, Cinnamon, Cardamom, Bay Leaves, Asafoetida, Aniseeds on our digestion and metabolism.

Anti Viral: Basil leaves are very effective in treating viral infections like cold and flu. It is a very good expectorant and helps in cough.

Some of the other commonly used spices with antiviral properties are Garlic, Cinnamon, Bay Leaves, Basil, Asafoetida.

Acidity and Gas: Basil has ability to control body acidity by balancing the pH level. It helps gastric conditions and gives quite relief in bloating conditions.

You may also like to read about Fennel, Coriander, Cinnamon, Curry Leaves, Cumin, Cardamom, Asafoetida for their carminative properties.

Diarrhoea: Basil has anti-bacterial properties. It helps lose motion and diarrhoea. It is also useful  in parasitic intestinal worms.

Curry Leaves and Aniseeds are also helpful in treating diarrhea.

Reduces Stress: Basil is said to be quite helpful in stress and depression. Basil leaves have soothing effect on our nervous system and can also be used to treat headache.

Cloves, Cardamom, Bay Leaf, Mint, Asafoetida, Cinnamon are also known to help manage stress.

Treats Opthalmia: Opthalmia is inflammation of the eye in certain conditions. It is quite useful in treating Eye conjunctivitis and certain other eye infections.

Bone Health: Basil is very rich source of Vitamin K, which helps keeping our bones and teeth healthy.

Also read about Fennel and cloves which is also good for bone health.

Cholesterol and Blood Sugar: Basil helps in the reduction of cholesterol level in the body, and is useful in lowering Blood Pressure levels. It may also help Blood Sugar patients.

Aphrodiasic: The aroma of basil is believed to have ability to increase libido or sexual desire.

You may also like to read about Fenugreek, Coriander, Cloves, Cardamom, Asafoetida, Aniseeds for their aphrodisiac benefits.

Anti Inflammatory: Basil is known anti-inflammatory and is good for arthritis. It can also be used in case of insect bites.

Also read about Fennel, Curry Leaves, Cumin seeds, cloves, cinnamon, chilies, cardamom, basil for their anti-inflammatory benefits.

Skin: Basil leaves contain Vitamin C and other phytochemicals which bring benefits to your skin.

Some of the other commonly used spices that are beneficial to skin are Fenugreek, Curry Leaves, Cinnamon, Chilies, Basil.

Fungal Infections: Basil leave essential oil has anti-fungal properties which can kill and reduce the fungal growth.

Garlic, Coriander, Cinnamon, Chilies, Aniseeds are other commonly used spices with antifungal properties.

References:

Spices Board of India: http://www.indianspices.com

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About Sanjay Pandita 67 Articles
Sanjay Pandita is an alumni of REC (NIT) Srinagar and has a great interest in travelling and food. He has a keen interest in trying different cuisine and writes about food and health. Here he brings authentic cuisine from Kashmir and other regions. You may also contact him for Web Development, SEO and Writing projects.

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