Basil – A Natural Remedy Against Many Diseases
Basil is a herb with various health benefits. In India, it is commonly called by the name ‘Tulsi’. Basil leaves are long been used as an essential ingredient in ayurvedic medicines.
It exhibits high level of fragrance and hence mostly used as a seasoning in cooking. The leaves and flowers of basil has many compounds which are useful in promoting health by preventing diseases.
Basil is known to have antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It has low calorie content, thus useful for weight maintenance and weight reduction. Basil is also considered to be a source of essential nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, copper, calcium, magnesium and omega-3 fats.
Good for cardiovascular health
Basil contains the essential elements required for the healthy functioning of the cardiovascular system. It is a good source of vitamin A through the presence of carotenoids namely beta-carotene. Beta-carotene can be converted to vitamin A, hence it is also called as ‘pro-vitamin A’. The powerful antioxidant properties of beta-carotene can protect the lining cells of different body structures including blood vessels.
Cholestrol oxidization in blood stream results in cholestrol build up in the walls of blood vessels, causing a stroke or heart attack. Beta-carotene present in basil may prevent the oxidation of cholestrol in blood stream and helps to maintain a healthy cardiovascular system.
Helps to improve vision
The essential nutritional elements present in basil leaves can have a positive effect on the eye sight. Intake of basil leaves can provide the required daily dose of vitamin A. The antioxidant property of vitamin A is essential for a healthy vision. Basil is also effective against sore eyes and night-blindness, caused due to the deficiency of vitamin A.
Useful against common cold
Basil leaves are useful for the treatment of common cold and fever. Chewing small amounts of basil leaves can provide relief against cold and flu. Taking a decoction of the basil leaves boiled with powdered cardamom in one cup of water can be useful in bringing down the high temperature.
Cough syrups and expectorants contain basil as a key ingredient. Home remedies with basil leaves can be used for treating cough and cold.
Basil leaves and cloves are boiled in a cup of water. Some salt is added for taste. Once it gets cold, take it to relieve coughing.