Basil herb is originally native to Iran, India, and other tropical regions of Asia. Basil grows best in warm, tropical climates. The fully-grown plant reaches about 100 cm in height. Its leaves vary from light green to dark green and purple, smooth and silky, about 2–6.5 cm long and 1.2–.5 cm broad with the opposite arrangement. The flowers are quite large, white, or purple, arranged in terminal spikes.
1- Anti-Inflammatory Properties:
Basil contains powerful essential oils, including eugenol, citronellol, and linalool. These are enzyme-inhibiting oils help lower inflammation, which is at the root of most diseases such as heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and inflammatory bowel conditions. Consumption of Basil could also soothe a fever, headache, sore throat, cold, cough, flu.
2- Antioxidants Properties:
Basil essential oil has the ability to help fight free radical damage while protecting DNA structure and cells. Basil contains two important water-soluble flavonoid antioxidants, known as orientin and vicenary, which help protect white blood cells responsible for immune function, as well as cellular structures where DNA is stored.
3- Anticancer Properties:
Basil contains phytochemicals that can help prevent cancer, including chemical-induced skin, liver, oral, and lung cancers. Basil is able to increase antioxidant activity, positively alter gene expressions, induce cancerous-cell apoptosis (death of harmful cells), and stop cancerous tumors from spreading.
4- Antibacterial Properties:
Basil essential oils provide protection against harmful bacterial growth. Basil extract is helpful in inhibiting resistant strains of bacteria that do not respond to antibiotic treatments.
5- Antimicrobial Properties:
Basil essential oils have been found to exhibit antimicrobial activity against a wide range of bacteria, yeasts, molds, and viruses.
6- Improves Digestion:
Basil helps balance acid within the body and restore the body’s proper pH level. It improves digestion and immunity by helping healthy bacteria flourish within the gut microflora, while also decreasing harmful bacteria that can cause disease.
Consuming Basil extract improves the production of detoxifying enzymes and higher antioxidant defenses which lead to a reduction of fat buildup in the liver that can cause liver disease.
8- Cardiovascular Health:
With both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, Basil can help the muscles that control blood vessel function to contract and relax, promoting healthy blood pressure. Basil has the ability to help prevent dangerous platelet aggregation, clumping together of blood platelets that can form a clot within the arteries and cause cardiac arrest. Basil extracts also reduce inflammation that can cause cardiovascular disease by inhibiting the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines, proteins that are secreted from cell to cell in order to communicate and raise the body’s immune defenses.
9- Antidepressant Properties:
The benefits of Basil also apply to those with mental disorders or mood-related illnesses, including depression and anxiety. Basil is considered an antidepressant since it can positively impact brain function within the adrenal cortex, helping stimulate neurotransmitters that regulate the hormones responsible for making a happy and energetic mood.
10- Manages Diabetes:
Basil extracts have been found to reduce circulating blood glucose levels and inflammation, which makes basil protective against diabetes development and other forms of metabolic syndrome. Basil essential oil has the ability to help lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels, in which diabetic patients are at a higher risk for developing.
– Basil leaves are high in vitamin K, which helps blood clotting. Large quantity intake could interfere with blood-thinning drugs, such as warfarin.
– Avoid using Basil if allergic or sensitive to it or members of the Lamiaceae (mint) plant family.
– Be cautious about using Basil if having low blood sugar, trying to get pregnant, or take anticoagulant (blood-thinning) drugs.
– Women who are pregnant should avoid Basil since it might cause the uterus to contract.