A study has found that holy basil – a close relative of the herb commonly used in Western cooking – contained anti-aging antioxidants that help to protect against free radicals, cancer-causing chemicals that attack organs like the heart, liver and brain and damage nerve cells.
Holy Basil could be the latest weapon in the war against wrinkles, according to new research.
Holy basil is native to India, and its people have long recognized its rejuvenating qualities, harnessing its extract in their ancient system of Ayurvedic medicine to treat disorders like fevers, colds, malaria and diabetes.
The researchers, led by Dr Vaibhav Shinde from Poona College of Pharmacy, Maharashtra, India, studied the anti-aging properties of the herb.
Their research will be presented at the British Pharmaceutical Conference in Manchester.
Dr Shinde said: ‘The study validates the traditional use of herb as a youth-promoting substance in the Ayurvedic system of medicine. It also helps describe how the herb acts at a cellular level.’
She added that she would be using the herb in her own cooking after revealing the exciting results.
Leaves of holy basil are packed with antioxidants and essential oils that produce eugenol, methyl eugenol and caryophyllene. Collectively these substances help the pancreatic beta cells (cells that store and release insulin) function properly. This in turn helps increase sensitivity to insulin. Lowering one’s blood sugar and treating diabetes effectively. An added advantage is that the antioxidants present in the leaves help beat the ill effects of oxidative stress.Stomach Problems
Several stomach problems like acidity, constipation and flatulence can also be cured with tulsi leaves. Tulsi supports digestive system and makes you feel less bloated and more comfortable. It also helps people suffering from vomiting and lack of appetite.
Dissolves kidney stones
The holy basil being a great diuretic and detoxifier is great for the kidneys. Tulsi helps reduce the uric acid levels in the blood (one of the main reasons for kidney stones is the presence of excess uric acid in the blood), helps cleanse the kidneys, the presence of acetic acid and other components in its essential oils helps in breaking down kidney stones and its painkiller effect helps dull down the pain of kidney stones.
Basil is very beneficial in combating cardiac disease and the weakness resulting from it. It reduces blood cholesterol levels. Tulsi also contains Vitamin C and other anti-oxidants such as Eugenol which protects the heart from harmful effects of free radicals. Tulsi can also reduce blood pressure and thus is useful for heart patients.
Tulsi is anti-carcinogenic in nature and helps to treat some forms of cancer including breast cancer. Tulsi restricts the blood vessels that feed tumors. It also helps to inhibit the growth of oral cancer that is caused due to tobacco. But tulsi should not be used as a sole treatment of cancer however.
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