Holy basil is not the regular and average basil, it is surely more than that given its wide applications and is especially known for its medicinal abilities for centuries. This plant is a permanent feature there in Hindu households in India where it highly valued and worshiped and its leaves are used for religious proceedings for thousands of years. It has endless miraculous and medicinal values apart from being a highly revered plant. Modern research confirms most of these beliefs and its benefits are discussed below.
- Boosts Immunity
Holy Basil is excellent for the immune system, it is known to protect from nearly all infections from viruses, bacteria, fungi and protozoa. Recent studies show that it is also helpful in inhibiting the growth of HIV and carcinogenic cells.
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- Promotes Skin Care
Holy Basil is excellent for skin care because of its essential oils, which are highly antibiotic, disinfectant, antibacterial and antifungal in nature. It cures skin disorders such as ringworm, leucoderma and other skin diseases. It helps to heal infections and wounds both internally and externally, without any side effects.
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- Provides Eye Care
As mentioned above it is a powerful source of antioxidants, it is additionally also a source of vitamin A essential for vision care. It protects the eyes from the damage done by the free radicals, such as cataracts, macular degeneration, glaucoma, vision defects, night blindness and ophthalmia.
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- Helpful in Oral Care
Holy Basil destroys more than 99% of the germs and bacteria in the mouth and its effect can last all day. It has variety of oral benefits such as; it cures mouth ulcers, an excellent mouth freshener and oral disinfectant.
- Promotes Dental Care
Research shows that it destroys the bacteria that are responsible for dental cavities, plaque, tartar, and bad breath, while also protecting the teeth. Additionally it also has astringent properties, which make the gums tighter for the teeth.
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- Reduces Fever
The miraculous fever healing properties of Holy Basil come from its essential oils and the active phytonutrients in it. Being is an excellent antibiotic, germicidal, fungicidal and disinfectant agent it is very efficient in protecting our body from all sorts of bacterial, viral and fungal infections, which is the main cause of fever.
- Fights Stress
Basil leaves are regarded as 'adaptogen' or anti-stress compounds. Studies show that it helps to soothe the nerves, lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation and thus reduce stress.
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- Combats Respiratory Disorders
Due to the presence of components like camphene, eugenol and cineole in its essential oils congestion, it is very well known cure for almost all types of respiratory disorders such as bronchitis and asthma, influenza, cough and cold. It also relieves from congestion and facilitates smoother breathing.
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- Protects from Heart Diseases
Holy Basil is a rich source of vitamin-C and other antioxidants such as eugenol, which protects the heart from the harmful effects of free radicals. Additionally, eugenol is also known to be beneficial in reducing cholesterol levels within the blood, again leading to a healthy heart.
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- Prevents Kidney Stones
It is a detoxifier and a mild diuretic which, helps to reduce the uric acid level in the body, the main culprit as far as kidney stones are concerned. And certain components in its essential oils facilitate dissolution and passing of the stones.
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- Alleviates Headache
Camphene, eugenol, cineole, carvacrol and methyl-chavicol in holy basil have excellent analgesic, sedative, anti congestive and disinfectant properties. It is thus helpful to relieve headache caused by migraines, sinus pressure, cough and cold, or even high blood pressure.
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The health and medicinal benefits of holy basil are almost endless, no wonder the plant was revered so much.