Basil has been revered since ancient times for its various medicinal properties
8/31/2015 4:02:34 PM
|written By : Nithya Subramanian|
Basil or tulsi is a revered shrub in India, the place where it originated. While legend has it that this plant is an incarnation of Lakshmi, the ancient Indians wrote about its medicinal properties in the Ayurveda. The herb was taken to Europe through traders and soon the Christians called it the ‘holy basil’. It was hailed the ‘King of herbs’ by European herbalists, physicians as well as cooks. Medical, religious and culinary use of Tulsi has also been documented for centuries in China and the rest of Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, Europe and Australia.
However, much before modern medicine discovered the health benefits of basil, the Rigveda, Charak and Susrut Samhita and the Nighantu Adarsha and other Ayurvedic scriptures had recorded its healing properties. Traditionally, tulsi was used to treat coughs, colds and flu, head and ear aches, rheumatism and arthritis, malaria, fever, allergies, and various skin diseases, to reduce the toxicity of various poisons, including insect and reptile bites, to expel intestinal parasites, repel insects and purify the air.
Anti-inflammatory and treatment of arthritis: Basil contains a wide range of essential oils rich in phenolic compounds and a wide array of other natural products including polyphenols such as flavonoids and anthocyanins.
Anti-aging properties: It has properties that can help prevent the harmful effects of aging. Holy basil extract was effective at killing off harmful molecules and preventing damage caused by some free radicals in the liver, brain and heart. It is also rich in antioxidants.