Tulsi or Basil is a widely found plant found in India, which is worshipped as a holy plant in Hinduism and used extensively in Ayurveda. This inexpensive herb is easily found in Southeast Asian countries. It has high immunity strengthening, anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties, which makes it a main remedy for various health and lifestyle related problems. So, we have narrowed it down to the best 25 of health benefits of basil leaves (tulsi).
Health Benefits Of Basil Leaves (Tulsi)
Tulsi has strong anti-bacterial properties against staphylococcus, enterococcus, and pseudomonas bacteria species. Tulsi was as effective as penicillin and ciprofloxacin against Neisseria gonorrhoeae. It is highly effective in lowering bacteria count and improving immune system.
Tulsi has shown anti-cancerous effects against lung cancer, skin cancer, breast cancer, and prevents against stomach cancer, liver cancer, and oral cancer (source).
Alcohol based tulsi is proven to improve immune response to viral infections. Apigenin in tulsi is highly effective against H1N1 and Swine Flu. This extract is proven to inhibit genital herpes, prevent the cell damage and growth of New Castle Disease (NCD) virus in chickens.
4. Protects Liver
As little as 200mg/kg weight per day leaf extract of tulsi protects liver form toxin induced damage. In addition with milk thistle (50mg/kg) with tulsi (100mg/kg) is proven to show synergistic effect in liver protection.
5. Cures Fever
The healing properties of basil leaves with excellent germicidal, fungicidal, anti-biotic, and disinfectant properties protects your body from all bacteria, virus and fungus attacks. The tremendous anti-oxidants present in tulsi combats and destroys pathogens and heals the fever. Tulsi leaves and flower decoction also a famous home remedy in India for centuries.
6. Cures Respiratory and Lung Problems
Tulsi is capable of curing bacterial, viral and fungal infections of respiratory system. The camphene, eugenol, and cineole in tulsi is capable of curing of chronic and acute respiratory problems like bronchitis. The compounds like vitamin C, eugenol, camphene and cineole in tulsi cures congestions and problems in lungs. It is also effective in healing lungs damaged by smoking, cancer and tuberculosis.
7. Powerful Antioxidant
Tulsi has strong anti-oxidant properties and is found to correlated to eugenol content. Its leaf extract can combat cadmium-produced oxidants, and also restores proper functioning in liver and kidney.
Tulsi has strong anti-inflammatory effects. COX-2 is a molecule present in most anti-inflammatory mediations. This is found in tulsi as a natural source. The fresh extract of tulsi leaves also have been highly effective in treating inflammation in cardiovascular diseases.
9. Balances Diabetes and Blood Sugar
Tulsi can prevent and cure type 2 diabetes by lowering fasting blood sugar levels by 17.6% and post meal blood sugar levels by 7.3% (source).
10. Increases Immune Function
Daily intake of 300 milligrams of tulsi leaf has showed increase of IFN-y, T-helper, IL-4 cells, and natural killer cell activity – which are the important components of immune system. So tulsi is proven to increase both Th1 and Th2 immune responses.
11. Improves Cognitive Function
A study in rats shows tulsi promotes memory and cognitive function by inhibiting acetylcholinesterase and by increasing acetylcholine levels. Tulsi prevents convulsions due to the central nervous system. So, tulsi can also be used in treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
12. Reduces Stress
Tulsi is a calming herb with relaxin effects that can prevent stress inducing hormones in body. It constituents ocimarin and ocimumosides which have shown excellent antistress activity with normalising blood sugar levels and cortisol levels.
13. Controls High Blood Pressure
Tulsi is rich in potassium content that is useful in balancing high blood pressure. The fatty oil from tulsi seeds have blood pressure lowering effects. The extract inhibits ACT in a concentration dependant manner and hence reducing blood pressure.
14. Heals Stomach Ulcers
Tulsi balances acid-pepsin secretion and prevents breakdown of cells in stomach lining. Tulsi also increases the protective mucus in the stomach and reduces inflammations in stomach. It also protects against ulcer inducing substances like alcohol, aspirin and histamine.
15. Clears Candida Overgrowth
16. Helps Histamine Intolerance
An antihistamine is medicine used to treat common allergy such as sneezing and a runny nose. The fatty oil from tulsi seeds also has proven to have antihistamine effects.
17. Treats Asthma
Tulsi is very useful in the treating asthma. Basil relieves congestion and facilitates smoother breathing. The phytonutrients, minerals and essential oil in tulsi help cure some of the underlying causes of asthma.
18. Protects Heart
Tulsi leaves is rich in phenol content that helps it to reduce heart inflammations that leads to heart attack. Tulsi inhibiting myeloperoxidase(MPO) an oxidative enzyme that may cause plaque accumulation in the arteries. Tulsi also showed significant anti-inflammatory activities in blood cells, lowering cholesterol and hence effectively protecting heart.
19. Helps To Reduce Pain
Studies on animals have proven that leaf extract of tulsi reduced pain and is capable of acing as analgesia.
20. Quorum Sensing Inhibitor
Disrupting quorum sensing and breaking biofilms important for eliminating bacterial infections. Eugenol and rosmarinic acid found in tulsi disrupts biofilms but only in higher concentrations. Hence, it has the ability to work as quorum sensing inhibitor.
21. Protects Against Radiation
The two flavonoids present in tulsi namely orientin and vicenin protects blood cells from radiation-induced DNA damage.
22. Improves Bone Healing
Tulsi is also effective in healing bones. A research has proven that it has been highly effective in jaw fracture. It helps in increasing calcium uptake, bone calcification and enzymes involves in bones remodelling.
23. Protects Against Cataracts
Researchers have proven in rats that 5-10mg extract of tulsi reduced cataracts by 20% and 60% respectively by increasing anti-oxidant enzymes. Hence, tulsi has significantly shown significance in anti-cataract activity in rat lenses.
24. Dental Care
Basil eliminates bacteria responsible for cavities, tartar, bad breath and plaque. It protects teeth as an astringent and strengthens gums holding teeth. It is advised in Ayurvedic that chewing tulsi leaves for a long time robs them of its holiness. So, it is advised in the form of decoction.
25. Mouth Freshener
Tulsi is an amazing mouth fresher and oral disinfectant. It destroys almost 99% of germs and bacteria and mouth. Due to its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, it keeps mouth ulcers and oral cancers at bay.