Health benefits of basil

Health benefits of basil

  • Health benefits of basil.
  • Ocimum basilicum, also known as basil, is an herb that originates from India, and other tropical areas in Asia. Basil, which is very popular in Italian cuisine, is often used as a main ingredient in pesto, or an addition to pastas. 
  • It has a great aroma and flavor for cooking, but is also loaded with important nutrients and health benefits.
  • Let’s look at the health benefits of basil.
  • Antibacterial:
  • The volatile oils in basil contain a variety of compounds including eugenol, a compounds also found in cloves and other spices.
  •  The compounds in the volatile oils may help inhibit the growth of bacteria like Listeria monocytogenes, Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli O:157:H7, Yersinia enterocolitica, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
  • According to a study by the Australian Food Industry Science Center, vegetables that were washed in a diluted solution of just 1% basil essential oil significantly killed bacteria.
  • Anti-inflammatory:
  • The eugenol content in basil blocks the effects of an enzyme called cyclooxygenase, which is how ibuprofen, aspirin, and acetaminophen work as well.
  • This activity of eugenol makes basil an anti-inflammatory food, helping protect against rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory conditions.
  • Antioxidant properties:
  • Fresh basil is full of important antioxidants, such as eugenol. This compound is a potent fat-soluble antioxidant, which means it helps prevent the oxidation of fats. Oxidation of fats, also called lipid peroxidation, is of one of the factors for developing atherosclerosis and many other serious diseases. Basil is also packed with polyphenols and flavonoids, which are well known to have antioxidant properties.
  • DNA protection:
  • Basil contains two water-soluble flavonoids called Orientin and vicenin which help protect cell structures and chromosomes of our white blood cells from oxygen or radiation damage.
  • Heart health:
  • Basil is an excellent source of vitamin A, which is a known antioxidant. It protects cells from free radical damage, and helps cholesterol in the blood from oxidation as well. When oxidized, cholesterol accumulates in blood vessel walls, often resulting in atherosclerosis, heart attack, and stroke.
  •  For a mosquito repellent with basil.
  • 1. “Basil.” The World’s Healthiest Foods, n.d. Web. 11 July 2013.
  • 2. “Nutrition Facts Basil, Fresh.” SELFNutritionData, n.d. Web. 11 July 2013.
  • 3. Broadhurst, C. L., Ph.D., and James A. Duke, Ph.D. “Oil of Cloves: The Benefits of Eugenol.” Mother Earth Living. Mother Earth Living, May-June 1997. Web. 11 July 2013.
  • 4. “Lipid Peroxidation and Tissue Damage.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 11 July 2013.









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