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 Benefits of Basil, Holy Basil (Tulsi)

  Last Updated : Jan 30,2019






Benefits of Basil, Holy Basil (Tulsi)

Fresh Basil is an aromatic herb which belongs to the mint family. Mostly known to be used in Italian cuisine, it also makes its appearance in Thai, Indonesian and Vietnamese cuisine. Holy Basil (Tulsi), is the species of basil and is known as the ‘Queen of Herbs’ in Ayurveda. Since ancient times we have seen a small plant of holy basil outside many Indian households. Our ancestors always promoted chewing a few tulsi leaves early in the morning. It used to be a part of healthy breakfast for them. Basil or Tulsi have many healing properties. Let’s look into its nutrition facts before we understand its health benefits.

Healing Power of Basil / Holy Basil (Tulsi)

1. Tulsi has the power to reduce Inflammation in the body. It helps fights free radicals and reduces stress. Chew 10 to 12 leaves daily in the morning to keep stress at bay.
Key Nutrients : Vitamin C and essential oils like eugenol

2. Basil / Tulsi aids in digestion by helping in the secretion of digestive enzymes during chewing. 

3. Its high vitamin content is beneficial for skin too. It builds collage when consumed and its paste when applied topically contributes to a flawless smooth skin. It provides a natural cure to skin irritations and is also a good home remedy for acne.
Key Nutrients : Vitamin C 

4. It shows chemo protective effect. According to research the phytochemicals present in Tulsi / Basil help to prevent many types of cancer. They are known to cease cancer cell growth and its spread in the body.
Key Nutrients : Phytochemicals like eugenol, apigenin and luteonil
Recipe Suggestion : Cabbage and Grapes Salad in Basil Dressing

5. Chewing on basil leaves has been proven to treat some respiratory conditions like cough. Hot Tulsi Drink is also a good option to soothe your throat and clear up congestion.
Key nutrients : Phytonutrients like eugenol and cineole
Recipe Suggestion : Fresh Herbal Mint and Ginger Drink

6. It supports bone health too. A cup of Tulsi / Basil fulfills nearly ¾ of your days requirement of vitamin K. This is one of the major vitamins for bone mineralization.
Key nutrients : Vitamin K
Recipe Suggestion : Tomato Basil and Feta Cheese Salad

7. It has also gained recognition for healing wounds due its quick action of blood clotting. It avoids excess blood loss after injury and promotes skin restoration.
Key nutrients : Vitamin K
Recipe Suggestion : Sundried Tomatoes and Basil Pesto

8. Like most fresh veggies, it boosts heart health. By reducing the inflammation in the body and avoiding plaque buildup, it works towards a healthy you.
Key Nutrients : Vitamin C and essential oils like eugenol
Recipe Suggestion : Basil Walnut Dressing

9. Holy basil protects liver health. The antioxidants in it help to cleanse the liver and prevent damage to it. While you can include basil in your diet, you can also try your hand at Infused water when on a detox diet.
Key Nutrients : Vitamin C and other antioxidants
Recipe Suggestion : Pear Basil Guava Infused Water

10. Basil works very efficiently against the harmful unwanted bacteria of the gut. It kills them. This proves its anti-bacterial action. It naturally decreases the stomach acid while neutralizing the pH level, thus avoiding acidity.
Recipe Suggestion : Tulsi Tea

11. It has shown protection against diabetes development also in some studies. The essential oils and the antioxidants in them help to control blood sugar levels.
Recipe Suggestion : Vegetable and Basil Soup

12. Holy Basil is sure to make your immune system strong. It helps make immune cells, which protect against all types to bacteria, virus and protozoa to fight common infections like cold, flu, fever etc.
Key Nutrients : Vitamin C
Recipe Suggestion : Pineapple and Tulsi Drink

13. Tulsi is a key ingredient for eye care. To improve vision and avoid its defects as well as age related cataracts, have holy basil regularly. In fact, our ancestors used tulsi water to clean eyes and overcome infections and conjunctivitis.
Key Nutrients : Vitamin A, Vitamin C and essential oils like eugenol
Recipe Suggestion : Tulsi Water

Nutritive Information for Basil / Holy Basil:

1 cup of chopped basil / holy basil is about 20 grams

RDA stands for Recommended Daily Allowance.

Energy - 5 calories

Protein – 0.6 g

Carbohydrate – 0.5 g

Fat – 0.1 g

Fiber – 0.3 g

See full nutritional details of Basil in Basil glossary click here.

Read more about culinary uses of basil...

Basil or Holy Basil is a miraculous herb. Don’t lose out on stocking up this herb in your pantry. However the best idea is to follow our ancestors way of growing it at home. 

Cheers to good health!!

benefits of basil holy basil tulsi

Carefully-chosen ingredients like green grapes, cucumber and cabbage make this salad a really refreshing one. The innovative dressing of low-fat curds adds to the tingling freshness of this salad with the zesty flavours of basil, lemon and mustard. The addition of grated apples is a smart move, which balances the flavour and gives a rich texture to the dressing. Low-fat curds provide protein and calcium, making this salad a boon to your bones, while cabbage gives vitamin C to improve immunity.
This herb packed and honey combed hot drink is just perfect to perk up your spirits when you are down with fever. While the benefits of tulsi and ginger in relieving congestion and soothing the respiratory system are well known, few know that vitamin C rich mint also helps in relieving cold and cough. Together, this Fresh Herbal Cup is a compendium of ideal ingredients to rejuvenate a tired body battered by fever, cold and cough.
3.  
 by Tarla Dalal
Cheese and tomatoes always get along very well together because of their contrasting textures and flavours. The soft but earthy flavour of cheese complements the tang of tomatoes, and they bring out the best of each other. In this amazing salad, the duo is enhanced further by the addition of basil, which gives a classic herby touch. Other ingredients like vinegar are added in apt proportions to balance the flavour perfectly. Toss the Tomato Basil and Feta Cheese Salad just before serving. Try other recipes with feta cheese like Barley Feta and Spinach Salad or Baked Herbed Feta Cheese Served with Bread .
4.  
 by Tarla Dalal
Pesto is a kind of spread or dip made with walnuts as the base. It is normally perked up with garlic, olive oil, etc. In this exciting variant, we have made a pesto that imbibes the tang of sundried tomatoes and the herby magic of basil. The nutty, tangy, herby taste of this Sundried Tomatoes and Basil Pesto is really a pleasant surprise for your taste buds. You can use it to make pastas or employ it as a spread or dip. Now that you have some sun-dried tomatoes on hand, we suggest you also have a go at recipes like Sundried Tomato Risotto or Sun Dried Tomatoes and Cheese Roll .
5.  
 by Tarla Dalal
Add greens to your detox water as their blend is quite refreshing to your senses. The strong flavors of guava and basil combined with mild flavor of pear in Pear Basil Guava Infused Water will work wonders for boosting your mind. Fruit Infuser Water Bottles are easily available all over India, in online shops as well as the home needs section of supermarkets and retail chains. If you don’t have a Fruit Infuser Bottle, you can just use any glass jar or pitcher. Put the fruits and herbs in the pitcher along with water and allow them to infuse for 2 to 3 hours. Then, strain the mixture to get detox water. The fruits and herbs can be discarded or more water can be added to make more detox water. Do not use the fruits and herbs for more than twice. Apple Cucumber Parsley Infused Water , Lemony Papaya Infused Water and Guava Strawberry Infused Water are a few more exciting fruit infused water recipes.
 
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This delightful soup brims with the goodness of veggies, and radiates the pleasant aroma and flavour of basil. While the abundant use of veggies gives the diabetic diner a good dose of fibre, basil lends an aesthetic touch along with its medicinal value. Instead of being used in chopped or dried form, basil is added as a paste in this soup, which makes its presence really noticeable. Apart from having loads of chopped veggies, this soup also uses vegetable stock to get a nice taste and mouth-feel. However, cornflour is totally avoided, so this soup can even be a part of one’s daily meals. With minimal calories and carbs, and high fibre content, this Vegetable and Basil Soup will help diabetics to keep their blood sugar levels under check. You can also try other diabetic friendly soups like Oats and Vegetable Broth or Broccoli and Red Capsicum Soup . **Disclaimer: It is highly recommended that this recipe be relished by diabetics only occasionally and in small quantities. This is just a mere ‘treat’ and does not qualify for a regular diabetic menu.
7.  
 by Tarla Dalal
Here is a rejuvenating drink that makes you feel closer to Nature. An unusual combination of pineapple and tulsi leaves are blended together to make an awesome drink with a tangy and herby taste. The aroma of tulsi is just too good, especially when complemented by the tropical aroma of pineapples. Serve this Organic Pineapple Tulsi Drink immediately upon preparation as it tends to lose its vibrant colour after some time. You can also try other tulsi based drinks like Tulsi Tea and Fresh Herbal Tea .
8.  
 by Tarla Dalal
The Indian palate is accustomed to the pleasant and rejuvenating flavour of tulsi. It puts us at ease and refreshes our senses. Here is great news for those with acidity. Sipping on Tulsi Water two or three times a day helps to keep acidity at bay. Have a glass of it early in the morning before eating anything else, and you are all set to face the day with josh! You ca also try Ginger Cinnamon Tea and Ajwain Water .
 
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9.  
 by Tarla Dalal
Basil Walnut Dressing is a nice salad dressing, with multiple shades ranging from lemony and herby to nutty! This olive oil based dressing goes well with several salads, including those with spinach, cheese, onions, etc. When stored in an airtight container in the fridge, it stays good for two days, so you can prepare a small batch and use it to make a couple of exotic salads .
10.  
 by Tarla Dalal
Comforting and refreshing at the same time, this Tulsi Tea, with its unmistakable herbal accents is a wonderful cure for sore throat. While the anti-viral and soothing properties of tulsi are well-known, what makes this remedy all the more effective is the addition of lemon juice, which helps cut through the mucus, increases salivation to lubricate the throat, and improves your immunity with its anti-oxidant powers. Of course, the blend of herbal and lemony flavours is also a hit with the palate!
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