Medicinal properties and Health benefits of Basil herb
Basil leaves contain many notable plant derived chemical compounds that are known to have disease preventing and health promoting properties.
Basil herb contains many polyphenolic flavonoids like orientin and vicenin. These compounds were tested in vitro laboratory studies for possible anti-oxidant protection against radiation-induced lipid per-oxidation in mouse liver.
Basil leaves contains many health benefiting essential oils such as eugenol, citronellol, linalool, citral, limonene and terpineol. These compounds are known to have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.
Basil is very low in calories and contains no cholesterol, but is very rich source of many essential nutrients minerals and vitamins that are essential for optimum health.
Basil herb contains exceptionally high levels of beta-carotene, vitamin A, cryptoxanthin, lutein and zea-xanthin. These compounds help act as protective scavengers against oxygen-derived free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that play a role in aging and various disease process. Zeaxanthin, an important dietary carotenoid selectively absorbed into the retinal macula lutea where it is thought to provide antioxidant and protective light-filtering functions. Vitamin A is known to have antioxidant properties and is essential for vision. It is also required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin. Consumption of natural foods rich in vitamin A known to helps body protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
Vitamin K in basil is essential for many coagulant factors in the blood and plays vital role in the bone strengthening function by helping mineralisation process in the bones.
Basil contain good amount of minerals like potassium, manganese, copper, and magnesium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids which helps control heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase. Basil leaves are an excellent source of iron, contains 3.17 mg/100 g of fresh leaves (about 26% of RDA). Iron, being a component of hemoglobin inside the red blood cells, determines the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood.