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Benefits and Medicinal Uses of Basil Leaves & Its Side Effects

Basil is basically a native plant of India. More than 150 varieties of basil can be found all over the world. The fragrance of basil is good for heart and for head health. Basil leaves are mainly used as seasoning herbs for various cuisines because of its fragrance. The taste of sweet basil is bright and pungent. Seeds of basil soaked in water may be used in Asian drinks and desserts like faluda. Basil finds the greatest usage in Italian cooking. In India, basil plant is considered as sacred and people even worship it.[1]

Vegetarian people even consume the tulsi seeds. It is also believed that presence of basil plant can keep the evil spirits away from your house.

Basil is often referred as King of Herbs. Holy basil Sanctum in India is indicated as sacred herb and is planted in Hindu temples. The Basil plant is very sensitive to cold and can be best grow in dry conditions. The basil leaves are harvested when young. Basil is mainly an outdoor plant, but can be planted indoors too. Basil plant is ornamental, as well as edible. Basil leaves are a good source of vitamin A, magnesium, potassium and calcium.[2]

Benefits of Basil Leaves for your Overall Health

There are many benefits of basil leaves and they are considered as the king of all herbs. Basil leaves are generally preferred when fresh rather than dry. Basil leaves are a rich source of vitamin A and magnesium that help in improving the blood flow. Basil leaves also protects us from various bacterial infections. A warm cup of basil tea is beneficial for your health. Basil leaves provide multiple remedies in Ayurveda and have healing properties as well. Basil leaves have remedial effect in curing cancer when they are mixed with curd. Basil leaves help in improving digestive system problems. Heart attacks and strokes can be prevented with the help of basil leaves. The benefits of basil leaves for your general health include:

  • Basil leaves are antiseptic in nature.
  • Basil leaves help in curing kidney stones.
  • Basil leaves for curing ulcers.
  • Basil leaves help in treatment of fever.
  • Basil leaves help in curing headache.
  • Basil leaves work as an expectorant for respiratory disorders.
  • Eye disorders can be minimized if 2 drops of basil leaves juice are put into the eyes daily at bedtime.
  • Prevents bad breath
  • Basil leaves help in losing weight.[3]

Benefits of Basil Leaves for Skin

Benefits of Basil Leaves for Skin

Blackheads, acne and pimples can be cured with the help of basil leaves. For a clear and healthy looking skin you can eat basil leaves too. Any type of skin infection can be cured with basil leaves due to its anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. Apply the juice of basil leaves on your face; then wash face after 30 minutes and you can see the results and the skin benefits of basil leaves. Apart from this, you can make a homemade toner with the help of basil leaves. Other benefits of basil leaves for skin include:

  • Basil leaves are the best home remedy for an insect bite.
  • Basil leaves can be used as a face wash due to their cleansing properties.
  • Basil leaves cure ringworms if applied mixed with lemon juice.
  • Basil leaves are a good remedy for skin diseases.
  • Basil leaves provide instant relief from itching skin.
  • Basil leaves help tighten the skin.
  • Basil leaves give relief from burns and wounds.
  • Any kind of acne or pimple problem can be prevented with the use of basil leaves.
  • Basil leaves help in preventing blackheads.
  • Basil leaves can be used as a treatment for a disease called vitiligo, which shows up as white patches on skin.

Benefits of Basil Leaves for Hair

There are multiple benefits of basil leaves for hair. Basil leaves can add the much needed strength to hair and make them shiny and strong. Dandruff has become a very common problem among masses. Usage of basil oil on the scalp can reduce the dandruff. Application of basil oil mixed with coconut oil is the best remedy for dandruff. Another benefit of basil oil for hair is that it reduces hair fall. Some other benefits of basil leaves for hair include:

  • Basil leaves promote healthy hair and strengthens the shaft of hair.
  • Regular application of basil oil will give fresh look to your hair.
  • A healthy and hydrated scalp can be achieved with the regular consumption of the juice of basil leaves.
  • Basil leaves prevent itching in scalp.
  • Basil leaves prevent hair loss and graying of hair.
  • Basil leaves prevent hair damage due to radiation.[4]

Other Benefits of Basil Leaves

The culinary use of basil leaves cannot be ignored. Basil leaves give an amazing aroma to food and gives an added taste to soups and pastas. The dried powder of basil leaves can be added to almost any dish to enhance its taste. Basil leaves can eliminate stress if 2 leaves are added in tea and drunk. Basil leaves have quite a lot of nutritional value.

Apart from this, basil leaves can also improve cardiovascular health due to the presence of vitamin A. Basil leaves regulate cholesterol level and also give the much needed strength to the bones. Basil leaves increase your memory. Basil leaves are considered to be medicine of life, as they promote long life.[5]

Medicinal Uses of Basil Leaves

Popular with the name of Tulsi in India, basil leaves basically belong to mint family. This is a miraculous herb which can treat almost all the common health problems. Basil leaves can improve the digestive system. Basil leaves can help in removal of phlegm from bronchial tube thus strengthening respiratory system. Of late, dengue fever is spreading by leaps and bounds in every part of the world. Basil leaves tea is quite useful in curing such cases. Almost every other person suffers from cough and cold.

Chewing leaves or intake of basil leave tea is the best remedy in such case. The juice of basil leaves is quite beneficial for toddlers. Problems such as cough, cold or vomiting can be eliminated with the help of them. As these leaves are vitamin A rich, they are quite helpful for eyes. Basil leaves can help in boosting self-confidence by eliminating bad breath. Chewing a few leaves of basil every day is suggested to people with problem of bad breath.[6]

Possible Side Effects of Basil Leaves

Sweet basil often tends to increase the sugar level in body; thus people suffering from diabetes should be cautious while taking Basil leaves. People taking medications for diabetes should be careful as well. For such people it is advisable to intake Basil leaves after consultation with their doctor. Intake of large amount of basil leaves is not good for breast feeding and pregnant women. Basil leaves can lower the blood pressure, so people with low blood pressure should avoid Basil leaves intake. Lastly people scheduled for surgery should stop the intake of basil leaves around 14 days prior to surgery.[7]


Thus you can bring basil leaves from your garden to add it to your diet and promote a healthy lifestyle. Basil has become the favorite of people due to its multiple medicinal uses. Basil is one of the most preferred Ayurvedic herbs to treat various ailments. Basil leaves also hold an important place from scientific point of view. Basil leaves can help in liver protection. Apart from this, basil leaves give a unique flavor and aroma to food. Basil leaves find its application in multiple ways. It is suggested that you should try the medicinal properties of basil leaves. The amount of dosage of basil leaves is influenced by age, health and many such factors. It is always advisable to consult a healthcare practitioner before basil leaves intake. Thus basil is such a plant whose importance cannot be ignored or overlooked.


Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:June 8, 2022

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