Benefits of Including Basil Leaves in Your Diet

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Basil, in Hindi known as Tulsi, is a green, leafy, flavourful and aromatic herb, native to Asia and Africa. It is rich in many medicinal properties and can help cure and prevent an array of diseases in the body. 

There are more than 50 varieties of basil leaves found all over the world. Even Ayurveda mentions one of the varieties of basil leaves, called Tulsi or holy basil. It is used to prepare many Ayurvedic medicines and treat diseases such as diabetes, heart diseases, etc. Here, we will see various basil leaves benefits. 

What are the Nutrients Found in Basil Leaves?

Basil leaves have many varieties and each variety constitutes different nutrients. However, all basil varieties are usually rich in vitamin A, vitamin K, iron, manganese and calcium.  

What are Basil Benefits for Health?

  • Reduces Oxidative Stress:

Basil leaves are rich in antioxidants which are necessary to eliminate free radicals from the body. Free radicals can cause oxidative stress and lead to cell damage, resulting in many diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. By including basil leaves in your diet, you can reduce oxidative stress and prevent such diseases.

  • Fights Infections:

This is one of the well-known basil leaves’ benefits. Basil leaves are rich in antimicrobial properties, and therefore, help to prevent and fight infections, such as cough, flu, skin infections, respiratory infections, etc.

  • Reduces Inflammation:

Inflammation is the root cause of many diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, heart diseases, inflammatory bowel condition, etc. Basil leaves’ benefits in reducing inflammation can keep several diseases at bay. They are highly rich in anti-inflammatory properties and therefore help in reducing inflammation and preventing inflammatory diseases in the body. 

  • May Prevent Cancer:

Rich in antioxidants, holy basil or Tulsi is also known to prevent many types of cancers, such as liver, skin, oral and lung cancers. This is one of the newly found basil leaves benefits.

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  • Boosts Liver Health:

Basil health benefits include boosting liver health. Holy basil or Tulsi leaves help to eliminate harmful toxins from the body and prevent fat build-up in the liver. Therefore, it helps to promote the functioning of the liver while preventing and curing liver diseases.   

  • Aids in Diabetes Management:

Basil leaves help to regulate blood sugar levels in the body. They have a low glycemic load and are highly recommended for people with diabetes. Furthermore, basil health benefits include reducing the risk factors of diabetes, such as high cholesterol levels, hypertension, etc. 

  • Improves Mental Health:

Holy basil or Tulsi is one of the best natural remedies to alleviate stress and stress-related disorders such as insomnia, anxiety, etc. It is also an effective remedy to cure depression. This can be considered one of the most popular basil health benefits.  

  • Cures Skin Diseases:

basil leaves benefits for skin is well-known. Basil leaves are rich in anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. They help to reduce free radical damage, eliminate toxins and prevent infections in the skin. Therefore, basil leaves are highly beneficial in boosting overall skin health and curing skin diseases. They also help to prevent skin ageing.  

  • Promotes Digestion:

basil benefits for health include promoting digestion and preventing many gastrointestinal disorders such as indigestion, bloating, acid reflux, loss of appetite, etc. It is also effective in treating peptic ulcers.  

  • Boosts Heart Health:

Basil leaves are highly effective in lowering the levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in the body. They also help to regulate blood pressure levels. Therefore, regular consumption of basil leaves can help to prevent and fight many cardiovascular diseases and boost overall heart health, making this a note-worthy basil benefit for health. 

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How to Include Basil Leaves in Your Diet?

To gain maximum basil leaves benefits, you can include it in your diet. Here’s how you can do it. 

  • The most convenient way to use basil leaves is by including them in your cooking. You can put it on your salads, pasta, pizza, etc and gain the best basil health benefits.
  • You can also use basil leaves by making Tulsi tea. Tulsi or holy basil is one of the most beneficial basil varieties and is vastly used in Ayurvedic medicines. To make Tulsi tea, you need to boil a few Tulsi leaves in water for 3-5 minutes and then strain it. You can also add honey or lemon to the tea. This way, you will have the maximum basil leaves benefits. 
  • Alternatively, to gain basil health benefits, you can also chew raw Tulsi leaves to enjoy its health benefits. 
  • Basil leaves can also be used as an essential oil. It helps to reduce stress, anxiety, etc. 


Basil Leaves are rich in many nutrients and medicinal properties. They help prevent and fight diseases, such as cancer, respiratory infections, arthritis, diabetes, hypertension, etc. Including basil leaves in your diet can help to boost your overall health and reduce the risk of getting various diseases. Mentioned above were a few of the many basil health benefits. However, it is suggested to consult an Ayurvedic expert to learn the right way of consuming basil leaves and gaining the best basil health benefits.  


Dr Sunanda Ranade

Sunanda Ranade is Vice-Chairman of the International Academy of Ayurved, Pune, India, and an expert Ayurvedic gynecologist and nutritionist. She has been working in this field for the last 47 years. Dr. Sunanda Ranade holds a Doctorate in Ayurveda. She is also the author of several books on Ayurveda and Yoga, which have been published in Marathi, English, Spanish, and Portuguese.


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