Almost everyone knows the aromatic herb basil, native to the Mediterranean, for its culinary properties. But there is an indica variety, a relative of the common basil, less known and with medicinal properties that make it very special.
It is about the holy basil (Ocimum sanctum), also known as tulsi, which in Sanskrit means incomparable. It is also known as holy basil or holy basil.
It is native to the tropical regions of Asia, and has already spread throughout the world when cultivated for its extraordinary healing values. It has a long tradition of use in Ayurvedic medicine as it relieves fever, bronchitis, asthma, stress, and mouth ulcers.
The origin of its name "holy basil" derives from Hinduism, this plant is revered as the incarnation of Lakshimi, the wife of Vishnu. And both in ancient Greece and in Rome, it was a plant highly appreciated by their doctors.
How the Tulsi is composed
The phytochemical compounds of holy basil are eugenol, a phenolic derivative commonly known as clove essence, urosolic acid, carvacrol, linalool, caryophyllene and methyl carvicol, all of them compounds that have anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, antiulcer, anti-cancer, properties and effects. and antimicrobials.
In addition, it has nutritional components such as vitamin A, C, and K, and minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, containing 287 mg per 100 grams, zinc, iron, manganese, as well as antioxidant phytonutrients such as chlorophyll.
Tulsi medicinal properties
The medicinal properties of holy basil are broad, having antidiabetic action, since it has a regulating effect on the amount of sugar in the blood, reducing the levels of glucose and glycosylated hemoglobin in the blood, with stimulating effects of insulin secretion.
Improves heart activity and strengthens the cardiovascular system. It reduces the levels of serum cholesterol, triglycerides, phospholipids and LDL cholesterol, increasing the values of HDL cholesterol.
It is an antiseptic plant, it has anti-inflammatory and wound healing action.
It has antioxidant action because its chemical compounds reduce free radicals by increasing the levels of antioxidant enzymes such as superoxide dismutase and catalase.
It has an immunostimulating effect, increasing the ability of the immune system to protect the body against pathogens, and through the results of medical tests carried out in the laboratory, it is known that it has a proven anticancer capacity against skin tumors.
By Raúl Martínez, Dietitian-nutritionist, biologist.