Is Basil Good for You?
The prominent health effects of consuming basil are preventative health improvements, specifically by reinforcing the immune system. Basil (Ocimum basilicum) contains flavonoids, which protect cells with anti-bacterial properties. In studies on white blood cells, the flavonoids vicenin and orientin in basil have been shown to protect cells and chromosomes from oxygen damage and radiation damage.
Basil oils in particular, which are a combination of cineole, eugenol, sabinene, linalool, myrcene, limonene, and estragole, have been shown to prevent the growth of many types of bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus, related to skin infections, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which is related to inflammation and sepsis caused by bacterial infection. Basil oil has also shown the ability to inhibit bacteria, which has begun to become resistant to antibiotics.
Basil Contains Vitamin A and Magnesium
Additionally, basil is a source of vitamin A and magnesium. Vitamin A helps protect epithelial cells, which make up crucial body structures like blood vessels, from free radical damage. This damage is a known cause of conditions ranging from asthma to arthritis. Basil can also help prevent heart attack and stroke, as cholesterol buildup only becomes dangerous after it has become oxidized by free radicals.