Posted by Smrity Sharma on September 09, 2008

It's long been known that certain spices, such as turmeric, ginger, oregano and garlic will help fight cancerdefine, lower blood pressure and even maintain a healthy weight. That's not all; a new Indian study found that including Holy basil, (Latin name Ocimum sanctum) in your diet will fight aging and help you look younger.

The lead author of the study, Dr Vaibhav Shinde from Poona College of Pharmacy, Maharashtra, India, and the team looked at the anti-oxidant and anti-ageing properties of the herb, basil. The results of the study were presented at the British Pharmaceutical Conference in Manchester, USA.

This is the first ever formal study of the herb. The researchers found that the anti-oxidants of the herb help boost the body’s ability to fight off damaging free radicals, cancerdefine-causing chemicals that attack organs like the heart, liver and brain and damage nerve cells.

Dr Shinde said, "The study validates the traditional use of herb as a youth-promoting substance in the ayurvedic system of medicine. It also helps describe how the herb acts at a cellular level."

Holy basil is an herb native to India, where it is known as "tulsi". The aromatic herb has been considered India's "Queen of Herbs" and has been adored as one of the most sacred herbs in India, infused with healing power for more than 5000 years.

The extract of the herb has long been used in the ancient system of Ayurvedic medicine in India as a rejuvenation drug, to promote a youthful state of physical and mental health and to treat colds, fevers, headaches, malaria, diabetes, stomachache, stomach worms, inflammation, skin disorders, piles, heart disease, jaundice, eye disorders, bronchitis, asthma and arthritis.

Holy Basil is also regarded as an adaptogenic herb which means it supports the body's natural immune systemdefine while relieving the body's negative reaction to stress. For thousands of years adaptogenic herbs have been used in traditional Ayurvedic and Chinese herbal medicines to promote and maintain wellness.

The herb perks up the body's immune system by increasing the production of antibodies and also protects the entire respiratory tract by maintaining the health of the throat, chest and lungs.

By using more herbs and spices such as basil, ginger, rosemary, garlic and fewer traditional seasonings like sugar, salt and fat one can improve the overall health benefits and of course the flavor of the foods we eat every day. So, what are you waiting for? Start including this wonderful herb in your diet and enjoy the tasty dishes along with youthful wrinkle free skin!

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