Basil May Slow Aging Process

Posted January 27, 2009 by Acupuncture & Massage College

Basil can slow the aging process, according to research presented at the British Pharmaceutical Conference (BPC) in Manchester.

Holy basil, (Latin name Ocimum sanctum), is a close relative of the herb commonly used in cooking. Native to India, holy basil extract has long been used in Ayurvedic medicine, the ancient system practiced in India and other parts of Asia. Holy basil’s rejuvenating properties aid in promoting a youthful state of physical and mental health.

In the first formal study of the herb, researchers found that holy basil extract was effective at actively searching for and eliminating harmful molecules and protecting against damage caused by some free radicals in key organs such as the heart, liver and brain.

The researchers, led by Dr Vaibhav Shinde from Poona College of Pharmacy, Maharashtra, India, studied the herb for antioxidant and anti-aging properties.

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

Holy basil, considered to be an adaptogen, can strengthen the immune system and reduce stress levels. The herb has been used to treat many health conditions and ailments, including: Asthma, headaches, diabetes, heart disease, bronchitis, common colds, fevers, arthritis, inflammation, and stomach disorders.

Health benefits of holy basil:
• Lowers cholesterol and blood pressure, protecting against heart disease and risk of stroke.
• Neutralizes biochemicals that can contribute to degenerative diseases, cancer and premature aging.
• Rich in vitamins and minerals, holy basil contains calcium, zinc, iron, vitamins A and C as well as chlorophyll and other phytonutrients. Holy basil improves digestion and absorption of nutrients.
• Protects against immune, allergic, asthmatic, and histamine reactions.
• Can reduce the inflammation associated with degenerative disorders, cancer and arthritis.
• Treats many systemic diseases and infections by offering antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial properties.
• Can aid in the treatment of lung and bronchial inflammatory, infectious and allergic disorders.
• Enhances endurance and stamina.

For information about Acupuncture & Massage College’s Oriental Medicine and Massage Therapy programs call Joe Calareso, Admissions Director, at (305) 595-9500. Jan. 24.

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