The Lemon Basil popularly known as Nigerian Curry is a popular herb grown primarily in northeastern Africa and southern Asia. It is known popularly for its fragrant lemon scent; it is most known for its culinary uses.
Commonly added to soups, sauces, and salads because of its aroma and flavour, the Lemon Basil leaf provides some macronutrients, such as calcium and vitamin K, as well as a range of antioxidants. The leaf is also an excellent source of beta-carotene, vitamin K, magnesium, iron, manganese, copper, calcium, and vitamin C.
For the purpose of emphasis, Curry and Basil will be used interchangeably in this article.
Here are 6 benefits of the Lemon Basil Leaf:
1. Contains antioxidants
Curry leaf contains a range of natural antioxidants which help protect body tissues against free radical damage. Free radicals are notorious atoms that cause significant damage to the cells and put you at an increased risk of many health complications, such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and arthritis.
These antioxidants protect white blood cells responsible for immune function, as well as cellular structures where DNA is stored and delay the effects of skin aging. They make basil a great choice for helping with inflammatory diseases. This includes: fever, common cold, stress, purifying the blood, reducing blood glucose, reducing risk of heart attacks and cholesterol level, mouth ulcer, arthritis.
2. Fights cancer
The curry leaf contains phytochemicals, which can help naturally prevent cancer, including chemical-induced skin, liver, oral, and lung cancers. It contains a lot of powerful antioxidants that fight oxidative stress and kill off cancer cells.
The curry leaf does this by increasing the antioxidant activity, altering the gene expressions, inducing cancer cell death, and inhibiting blood vessel development in the cell.
It is able to increase antioxidant activity, induce cancerous-cell apoptosis (death of harmful cells), and stop cancerous tumors from spreading.
3. Helps control blood sugar levels
Lemon basil leaf extract is known to possess essential nutrients that reduce blood sugar levels and protect against diabetes and kidney failure. One animal study discovered that an extract of sweet basil leaves was able to reduce high blood sugar levels. The results also showed that sweet basil leaves could be useful in treating the long-term effects of high blood sugar.
It also helps to lower the blood sugar levels by affecting the insulin activity of the body. The fiber content of the leaf also plays a significant role in the lowering of blood sugar levels.
The essential oil present in the leaf also helps cut down triglyceride and cholesterol levels, which is a persistent risk factor amongst diabetics.
If you have diabetes, add curry to your diet for sure. It slows down the process of sugar release in the blood while helping you with diabetes management. According to many studies on animals and humans, it can also help counter the other health complications associated with diabetes, including hyperinsulinemia (high amount of insulin in the blood), excessive body weight, etc.
4. Supports liver function
The strong detox properties in curry leaf may do wonders for your liver health preventing fat build-up in the liver thereby keeping your liver healthy.
Curry leaves are rich sources of antioxidants, which protects the liver from free radicals. The antimicrobial compounds fight against viral infection and other diseases like fatty liver. Multiple studies have shown that this herb has a positive effect on the liver.
A 2015 study in rats concluded that antioxidants in a powdered preparation that included tulsi, or holy basil, had a positive impact on liver health. The scientists applied the powder after using a toxin to induce liver injury.
Curry’s strong detox properties may do wonders for your liver health. Liver is a very essential organ for the body as it plays a crucial role in metabolism. It may help prevent fat build-up in the liver and keep your liver healthy.
5. Protecting against skin aging
The curry leaf has properties that might help protect the skin from some effects of aging.
It is suggested that including basil extracts in topical skin creams might improve skin hydration and reduce roughness and wrinkling.
The strong anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties of basil would help prevent the formation of acne. If you have an acne problem, the antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties of the curry leaf will help you prevent it.
While extracts of basil at certain doses may have this effect, consuming basil will not necessarily benefit the skin.
However, the antioxidants in basil and other plant-based foods may have a protective effect if a person consumes them as part of a varied diet.
Basil contains powerful and healing essential oils that cleanse your skin from deep inside. And, if you have oily skin, it is a savior for you. It also helps remove dirt and impurities that clog pores. Besides cleansing, basil also removes impurities, dirt, and grease that happen to clog your pores. All you need to do is make a thick paste with a handful of basil leaves, sandalwood powder, and rose water. Apply this pack on your face and neck, wait for 15 to 20 minutes, and wash it with cold water.
Furthermore, the leaf’s powerful oil helps cleanse the skin from within by removing dirt and impurities that clog pores. Make a paste of curry leaves, sandalwood paste, and rose water. Apply the paste on your face and let it sit for 20 minutes. Wash it off with cold water.
6. Good for Digestion
Basil fortifies the digestive and nervous system and can be a good remedy for headaches and insomnia. The eugenol present in the leaves ensures anti-inflammatory action in the digestive tract. It has anti-inflammatory properties that ensure that your digestive tract is healthy. Basil helps balance acid within the body, has a huge benefit to your digestive and nervous system and restores the body’s proper pH level.
Consumption of Curry leaf helps improve digestion and immunity by helping healthy bacteria flourish within the gut, while also decreasing harmful bacteria that can cause disease.