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Authors

  1. Singletary, Keith W. PhD

Abstract

Basil is an aromatic plant that encompasses scores of species of herb and shrub species belonging to the genus Ocimum L. (Lamiaceae). The name basil comes from the Greek basileus or "king." Common basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) leaves have had culinary importance for centuries. Several Ocimum species, collectively known as Tulsi in India and Nepal, are used in Ayurvedic and other traditional medicine systems. Purported uses for Tulsi and other Ocimum species include relief of stress and treatment of respiratory, gastrointestinal, and kidney ailments, as well as blood disorders and skin and eye diseases, to name a few. The present report is intended to provide a brief summary based on human studies from the scientific literature of the potential health benefits of basil relating to alleviating metabolic disorders, cognitive enhancement, strengthening the immune system, and oral and skin health.