Basil or Tulsi belongs to the family of mints and is native to India. The first evidence of basil cultivation dates back 5,000 years and this common herb holds an immensely important place in Hindu mythology, religion, and ayurvedic medicine. Basil has powerful anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that are used for healing cough and cold, fever, sore throat, respiratory disorders, and improving heart health. But the benefits of basil are not limited to health only; it has amazing uses for skin and hair as well and can be used to enhance beauty naturally.
Nutrients Present in Basil Leaves
Basil is a rich source of several plant-derived chemical compounds that have immense medicinal value. The benefits of basil leaves for skin.
- It is a great source of antioxidant flavonoids orientin and vicenin.
- It contains essential oils such as eugenol, citronellol, limonene, and terpineol that have effective antiseptic and antibacterial properties.
- It is a great source of beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, and vitamin A.
- It is a rich source of vitamin K that is important for blood coagulation and improving bone strength.
Effective Uses of Basil for Skin and Hair Care
The best benefits of basil leaves for skin is its potent anti-aging property that helps in reversing the damage caused by free radicals and maintaining youthful and supple skin that emits a natural glow.
Preventing Acne and Pimples
The effective anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of basil help in controlling the outbreak of acne and pimples. The natural oils of this herb work as a natural cleanser to unclog pores and remove excess oil, dirt, and impurities from the skin – the basic reasons for the formation of acne and pimples. The anti-inflammatory property of basil soothes the inflammation, swelling, and pain associated with pimples. It can also be used for treating insect bites and skin conditions like psoriasis.
Ground a handful of basil and neem, leaves in a grinder, add a dash of lemon juice, mix well and apply on face, leave it on for 30 minutes, wash off with water. You can also add a teaspoon of honey to the pack if your skin is dry. This pack must be applied thrice every week for the best results.
Relief from Skin Infection, Itchiness and Ring Worm
Basil leaves are loaded with potent anti-itch compounds called camphene and thymol that relieves skin irritations, itching, and infections. The essential oils present in basil leaves have powerful antibiotic, antibacterial, disinfectant and antifungal properties that treat various kinds of skin diseases, ringworms, and itchiness caused by psoriasis, sunburn, insect bites and allergies. The camphene in basil also has a cooling effect on the skin that soothes prickly heat.
Crush a handful of basil leaves along with the roots of the plant, apply on the affected areas, let it stay for an hour, and wash off with water. This should be repeated twice a day for best results. Boil a handful of basil and neem leaves in ½ liter of water, strain the water, let it cool and apply it on the affected areas using a piece of clean cotton. Store the rest of the water in the freezer and apply it twice a day.
Lightening Skin Tone
The natural oils and antioxidants present in basil make it an effective remedy for naturally glowing skin. Ursolic acid helps in toning the skin, closing the open pores and cleaning excess oil, dirt, and dead skin cells from the skin surface to give it a brighter, cleaner, and fairer appearance. Another important aspect of basil in improving skin complexion lies in its natural detoxifying power that relieves the skin from the effects of pollution, ultraviolet rays, stress, and infection-causing microbes and viruses. It also helps in moisturizing and nourishing skin to give it a flawless and smooth texture.
Crush a handful of basil leaves and turn it into a thick paste, add a tablespoon each of pure sandalwood powder and lemon juice to it and mix well, apply on face, let it stay for 1 hour and wash off with water. Repeat it 3 times a week for best results.
Treatment for Eczema
Eczema or atopic dermatitis is a chronic skin condition that involves inflammation accompanied by itching, redness, rashes, cracked, and oozing skin. It most commonly appears on the face, neck, hands, elbows, chest, and backs of the knees. Ursolic acid present in basil acts as an antiseptic and helps in soothing the itching, inflammation, and redness caused by eczema. It also reduces the risk of skin cancer.
Take a handful of fresh basil leaves and ground it into a thick paste, add a tablespoon of fresh crushed turmeric to it, mix well and apply on the affected areas, let it stay for 30 minutes and wash off with water. Repeat it regularly to get relief from eczema.
Being a rich source of flavonoids and antioxidants, basil acts as an effective anti-aging agent that tightens skin, fights free radical damage and oxidative stress and prevents the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines and age spots on the skin. It helps in cell regeneration and increases the growth of skin cells to provide a soft, supple, and fresh appearance to it.
The best way to utilize basil to prevent premature aging is to use it in the form of toner. Boil a handful of basil leaves in water for 5-6 minutes, strain the liquid, let it cool, add a few drops of lemon juice and store it in a bottle. Apply this natural toner on clean skin using a piece of cotton. Repeat it at least twice a day for best results. Another way of using the anti-aging property of basil is to use it as a face pack with egg whites. Crush 10-15 basil leaves and mix it well with an egg white, apply on face and let it dry for 30 minutes, wash off with water.
Blackheads and whiteheads are small bumps that are formed as a result of clogged hair follicles present on the skin surface. The effective anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of basil make it a perfect remedy for getting rid of stubborn black and whiteheads. Camphene present in basil works as a natural toner to remove excess oil, dead cells, and impurities that otherwise clog the follicles and result in the formation of blackheads. In addition, the essential oils present in basil also remove skin spots caused by acne and pimples.
The best way to use basil for removing blackheads is to incorporate it into soothing facial steam. For this, you will need a handful of fresh basil leaves, 2 cups of water and a blackhead removing tool. Boil the basil leaves in the water for 6-8 minutes and remove from flame, tie back your hair and place your face near the vessel containing the liquid, absorb the steam for 10 minutes, and use the blackhead removing tool to remove the blackheads gently.
Curing Dandruff and Hair Fall
The benefits of basil and not limited to skincare only. Tulsi leaves for hair works as an effective Natural remedy for hair fall and dandruff as well. The anti-bacterial and anti-fungal property of tulsi leave for hair help in treating scalp irritations, itchiness, flaking, and dandruff. Basil oil for hair reduces excessive dryness of the scalp and removes impurities and dead cells accumulation from the scalp. Basil oil for hair also promotes hair growth and reduces hair fall by improving blood circulation through the scalp. It supplies necessary nutrients to the hair follicles to improve the strength of hair shafts that reduce brittleness and hair breakage.
Take a handful of leaves of tulsi for hair growth and ground it into a rough paste, mix it with 2 tablespoons of pure coconut oil and apply this mixture on scalp and hair, massage it on the scalp using a gentle circular motion, let it stay for 1 hour and wash off with a mild shampoo. Repeat it 2-3 times a week for best results.