Moroccan researchers have come up with research that states Ocimum basilicum i.e. basil can help to restore lipid metabolism and prevents oxidation. The study found that basil extracts are helpful in cutting down on the high levels of cholesterol and prevent conditions like atherosclerosis. The findings of the study were published in the journal Food Science and Human Wellness.
Atherosclerosis is a common outcome of high cholesterol and elevated oxidative stress. It is characterized by building up of plaque in the blood vessels. The plaque is made up of fat and cholesterol and it hampers blood flow through the vessels. A healthy diet and regular exercise are often advised to counter the situation. However, this study reports another possible treatment. It states that the extracts of basil, a cholesterol-lowering herb, can work wonders to keep your cholesterol levels at bay.
Basil is an aromatic medicinal plant that is used to treat health problems in the east of Morocco. These problems include high cholesterol levels and atherosclerosis.
Using mice models, the Moroccan researchers evaluated the effect of basil extract on high cholesterol levels and oxidative stress. For this purpose, the mice were first induced with hyperlipidemia. Afterward, they were orally given 200 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg) body weight of basil extract.
What were the results?
The findings of the study suggest that mice, orally administered with basil, showed significant reductions in,
- Total cholesterol levels
- Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol
Moreover, the extract prevented blood lipid oxidation as well. The basil extract was found to contain four major phenolics e.g.
- Cafeic acid
- Caftaric acid
- Chicoric acid
- Rosmarinic acid
Rosmarinic acid is reported the major compound in the extract. Thus, it might be responsible for the lipid-lowering and antioxidant activities of the extract. The findings of the study led the scientists to conclude that sweet basil has lipid-lowering and antioxidant effects. Thus, it can be used to lower high levels of cholesterol and prevent atherosclerosis.
Other health benefits of Basil
If you want to include basil in your diet, you can add it in sandwiches and salads. Basil tea can also serve the purpose. Apart from lowering cholesterol, basil comes with various other health benefits as well. Some of these benefits are as follow,
It is a powerful natural herb with notable antioxidant content. Basil contains potent antioxidants like water-soluble flavonoids called rientin and viceninare. They protect white blood cells and fight off the damage caused by free radicals.
Basil is a natural, anti-inflammatory herb. It contains essential oils that are responsible for reversing the damage caused by inflammation.
In addition, basil contains natural antibacterial properties as well. It can serve as a natural way to boost your immune system and fight off pre-existing infections. It can possibly inhibit the resistant strains of bacteria that are insensitive to antibiotics.
Basil acts as a natural adaptogen. It helps your body to deal with stress and handle stressful conditions efficiently.