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 a number of 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 property of basil helps 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 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 treats 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 makes it an effective remedy for naturally glowing skin. Urusolic 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 which 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. Urusolic acid present in basil acts as an anti-sceptic 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 clogs the follicles and result in formation of blackheads. In addition, the essential oils present in basil also removes skin spots caused by acne and pimples.
The best way to use basil for removing blackheads is to incorporate it into a 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 skin care 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 leaves for hair helps 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 scalp. It supplies necessary nutrients to teh 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 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.
Is lack of time preventing you from pampering your skin with these nourishing remedies using basil? You can always substitute it with herbal or ayurvedic skin creams that use tulsi for hair growth as an active ingredient in its composition. INLIFE’s Night Gold Cream is one such 100% ayurvedic skin cream that is prepared using natural ingredients such as basil, aloe vera, sandalwood oil, turmeric, almonds, rose petals, etc all of which have great medicinal value and proven benefits for skin care.
INLIFE’s Night Gold Cream is a completely ayurvedic night cream that not only improves skin tone and complexion, but also prevents the appearance of wrinkles, promotes cell regeneration, renders a natural glow to skin and detoxifies skin damaged by pollution, stress and toxins.
Include basil or “tulsi” in your daily beauty regime and pamper your skin with its natural healing and purifying properties.