If your kitchen were to only have a few herbs in it, basil should be at the top of the list. Not only is this green, leafy herb tasty, it is also a nutritional powerhouse. Basil is high in vitamin K, vitamin A and vitamin C as well as the minerals iron, calcium, manganese, magnesium and potassium. Basil is also anti-bacterial and cancer-fighting.
Basil and Cancer
Basil is superb to add to your arsenal of cancer-fighting foods Here are just a couple of reasons why:
- Basil is high in Vitamin D. The benefits of Vitamin D for those on a breast health journey cannot be overemphasized. Did you know that studies have shown breast cancer patients with high levels of Vitamin D in their system are two times as likely to survive than women with lower than normal (usually 80 – 100 ng/ml) levels? This is because Vitamin D can both suppress hormone stimulation and kill cancer cells outright. The Canadian Cancer Society has even endorsed the use of D as a cancer-prevention strategy. As an additional preventative, be sure to have your vitamin D levels checked regularly (it is a simple test your health practitioner can do) and take Vitamin K2 along with the D.
- Basil is high in Vitamin C and flavonoids. The flavonoids found in basil oil (estragole, linalool, cineole, eugenol, sabinene, myrcene, and limonene) make it a superstar herb. Flavonoids are responsible for the bright color pigment found in many fruits and vegetables and are also widely known for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. Both Vitamin C and flavonoids are powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants help keep the cells of the body from becoming damaged by an overabundance of free radicals in the system. Because of poor lifestyle choices and environmental exposures, free radical DNA damage and oxidation are the main cause of many life-threatening diseases in the modern world.
- Basil is a powerful anti-bacterial. Being cancer-free depends in large part on keeping your gut flora balanced for proper immune system function. One study found that washing veggies in a 1% solution of either basil or thyme essential oil diminished the number of Shigella bacteria organisms considerably. Basil is also effective in reducing E. coli and Salmonella bacteria, among others.
What is Holy Basil?
Holy Basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum), or Tulsi (sometimes spelled as “tulasi”) is not the same as the culinary herb. Holy Basil has been used medicinally by Ayurvedic practitioners as well as in Hindu religious ceremonies for thousands of years. It is often called a “cure all” and is the Holy Grail of stress-reducing herbs as it eases anxiety — which aids your body on all levels. Holy basil has been known to help with fighting bacterial infections, wound healing, controlling blood sugar levels, cutting cholesterol, easing heart stress, reducing stomach ulcers, reducing inflammation and stimulating the brain.
Most relevant to cancer prevention is the fact that Holy Basil has been shown to increase immune function while it decreases depression associated with stress and anxiety. Research points to a link between depression and inflammatory responses that can provide the environment for tumors to grow. Studies show that people that were treated with 300 mg of Holy Basil extract for one month had increased antibody levels in their immune systems. In another study with the herb, subjects showed decreased stress, anxiety and depression as well as improved attention and increased mental flexibility.
Eat Your Basil!
Eaten raw or simmered in tasty recipes, basil is good to eat any time of the year. According to seasonal nutrition experts, however, consuming more basil in the spring is ideal. Basil can also be taken as a supplement. For a healthy adult, consuming 1,200 mg of basil extract daily can decrease stress symptoms such as insomnia, forgetfulness, and low sex drive as well as improve immune function overall. Do yourself and your body a favor—be sure to add basil in all forms to your health protocol today!
Dr. Veronique Desaulniers (“Dr. V”) is a best-selling author and founder of breastcancerconqueror.com . She specializes in Chiropractic, Bio-Energetics, Meridian Stress Analysis, Homeopathy and Digital Thermography. After 30 years in active practice, she decided to “retire” and devote her time to sharing her personal, non-toxic Breast Cancer healing journey with others. Her years of experience and research have culminated in “The 7 Essentials™ “, a step-by-step coaching program that unravels the mystery of healing the body. Her website and personal healing journey have touched the lives of thousands of women around the globe.