Herbs can do wonders for your cooking. And it can do wonders for your skin, too. More than a few herbs can be grown at home quickly and picked freshly to treat various skin issues. Basil is one of them, and it immensely benefits our skin. While the medicinal and culinary uses of Basil make it popular globally, it can also be used as a powerful natural acne treatment. You can use Basil for acne, breakouts, and pimples effectively. How? Well, let us talk about it in this article.
What is Basil?
Basil, also called great Basil or the ‘king of herbs’, is native to tropical regions from central Africa to Southeast Asia. The annual herb with green, fragrant leaves is also extensively cultivated in France, Egypt, Hungary, Indonesia, Morocco, and the United States (1). It has been holding a prominent place in Indian Ayurveda for more than 5,000 years. Belonging to the mint family (Lamiaceae), this versatile herb can come in different types, and each of them comes with its signature aroma and flavor. The most commonly used Basil is sweet (Ocimum basilicum), an indispensable part of many Mediterranean (specifically Italian), Thai, Indonesian, and Vietnamese cuisines. It is added to soups, stews, salads, curries, sauces (pesto), pasta, pizza, stir-fries, marinades, etc., as a food seasoning for its distinctive flavor and a strong, pungent, often sweet smell. The culinary herb is used in various forms like fresh leaves, extract, dried powder, herbal tea, or oil, adding bulk nutrition to the diet. Basil essential oil is also known to have potent medicinal and healing properties, which not only help treat several health conditions and aiding in maintaining skin and hair.
Basil contains essential volatile oils like cinnamate, citronellol, geraniol, linalool, pinene, terpineol, etc., which contribute to its strong antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antidepressive properties. The concentration of these essential oils in basil determines the characteristic aroma and flavor of each herb species.
Common Varieties of Basil
Basil has varied species with significant botanical differences. These include the following (2):
- Sweet Basil is the most popular and widely grown variety in worldwide cuisines. We have already talked about it in the previous segment.
- Bush or Greek Basil: This basil plant grows like a compact bush in a small pot with small leaves. It often replaces sweet Basil for its strong aroma yet mild flavor.
- It is also called tulsi or tulasi (Ocimum sanctum) and differs from sweet Basil. The holy basil plant has excellent therapeutic value and is commonly used in herbal tea and supplements. In India, it is considered a sacred plant offered to God.
- Thai Basil: As the name suggests, this Basil is a staple in Thai and Southeast Asian dishes. It has a unique flavor similar to that of licorice and star anise.
- Lemon Basil: This basil variety has narrow, elongated oval leaves used in raw and cooked applications. They impart a refreshing citrusy flavor to foods.
- Cinnamon Basil: Originating from Mexico, this type has a cinnamon-like fragrance and flavor. It is usually served with legumes or stir-fries.
- Lettuce Basil: The leaves of this Basil resemble large, wrinkled, soft leaves of lettuce. It has a licorice-like flavor that goes very well with salads.
Nutrition Content of Basil
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, Basil has a high nutritional value. A tablespoon of fresh Basil (2.5 gm.) contains plenty of nutrients, including plenty of vitamins (vitamin A, vitamin B complex, vitamin C, vitamin K), traces of minerals (calcium, iron, zinc), a range of antioxidants (beta carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein, zeaxanthin), and chlorophyll. (3)
Why Use Basil for Acne?
Naturally, basil is an all-rounder when treating breakouts, including acne, pimples, blackheads, whiteheads, etc. But what maBasilhe herb is such a powerful acne remedy? Let us find out:
1. Has Antimicrobial Effects
Basil has excellent antimicrobial properties, which make it a highly effective cure for breakouts (4). It prevents the overgrowth of acne-causing bacteria named Propionibacterium acnes and drives them away successfully.
2. Prevents Infections
The herb even stops staph infections in our skin, in which the bacteria become resistant to antibiotics and keep increasing (5).
4. Purifies Blood
As a natural antibacterial and antifungal agent, basil helps remove toxins from the blood (6). As the blood gets purified, the possibility of developing more future breakouts decreases.
5. Soothes Inflammation
The anti-inflammatory properties of basil help reduce the swelling of pimples, soothe Inflammation, and curb the associated pain (7).
7 Ways to Use Basil for Acne
Now, as you have wised up, it is time to explore some fantastic basil remedies that would help you eliminate those unsightly acne, breakouts, and pimples quickly and naturally. Here we go:
1. Fresh Basil Juice
Collect fresh organic basil leaves, ensuring they are cleaned thoroughly. Crush the leaves to extract their juice. Apply the juice to your entire face or specific areas with issues using a cotton ball, gently massaging with your fingertips. Let the juice absorb into the skin for 15 minutes. Afterward, rinse it off with cold water. Repeat this routine twice daily until you attain the desired results.
2. Regular Basil Tea Toner
Create a basil tea toner by boiling 5 to 10 fresh basil leaves in water for 7 to 10 minutes. Strain the liquid to remove basil particles. Allow the toner to cool completely before applying it to problematic areas of your skin using a cotton ball. It will naturally dry on its own, eliminating the need for rinsing. Use this toner multiple times throughout the day for clearer skin.
You can also replace the fresh leaves with 2 tablespoons of dried leaves or basil powder. However, if you use fresh basil leaves, make sure that you crush them a little to help most of its natural oil transfer to the water.
3. Basil Essential Oil Toner
Basil essential oil also effectively treats acne, breakouts, and pimples. You can buy a bottle of this oil from a reputed brand and use 8 to 10 drops in 3 tablespoons of water to prepare your toner mixture. Apply it regularly to your acne and pimples to shrink them up and heal eventually. This will also help you prevent further breakouts and get flawless skin over time.
4. Herbal Basil Toner
Here is another excellent basil toner recipe with the goodness of many other herbs. Prepare a green tea infusion by boiling and dissolving thyme and basil leaves in water. Put six tablespoons of this infusion in a bowl and pour more boiling water into it. Add 5 to 7 drops of tea tree oil to the injection and keep the bowl aside for 20 minutes. Once it reaches room temperature, strain the mixture carefully and pour one tablespoon of organic apple cider vinegar into it. Mix well and use it as a facial toner to keep acne and pimples at bay.
5. Basil Facial Steaming
Give yourself a facial steaming by adding a few fresh basil leaves to a pot of boiling water. All you need to do is lean over the pot and steam your face thoroughly for 10 to 15 minutes. It will help you get a clean, supple, and refreshed face by opening up the clogged skin pores and offering a deep cleansing. After the facial steaming, splash fresh, cold water on your skin. This should be practiced thrice weekly to heal acne and avert its growth.
6. Basil and Gram Flour Face Mask
Take some dried basil and mint leaves in a bowl. Grind them together to make a fine powder. Add a little gram flour and 3 to 4 tablespoons of water. Combine well to come up with a smooth, thick paste. Apply this mask to your whole face and wait for 15 minutes. Then, rinse off with cold water to reveal acne and blemish-free beautiful skin. Do not forget to use this mask at least twice every week to get the best results.
7. Basil and Neem Face Mask
Take fresh and clean basil leaves and neem leaves, 5 to 7 each, in a food processor. Add a little water to them and form a smooth paste of medium consistency. Spread it all over your face and wash it off after 15 minutes with fresh, cold water. Both basil and neem will induce antimicrobial Basilts in your skin and stop those pesky breakouts. Repeat thrice a week, and the result will be visible in just a few weeks.
Read Also – Revealing the Link Between Oil Pulling and Acne
Other Skin Benefits of Basil
Being loaded with antioxidants, basil is much more suitable for our skin than for treating acne and pimples. Have a look at them:
- Basil takes overall care of the skin by detoxifying it and protecting it from sun damage. It purifies the blood of toxins and protects skin cells from the harmful effects of the sun’s UV rays with its antioxidant content.
- The herb lightens the skin tone and adds a natural glow to it. A concoction that mixes olive oil and lemon juice with basil oil will naturally give you a brighter complexion.
- When combined with Multani mitti and lemon juice, basil oil gives a blemish-free, flawless skin. It prevents the outbreaks of pimples, blackheads, whiteheads, etc., and instantly tightens skin pores.
- As an excellent antioxidant vitamin C source, basil slows down aging successfully. It stimulates metabolism in skin cells and maintains the skin’s collagen, which retains the skin’s elasticity and makes you look younger.
- Basil also treats insect bites, burns, wounds, and other skin diseases (eczema, psoriasis, etc.). The herb’s anti-inflammatory properties help it soothe skin infections and promote quicker healing.
Hair Benefits of Basil
Aside from skin, basil is also an excellent natural remedy. Basilhair. When chronic hair problems give you sleepless nights, this simple herb may be a surefire cure. Check out the hair benefits offered by Basil below:
- Basil is a natural anti-inflaBasilory agent that soothes dry, itchy scalps and all other associated issues like dandruff, infections, etc. As a result, the scalp becomes healthy.
- If you suffer from excessive hair fall, basil may reduce it to a great extent. It strengthens hair roots and nourishes the hair fibers so you do not lose them frequently.
- The lightweight and refreshing basil oil stimulates hair follicles by boosting blood circulation throughout the scalp. Hence, massaging the scalp with it may significantly promote new and healthy hair growth.
- Basil also helps in combating premature graying of hair. It makes gray hair comparatively darker while enhancing your locks’ overall texture and volume.
Health Benefits of Basil
Adding basil to your diet or using an essential Herbal medicine will always provide excellent health care. Here is why basil is a good choice for health:
- Basilbundant antioxidants, especially anthocyanins and beta-carotene, help eliminate free radicals and reduce oxidation. Basil stress. (8)
- Holy basil contains certain phytochemicals that promote basal oxidant activity in the body. This is essential in fighting against different types of cancers (skin, oral, liver, lung, etc.). (9)
- When it comes to supporting the health of the liver, Holy basil is considered highly effective. It makes the Basil toxin-free and restores its expected functionalities.
- Sweet basil extract comprises the chemical eugenol in a hBasilmount, which has been found to reduce high blood pressure briefly by blocking calcium channels in the body (10). It may also lower the levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in the body, thus maintaining cardiovascular health.
- Sweet basil extracts are also quite effective in controlling blood sugar levels and treating the long-term effects of high blood sugar. (11)
Side Effects of Basil
The topical application of basil is generally a safe bet. To avoid irritation or Inflammation, you may still want the Basila patch test and dilute basil essential oil before application. If you’re going to include it in your diet as a supplement, make sure that you consult your doctor first. The herb is pretty high in vitamin K and should be used cautiously by people using blood thinners. Some of you may also experience allergic reactions (hives, swelling, or difficulty breathing) after consuming basil. Basil is also not a suitable option for pregnant women and patients with a seizure disorder.
Read Also – How to Get Rid of Pimples on Nose
Basil is a fragrant, versatile herb from the mint family. It can be of different types (sweet basil, bush or Greek basil, Holy basil, Thai basil, lemon basil, cinnamon basil, lettuce basil). Depending on the essential volatile oil content, each basil species holds its own distinctive aroma and flavor. Sweet basil is the most common and popular variety that is used in worldwide cuisines as a food seasoning. The herb has been holding a prominent place in Indian Ayurveda for more than 5,000 years for its strong antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antidepressive properties. It also acts as a potent natural acne treatment by fighting against bacteria, preventing infections, cleansing the skin, purifying blood, and soothing inflammation. Consuming fresh basil juice, using basil tea or essential oil toner, practicing basil facial steaming, applying basil face masks, etc. are some of the most effective ways to treat acne. Besides, basil also helps in lightening skin tone, delaying aging, preventing hair fall, and promoting hair growth. High nutritional value of basil is also great for treating oxidative damage, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, high blood sugar, cancer, etc. However, it is always good to consult the doctor before having basil as a supplement to avoid adverse effects.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can Basil Help You Lose Weight?
Fresh basil leaves may reduce metabolic stress and target fat molecules in the body. This eventually causes weight loss.
Can You Eat Basil Leaves Raw?
Yes, basil leaves can be eaten both raw and cooked.
How Many Basil Leaves a Day?
If you have fresh and raw basil, limit it to 2-3 leaves daily on an empty stomach. Basil Basil a Laxative?
The basil seeds have been found to relieve abdominal basil and constipation by working as a laxative.
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- “Effectiveness of Antimicrobial Formulations for Acne Based on Orange (Citrus sinensis) and Sweet Basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) Essential Oils“, PubMed.NCBI.nlm.nih.gov
- “Commercial Essential Oils as Potential Antimicrobials to Treat Skin Diseases,” NCBI.nlm.nih.gov
- “Basil: A Natural Source of Antioxidants and Nutraceuticals,” ResearchGate.net
- “Chemical Composition and Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Essential Oils from the Leaves of Ocimum basilicum L. and Ocimum gratissimum L. (Lamiaceae),” ResearchGate.net
- “Antioxidant and Antimicrobial Properties of Traditional Green and Purple “Napoletano” Basil Cultivars (Ocimum basilicum L.) From Campania Region (Italy)“, PubMed.NCBI.nlm.nih.gov
- “Ocimum sanctum L. (Holy Basil or Tulsi) and Its Phytochemicals in the Prevention and Treatment of Cancer“, PubMed.NCBI.nlm.nih.gov
- “Role of Natural Herbs in the Treatment of Hypertension“, NCBI.nlm.nih.gov
- “Glucose Lowering Effect of Basil Leaves in Diabetic Rats,” NCBI.nlm.nih.gov