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Benefits of holi basil herb

The Holi basil plant (Ocimum sanctum) is a common sight in the courtyard of most traditional Indian homes. Holi basil plays a very significant role in both the Hindu religion and traditional Indian medicine. The plant is known to treat a wide variety of ailments.

Traditional Ayurvedic medicine mentions that the leaves of the plant can be used to prevent and treat common cold and coughs. It is also reported to be effective in curing malarial infections and treating fevers when mixed with Margosa (Azadirachta indica) leaves and black pepper.
Drinking a brew of Holi basil leaves in water is supposed to have a relaxing effect on the body and mind. Keeping the Holi basil plant at home is also supposed to be beneficial for people who are suffering from respiratory problems.

The Indian Council of Medical Research, the Council of Research in Ayurveda, and the Center of Research in Unani Medicine are all in the process of documenting the various medicinal properties of the plant in a systematic scientific manner. Once this research work has been completed, it will prove to be a boon because then work can be started on synthesizing the plant into various drugs for human use. Of course there is still a long way to go, and a lot of trials and tests need to be conducted, but the day is not far when Holi basil will be hailed as the new wonder herb of the century.

Submitted on January 16, 2014