Holy Basil (Ocimum sanctum), commonly known as Tulsi, is considered the most sacred herb in India. This herb is known to possess potential disease-protective properties. For this reason, almost all Indian households have a Tulsi plant in their garden so that the leaves of the plant can be used to prevent and cure illnesses including cancer.
In recent years, the scientists all over the world have conducted research on this herb to know more about its anti-cancer properties. The studies have been successful in understanding the exact action of this herb in controlling the cancerous activities within the body. The different mechanisms of action of Holy Basil for cancer treatment are given below:
How does Holy Basil trigger the death of the cancer cells?
- The prime action of Holy Basil in cancer control comes from its ability to inhibit an enzyme called COX-2 that stimulates an inflammatory response in the body and triggers cancerous activities. Holy basil, by blocking the action of this enzyme, prevents inflammation and reduces pain.
- Various animal and laboratory studies have indicated that Holy Basil can repair and regenerate the cells damaged due to the exposure to radiation and oxidation demonstrating its immense potential at destroying the pre-cancerous lesions.
- Studies have revealed that the phytonutrients in Holy basil directly kill the cancer cells thereby limiting the growth and spread of the cancer mass.
- The active component of the leaves of Holy Basil, eugenol, inhibits the division and migration of the cancer cells. It also prevents the cancer cells from invading into the surrounding structures and induces apoptosis (the process of programmed cell death).
- Additionally, Holy Basil contains several other cancer-fighting phytochemicals including apigenin, rosmarinic acid, luteolin, myretenal, carnosic acid and beta-sitosterol. These compounds stimulate the antioxidant activity and destroy the cancer cells.
- Holy basil is effective in inhibiting the growth and progression of breast cancer by blocking the cell proliferation. It also prevents angiogenesis, a process by which new blood vessels are formed within the cancer mass. As a result of this, the cancer cells do not get oxygen and nutrition needed for their survival resulting in their death.
How to use Holy Basil for cancer treatment and prevention?
Holy Basil leaves are somewhat spicy and hot to taste. Patients who are keen to try the fresh leaves can start with tearing a small piece of its leaf and tasting it. This will also help in gauging the number of leaves that can be added to a recipe while cooking.
Holy Basil leaves can be added to tea preparations, salads or soups. It is best to add the leaves at the end of the cooking so that its unique flavor and sharp taste are maintained.
Holy basil, which is touted as “the best medicine of nature” in the Ayurvedic system of medicine, is a powerful natural healer. A regular consumption of its leaves can help people to prevent cancer and stay healthy. The use of Holy Basil for cancer treatment can help to hasten the patient’s recovery by causing the destruction of the cancer cells.
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