Holy Basil could be the latest weapon in the war against wrinkles, according to new research.
A study has found that holy basil – a close relative of the herb commonly used in Western cooking – contained anti-ageing antioxidants that help to protect against free radicals, cancer-causing chemicals that attack organs like the heart, liver and brain and damage nerve cells.
Holy basil is native to India, and its people have long recognised its rejuvenating qualities, harnessing its extract in their ancient system of Ayurvedic medicine to treat disorders like fevers, colds, malaria and diabetes.
The researchers, led by Dr Vaibhav Shinde from Poona College of Pharmacy, Maharashtra, studied the herb for anti-ageing and antioxidant properties, and presented their findings at the British Pharmaceutical Conference in Manchester.
According to the Telegraph, Dr Shinde said: ‘The study validates the traditional use of herb as a youth-promoting substance in the Ayurvedic system of medicine. It also helps describe how the herb acts at a cellular level.’
He added: ‘I am now using holy basil in my own cooking and hope it will be beneficial.’