Relieve arthritis symptoms with basil

Monday 28th September, 2009

Basil has the same capacity to ease arthritic aches and pains as commonly used anti-inflammatory drugs, according to new research.

Concentrated extracts of Ocimum americanum basil and Ocimum tenuiflorum basil helped reduce swelling in the joints by up to 73% within 24 hours.

The research by the Poona College of Pharmacy in India found the capacity of both types of basil gave similar results to ‘diclofenac’ – an anti-inflammatory drug widely used for treating arthritis.

However basil did not cause the common side-effects of drug treatment such as gastro-intestinal irritation and abdominal pain.

Basil has been used in traditional Indian and European medicine for hundreds of years and is placed in herbal infusions, curries and salads as a way of treating anti-inflammatory conditions such as asthma, skin disorders and arthritis. The plant may also reduce blood-glucose levels to help prevent diabetes.

The oil in basil (known as eugenol) which gives the plant such a distinctive aroma contains an active molecule that is responsible for the anti-inflammatory effect although other molecules may be involved too. Researchers are just beginning to learn what they are and how they can be used in other medications.



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