Basil is a leafy aromatic herb that you often see being sold in small pots in supermarkets and grocery stores. Its enticing peppery aroma gives a fine touch to any old dish. There are many varieties of basil but here we are only discussing the culinary variety that goes by the names Basil, Sweet Basil, and Thai Basil. There are many other varieties of basil, including hybrids which are widely used. The most famous among them is Holy Basil which is discussed in a separate article.
Basil contains large quantities of E-Beta-CaryoPhyllene (BCP) which is one of the only products that naturally stimulates the body’s cannabinoid receptors, and it can block the signals that lead to inflammation associated with arthritis. Basil also contains eugenol, citronellol, linalool, and myrcene.
Basil is widely used as a culinary herb, often in tomato dishes. Just a few fresh leaves, or a sprinkling of dried leaves, are all that is needed to not only add a distinct flavor to any type of dish, but to add a multitude of benefits for your health.
- Urinary / Kidney
Basil leaves strengthen the kidneys and treat urinary conditions. The seeds are used as diuretics and induce urination. The juice of basil leaves with honey helps expel kidney stones.
- Respiratory Disorders
Basil is an expectorant and therefore effective in treating the disorders affecting the lungs and inhibits the inflammation of mucus membranes. It is a useful herb in treatment common colds and coughs. It also helps treat bronchitis and tuberculosis.
- Fever Reducer
Basil is antipyretic and therefore effective in reducing fever.
Basil helps to reduce painful inflammation which is a major reason behind arthritis. Since it is a good source of Vitamin A, it prevents free radical damage which is a major contributing factor behind osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. The beta-carotene found in basil can protect cells from further damage.
- Digestive Disorders
Basil enhances digestion and helps absorb nutrients more effectively in the body. It also helps eliminate toxins from the body. It improves the digestive system by preventing indigestion, heartburn, intestinal worms, vomiting, dysentery, and diarrhea.
- Oral Health
Basil helps to maintain and enhance oral health. Various periodontal diseases such as pyorrhea and bad breath can be prevented by the regular use of basil.
- Immune System
Consuming basil leaves helps to prevent infections and to improve the immune system. Consuming fresh leaves is better than consuming it in dried form to boost the immune system. You can just chew some leaves of basil every day to purify the blood and to fight infections.
- Improves Eye sight
The vitamin A present in basil leaves is essential for proper eye sight. Lower level of vitamin a in the body can cause night blindness. You can also prevent sore eyes with basil.
- Headache Relief
Basil works like a muscle relaxant, hence it is a good medicine for treating head ache sine tension and tight muscles are the main cause of head aches.
- Childhood Ailments
Basil is a safe and effective herb in treating various childhood ailments like cold, cough fever, vomiting and diarrhea.
HOW TO USE IT
- The fresh leaves can be made into a poultice, or the seeds can be ground and added to meals.
- Basil also has antiseptic properties, and when the leaves are rubbed onto bug bites they can help reduce itching.
- Another outstanding use of basil is as an insect repellent. Simply planting the herb near the backyard door or growing it in the pots on window sills will repel insects. Basil essential oil mixed with some water or a carrier oil can be applied on the skin as insect repellant.
- The herb is often made into tinctures, and because basil is an expectorant, it can help fight bronchitis and coughs.
- Basil is good for a wide variety of lung ailments, and when it is combined with elecampane and hyssop, it can be brewed into a tea that helps fight head colds.
- When consumed as a hot tea, basil can either be taken internally or inhaled.
- Basil essential oil is also produced which is used to fight mental fatigue. Basil oil is not taken internally, but it is used in aromatherapy and massage. When used in a massage, basil can increase blood flow and enhance the amount of nutrients that reach tired and fatigued muscles. The essential oil has also been used to fight head aches, reduce hay fever, allergies, or asthma.
- Dry the basil leaves in the sun for two to three days. Make a powder from them and use it to brush the teeth regularly to maintain overall oral health. Massaging the gums with this powder will help to get rid of bad breath.
- Basil leaves can be consumed whole to help prevent night blindness. In case of sore eyes, put two drops of fresh basil juice daily into the affected eye.
- Make a paste of basil leaves mixed with sandal wood and water and put on the fore head; this will provide a cooling and soothing effect and relieve tension of the muscles. You can drink basil tea twice a day to get relief from headache If you have mild headache chewing some basil leaves or massaging the head with basil oil will be effective.
- Make a decoction of basil leaves and mix it with honey and juice of ginger and consume it twice a day. If you are suffering from influenza or common cold, make a decoction of basil leaves with cloves and common salt and consume it to get instant relief. Boil 15-20 leaves in one glass of water and reduce it to half a glass to make the decoction.
The medicinal value of this herb is very high and there are no known side effects for the use of basil.
Family Name: Lamiaceae
Common Name(s): Basil; Sweet Basil; Thai Basil
Part(s) Used: leaves; seeds
Habitat: It is cultivated in any and all warm environments
Properties: anthelmintic; anti-depressant; anti-inflammatory; anti-pyretic; memory enhancing; expectorant
Tags: anthelmintic; anti-depressant; anti-inflammatory; antipyretic; memory enhancing; expectorant; anti-stress; eyesight; headache; oral health