Benefits of basil
The health benefits of basil
. Sweet basil, like most herbs, is loaded with health benefits. In addition to being a rich source of vitamin K, beta carotene, and iron, the plant is known to harness anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties.
. Basil is used in traditional Tamil medicine and in ayurvedic medicine, which is a form of alternative traditional medicine in the Indian subcontinent.
Different types of basil
. There are different types of basil, which differ in taste and smell. Sweet basil (the most commercially available basil used in Italian food) has a strong clove scent because of its high concentration of the chemical agent eugenol. Whereas lime and lemon basil have a strong citrus scent due to their high concentration of limonene.
Reduce inflammation and swelling
. A study presented at the Royal Pharmaceutical Societys annual event, revealed that extracts of O. tenuiflorm (Holy basil) were shown to reduce swelling by up to 73%, 24 hours after treatment.
Anti aging properties
. Basil has properties that can help prevent the harmful effects of aging. Holy basil extract was effective at killing off harmful molecules and preventing damage caused by some free radicals in the liver, brain and heart.
. The tulsi plant has many medicinal properties. The leaves are a nerve tonic and also sharpen memory. They promote the removal of the catarrhal matter and phlegm from the bronchial tube. The leaves strengthen the stomach and induce copious perspiration. The seed of the plant are mucilaginous.
Fever and Common Cold
. The leaves of basil are specific for many fevers. During the rainy season, when malaria and dengue fever are widely prevalent, tender leaves, boiled with tea, act as preventive against theses diseases. In case of acute fevers, a decoction of the leaves boiled with powdered cardamom in half a liter of water and mixed with sugar and milk brings down the temperature. The juice of tulsi leaves can be used to bring down fever.
. Tulsi is an important constituent of many Ayurvedic cough syrups and expectorants. It helps to mobilize mucus in bronchitis and asthma. Chewing tulsi leaves relieves cold and flu.
. Water boiled with basil leaves can be taken as drink in case of sore throat. This water can also be used as a gargle.
. The herb is useful in the treatment of respiratory system disorder. A decoction of the leaves, with honey and ginger is an effective remedy for bronchitis, asthma, influenza, cough and cold. A decoction of the leaves, cloves and common salt also gives immediate relief in case of influenza. They should be boiled in half a liter of water till only half the water is left and add then taken.
. Basil has strengthening effect on the kidney. In case of renal stone the juice of basil leaves and honey, if taken regularly for 6 months it will expel them via the urinary tract.
. Basil has a beneficial effect in cardiac disease and the weakness resulting from them. It reduces the level of blood cholesterol.
. Common pediatric problems like cough cold, fever, diarrhea and vomiting respond favorably to the juice of basil leaves. If pustules of chicken pox delay their appearance, basil leaves taken with saffron will hasten them.
. Basil leaves are regarded as an 'adaptogen' or anti-stress agent. Recent studies have shown that the leaves afford significant protection against stress. Even healthy persons can chew 12 leaves of basil, twice a day, to prevent stress. It purifies blood and helps prevent several common elements.
. The leaves are quit effective for the ulcer and infections in the mouth. A few leaves chewed will cure these conditions.
. The herb is a prophylactic or preventive and curative for insect stings or bites. A teaspoonful of the juice of the leaves is taken and is repeated after a few hours. Fresh juice must also be applied to the affected parts. A paste of fresh roots is also effective in case of bites of insects and leeches.
. Applied locally, basil juice is beneficial in the treatment of ringworm and other skin diseases. It has also been tried successfully by some naturopaths in the treatment of leucoderma.
. The herb is useful in teeth disorders. Its leaves, dried in the sun and powdered, can be used for brushing teeth. It can also be mixed with mustered oil to make a paste and used as toothpaste. This is very good for maintaining dental health, counteracting bad breath and for massaging the gums. It is also useful in pyorrhea and other teeth disorders.
. Basil makes a good medicine for headache. A decoction of the leaves can be given for this disorder. Pounded leaves mixed with sandalwood paste can also be applied on the forehead for getting relief from heat, headache, and for providing coolness in general.
. Basil juice is an effective remedy for sore eyes and night-blindness, which is generally caused by deficiency of vitamin A. Two drops of black basil juice are put into the eyes daily at bedtime.
. Basil sometimes called sweet basil is a popular culinary herb commonly used in Italian cuisine to kick up the taste and texture of any dish. Even the red sauce or "gravy" that makes spaghetti, ziti or manicotti sing the high notes relies heavily on sweetly scented basil for its real star power.
Basil promotes heart health
. Basil may be a flavorful addition to our kitchen cuisine, but it's also rich in beta-carotene and other carotenoids , powerful antioxidants that protect cells from free radical damage and cholesterol. Basil is also an excellent source of magnesium, improving blood flow, and promoting cardiovascular health and wellbeing.
Basil advances healthy skin
. Essential oils found in basil have long been effective as organic alternatives in treating dry skin, acne and psoriasis.
Basil prevents some cancers
. Basil's antioxidant properties and flavonoids protect cell structures from damage inflicted by free radicals, important in cancer prevention and overall good health and wellness.
Basil boosts the immune system
. Basil's not just an herb to sprinkle on spaghetti. No, indeed, basis has important antibacterial properties. When applied to the skin or surfaces, basil fights back against bacteria and so much more.
Basil promotes a healthy gastrointestinal (GI) tract
. Basil's got anti-inflamatory properties second-to-none that can provide much-needed relief from all kinds of conditions, including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) conditions. Basis is also reportedly helpful in treating constipation, indigestion, stomach cramps, and more.
. The basil plant is a leafy herb belonging to the mint family. Different varieties of basil are available in large or dwarf forms containing green, purple or variegated leaves. Some of the varieties of basil like Opal basil, lemon basil, anise basil, clove basil and cinnamon basil taste somewhat like their names.
Important in Indian culture
. This plant forms an important part of Indian culture. It is quite common in Hindu households where it is worshipped in the morning and evening. The leaves of this plant are edible and are used as flavoring agents due to their rich fragrance. Being one of the most popular herbs in the garden, it is extensively used in Italy in sauces and other dishes and is a key ingredient in Mediterranean food.
. Due to their excellent healing properties, basil leaves strengthen the stomach and facilitate copious perspiration. They are effective in removing catarrhal matter and phlegm from the bronchial tube. Basil leaves have antiseptic properties and are hence, used in the treatment of ulcers, cuts and wounds. They help in reducing the pain caused by measles, chicken pox and small pox.
Heal Stings and Bites
. Chewing a basil leaf or applying the juice of basil leaves on the area stung or bitten by an insect will help relieve the pain as well as draw the venom out.
Beneficial for Children
. The juice of basil leaves is extremely beneficial in case of common pediatric such as cough, cold, diarrhea and vomiting. Basil leaves taken with saffron hasten the appearance of chicken pox pustules. Children experiencing loose motion at the time of tooth eruption can be given a mixture of pomegranate juice and powder of dried basil leaves for quick relief.
Relief from Frequent Vomiting
. If you are suffering from frequent vomiting, you can try having a mixture of basil leaves juice, ginger juice and honey for immediate relief.
Relieve Stress and Sharpen the Mind
. Basil leaves are considered as an adaptogen or anti-stress agent. Chewing around 12 basil leaves twice a day on a regular basis purifies your blood, prevents stress and develops a sharp mind.
Beneficial in Cancer
. Sweet basil, like most herbs, is loaded with health benefits. In addition to being a rich source of vitamin K, beta carotene, and iron, the plant is known to harness antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties.
Aid in Weight Loss and Curb Laziness
. Basil leaves taken with home-made fresh curd help in reducing excess weight and fight laziness by renewing your energy levels and facilitating new blood cells formation.
Beneficial for Eyes
. Being rich in vitamin A, basil leaves play an important role in eye health. You can soak a few basil leaves in water and wash your eyes with them every morning and before going to bed to prevent conjunctivitis, swelling, inflammations, boils and other infections. Basil leaves act as relaxants for your eyes to sooth stress induced fine lines. Chewing a couple of basil leaves helps to ward off eye problems caused by free radicals such as vision degeneration, cataracts and glaucoma. Basil leaves juice is an effective remedy for sore eyes and night blindness.
. Basil leaves can be dried in the sun, powdered and used for brushing teeth or mixed with mustard oil to be used as toothpaste for maintaining dental health and massaging the gums. It is also effective in curing pyorrhea and other teeth disorders. The anti-bacterial agents in basil leaves prevent bacteria build up whereas the antioxidants ensure clean plaque free teeth.
Help to Get Rid of Bad Breath
. Bad breath can be detrimental to your self-confidence. Basil leaves can be a healthy substitute to special toothpastes and chewing gums to ward off bad breath. You can chew a handful of basil leaves to prevent bad breath.
Helpful in Quitting Smoking
. Chain smokers can try chewing basil leaves to get rid of their addiction. These can be more beneficial than nicotine patches, flavored gum or even plain candy to curb the urge. While the juice has a cooling effect on your throat, the chewing will distract you and the antioxidants will repair the damage caused due to years of smoking.
Treatment of Kidney stones
. The juice of basil leaves taken with honey regularly for 6 months will expel kidney stones from the urinary tract.
Relief from Headache
. Basil leaves are considered a great medicine for headache. A facial steam of dried basil leaf is effective in alleviating headache. For this purpose, add a tablespoon of dried basil leaves to 2 cups of water in a large pot. Covering your head with towel, carefully lean over the pot and breathe in the steam for 5 to 10 minutes. You can also apply pounded basil leaves mixed in sandalwood paste on your forehead to get relief from heat and headache as well as cooling effect in general.
Treatment of Respiratory Disorders
. A decoction of basil leaves with honey and ginger is a natural remedy for respiratory disorders like bronchitis, asthma, cough and cold. A decoction made by boiling basil leaves and cloves in half a liter of water mixed with salt gives immediate relief in case of influenza.
Good for Heart
. Basil leaves purify the blood by removing toxins. Basil leaf tea helps in controlling blood pressure. Basil leaves contain an antioxidant eugenol that helps in reducing cholesterol levels and blood glucose levels, thereby reducing the risk of heart attacks and other cardiac diseases.
Prevention of Acne and Pimples
. Basil leaves prevent the outburst of acne and pimples as they purify your blood by removing toxins. They contain anti-bacterial and anti-fungal agents and you can apply a paste of these leaves mixed with sandalwood paste, neem paste or rose water to prevent inflammation.
Beneficial for Facial Skin
. Rubbing dried basil leaves on your face improves your facial skin in many ways, giving it a younger and fresher appearance. Applying a paste of basil leaves on your face and neck improves your skin tone.
Prevention of Blackheads
. Basil leaves also prevent the appearance of blackheads. Wet the top side of the basil and place one leaf on each side of your nose for 5 minutes.After this take it off and wash your face.
Treatment of Skin Infections and Ringworms
. Due to their anti bacterial, anti biotic and antifungal properties, basil leaves can restrict the growth of bacterium like E coli and?B anthracis?which cause skin infections. A concoction prepared by grinding and boiling 200-250 grams of basil leaves with equal quantity of sesame seed oil can be applied on the skin to cure itching. A mixture of ground basil leaves and lemon juice can be applied on the skin to treat ringworm.
Treatment of Vitiligo
. Regular intake of basil leaves has the potential to cure vitiligo, a disease characterized by white patches on the skin.
Prevention of Hair Loss
. Hair loss is a common problem which can occur due to itchiness and sweatiness of scalp. You can make a paste of basil leaves and add it to your hair oil. Applying this oil on your scalp will keep your scalp cool, reduce itchiness and promote hair growth by improving circulation in your scalp.
Treatment of Grey Hair
. For this purpose, soak dried basil leaves powder and amla powder in water overnight and wash your hair with it after straining it the next morning. This prevents graying of hair as well as hair fall.
Strengthen the Hair Shaft
. If you are suffering from brittle hair or hair thinning, you can consider basil leaves as they are effective in strengthening the hair shaft.
Rejuvenate Hair Follicles
. Basil leaves help in rejuvenating and producing healthy hair by stimulating the hair follicles.
Prevention of Damage by Radiation
. Basil leaves have antioxidant properties. They contain the flavonoids, orientin and vicenin that protect the chromosomes and cell structures from oxidation, thus preventing cell ageing and death and providing protection against radiation damage.
. Basil is either an excellent or very good source of all of these nutrients and vitamins. There are many other nutrients, minerals and vitamins present in basil that are not listed here such as omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin C.
. Basil leaves come complete with an array of antioxidants and other wonderful phytonutrients. Some of these phytonutrients, orientin and vicenin, which are in the flavonoid family, have been found to protect cell structures as well as chromosomes from radiation and oxygen based damage.
Anti Bacterial Properties
. The antibacterial nature of basil is linked to its volatile oils (essential oils) such as: estragole, linalool, cineole, eugenol, sabinene, myrcene, and limonene.
Anti Inflammatory Effects
. Eugenol (one of basil?s volatile oils) can also help block the enzyme cyclooxygenase (COX) in the body. This is important because COX is the same enzyme that anti-inflammatory medicines like aspirin and ibuprofen are formulated to help block.
. Basil comes complete with vitamin A (through beta-carotene), magnesium, and many other nutrients that can help protect cell walls from free radical damage (in the blood system and other body structures), improve blood flow and help stop cholesterol from oxidizing in the blood stream.
. Dried basil still has many of the health benefits listed, but your best bet is fresh! Try growing some in your garden and add fresh basil to raw dishes or at the end of the cooking process to preserve its nutrients and other beneficial properties.
Holy basil benefits
. This plant, holy basil (tulsi), not only has medicinal benefits, but is also said to have spiritual benefits. Whats more, holy basil benefits can be experienced in an exciting way, as the herb can be grown in your home or on your patio making it a great addition to your healing herb garden.
History and Spiritual Significance
. In Hinduism, holy basil is worshiped as the incarnation of Lakshimi, the wife of Vishnu and one of that religion
How to Grow Holy Basil
. It prefers warm soil, so dont plant seeds until after the last frost of the season and when the average daily temperature is 65 to 70 Fahrenheit. Alternately, you can start with a small plant and transplant it to the garden or pot to have a head start.The holy basil plant prefers sunlight, so dont place it in a shady spot. A little afternoon shade would be okay, but full sun is best. Be cautious that it gets plenty of water, as drying out in the hot summer sun could mean certain death.
A note on harvesting
. The flowers of your tulsi plant will bring plenty of bees to the garden, so if you want to harvest without risking a sting, head out to your garden first thing in the morning. Clip those parts higher than 5 inches and without flowers for the best leaves. Careful not to harvest more than you need as over-harvesting can harm a not-quite-established plant.
Health Benefits of Sweet Basil
. Sweet basil, like most herbs, is loaded with health benefits. In addition to being a rich source of vitamin K, beta carotene, and iron, the plant is known to harness anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. The majority of the great benefits of basil can be attributed to its volatile oils and flavonoids - powerful, plant-based antioxidants that reduce inflammation, help fight aging, and promote healthy arteries.In basil essential oil, the volatile oils within the plant have been shown to have incredible antibacterial properties.
Growing Sweet Basil
. Basil is a little more finicky than other plants in your herb garden, like thyme and mint. It prefers warm weather, so you wont want to plant it until after the last frost of the season. The plan also does well both in the ground or in pots.There are several varieties. While some can grow to be as tall as 6 feet, most gardeners find their sweet basil to rest under 3 feet if that. If you want to ensure a smaller basil plant, simply keep it in a pot, which will restrict root growth.Sweet basil can be started from seed (you don?t need to buy a small plant from the garden center).
Using Sweet Basil
. The easiest way to use basil is to eat it. Its delicious and has a sort of spicy-sweet licorice flavor. It tastes amazing in salads and especially with a sun-ripened tomato. While sweet basil is most often included in cooked meals, youll get the most benefits when you eat it raw, though combining it with other foods won?t lessen its impact.You can also add basil to a salad vinaigrette. Simply combine it with extra virgin olive oil, a bit of garlic, and some apple cider vinegar for a healing combination that can be splashed on salads or used on bread.
Scientists prove that holy basil heals neuropathy caused by surgery
. The researchers severed the sciatic nerve in the rats' paws, then measured the resulting neuropathy. Ocimum sanctum (holy basil) extract was then administered for ten days following the surgeries. The scientists observed that holy basil extract reduced the effects of nerve degeneration, helped to make nerve receptors more sensitive to stimuli, and aided in motor control after the surgery.
Holy basil oil may be useful in the treatment of acne
. Researchers wanted to study the anti-bacterial activity of oils made from sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum), holy basil (Ocimum sanctum), and hoary basil (Ocimum americanum). Hoary basil had no anti-microbial effects against acne at all in vitro. However, both sweet basil oil and holy basil oil did. While sweet basil oil was found to be more effective against acne than holy basil oil, both herbs were found to be suitable for a skin care treatment of acne.
Basil is a Natural Anti Inflammatory Herb
. Basil was recently shown to reduce swelling and inflammation in arthritic patients by about 73 percent, which is on par with commonly used drugs for arthritis.Basil actively inhibits the same enzyme that anti-inflammatory drugs do, including Ibuprofen and Tylenol. Except you won't fall over dead from eating too much basil, as was recently publicized is what often happens from consuming too much Tylenol.Basil is anti-bacterial and protects against pathogens, even those that have become resistant to antibiotics. Basil also guards against free radical damage, while protecting your cells and chromosomes from radiation damage. Of course, anyone who uses a cell phone or computer is regularly exposed to radiation.
Basil can be easy to add to your diet
. Basil can be easy to add to your diet. Making your own fresh tomato basil soup or pasta sauce is easy and can be done in just minutes. Actually, the recipe for the soup and pasta sauce are the same, but for the pasta sauce, just pour the thick soup over whole wheat pasta.
Basil herb nutrition facts
. The king of herbs, basil herb is one of the oldest and popular herbal plants rich in much notable health benefiting phytonutrients. This highly prized plant is revered as holy herb in many traditions all around the world.
Selection and storage
. In the herb store, choose fresh organic basil over the dried form of the herb since fresh leaves are always superior in quality and flavor. Basil leaves should feature deep green leaves and free from dark spots or yellowing. Dry basil leaves and seeds can be found in these stores. However, sun dried as well as radiation-treated basil leaves may contain significantly decreased vitamin-C and carotene levels.Fresh basil herb should be stored in the refrigerator set at appropriate humidity. Dried basil should be kept in a tightly sealed glass container in a cool, dark and dry place where it will keep fresh for up to six months.
Preparation and serving methods
. Wash fresh Basil in cold running water or rinse for few minutes to remove any dust or pesticide residues. In order to keep the fragrance and flavor intact, it is generally added at the last moment in the cooking recipes, since prolonged cooking results in evaporation of its essential oils.Basil leaves are used to flavor any vegetable.
Medicinal uses of basil herb
. Basil leaves contain health benefiting essential oils such as eugenol, citronellol, linalool, citral, limonene, and terpineol. These compounds are known to have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.Oil of basil herb has also been found to have anti-infective functions by inhibiting many pathogenic bacteria like Staphylococcus, Enterococci, Shigella and Pseudomonas.
. This culinary use is one of Basils most popular uses and variations of this are used in cultures around the world. At our house, we add pesto to everything from eggs, to meats, to slices of fresh cucumber.
. Dried basil can be easily added to practically any dish. Basil is used around the world in many different cuisines with good reason. It adds a depth and flavor that is not rivaled by other herbs.
Calming the Stomach
. The Italians may be on to something with adding Basil to everything. It is thought to have a calming effect on the stomach and 1/2 teaspoon of dried or fresh Basil Leaf in water can often help sooth indigestion and alleviate feelings of fullness.
Facial Steam for Headache
. A facial steam with dried basil leaf can help alleviate a headache. Add a tablespoon of dried basil leaf to 2 cups of boiling water in a large pot. Carefully lean over the pot, cover head with a towel and breathe in the steam for 5-10 minutes until headache starts to subside.
. European scientists are investigating the use of basil oil as treatment for antibiotic resistant infections with Staphylococcus, Enterococcus, and Pseudomonas.
Stings and Bites
. If you are working outside and get bitten or stung by an insect and dont have any?Plantain?growing nearby, chewing up a basil leaf and applying to the bite will help relieve the pain and draw out the venom.
. According to Mountain Rose Herbs: The?essential oil?is antibacterial, and drops of?basil oil?may relieve ear infections.
. There is some evidence that Basil can help level out blood sugar if consumedregularly and drank as a juice or tea.
. One herbalist I know suggests adding 2 cups of strong Basil Leaf tea to a warm bath to help reduce stress and facilitate relaxation.
. Basil can be used to strengthen your kidneys. In cases of stones in your kidney, the juice of basil leaves mixed with honey and taken daily for 6 months will expel them through the urinary tract.
. Pediatric complaints like colds, coughs, fever, diarrhea, and vomiting have been know to respond to treatment with the juice of basil leaves. Also if the rash associated with chicken pox is delayed, basil leaves with saffron will bring them to the surface more quickly.
. Dry basil leaves in the sun and grind into powder for a tooth cleansing powder. You can also mix with mustard oil to make herbal toothpaste. Both of these methods will counter bad breath and can be used to massage the gums, treat pyorrhea, and other dental health problems.
Holy basil is a plant
. It is originally from India and is used in Ayurvedic medicine as an adaptogen to counter lifes stresses. It is considered a sacred plant by the Hindus and is often planted around Hindu shrines. The Hindu name for holy basil, Tulsi, means the incomparable one. Medicine is made from the leaves, stems, and seeds.
Basil Essential Oil
. It promotes growth by stimulating blood circulation and works well with fenugreek and ivy burdock herbs as well. Basil is used in many of our shampoos and conditioners that are designed for scalp health. Basil oil is light, fresh, fruity spicy with a balsamic undertone also referred to as sweet basil oil.
Diabetes and cardiovascular disease
. Basil extracts may also influence the development of two other major diseases currently affecting an enormous proportion of North Americans: diabetes and heart disease. Basil essential oils have been shown to lower blood glucose, triglyceride and cholesterol levels. Each of these has tremendous clinical implications.
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