Basil is a highly fragrant plant whose leaves are used as a seasoning herb for many different types of food. Basil has become one of the most recognized herbs and pesto , a mixture of basil, pine nuts and Parmesan cheese, is very popular.

Basil benefits

Basil has round leaves. They are green in color, although some varieties have red or purple brushstrokes. It looks a bit like mint, which is not surprising that they belong to the same plant family.

There are more than 60 varieties of basil , all of which differ somewhat in appearance and taste. While its flavor is bright and penetrating, other varieties also offer unique flavors: lemon basil, anise basil, and cinnamon basil all have flavors that subtly reflect their name. The scientific name for basil is Ocimum basilicum.

Many herbs provide excellent flavor to dishes, and most herbs are known for their healing properties or health benefits. But which herbs provide the most benefits? Well what else could it be? Of course, the “queen of herbs”: basil.

Basil improves dishes substantially with its sweet but spicy flavor. And it is recommended by most health experts. You can find basil in most grocery stores and you can easily grow it at home, and despite being a delicious and nutritious herb, basil is definitely not appreciated. Check out its health properties below.

Medicinal properties of basil

Basil has many medicinal properties, and there are several ways to take advantage of this plant, from its leaves to its oil.

  • The leaves are a nerve tonic and sharpens memory. They promote the elimination of catarrhal matter and phlegm from the bronchi . The leaves strengthen the stomach and induce profuse perspiration.
  • The seed of the plant is mucilaginous, which means that its medicinal use is stable.
  • Basil essential oil is also of great importance in health and medicinal uses.

Basil has many more health benefits. Here are some of them.

1. Fever and common cold

The leaves are specific for many fevers. During the rainy season, when malaria and dengue are widely prevalent, the young leaves, cooked with tea, act as a preventive against these diseases. In the case of acute fevers, a decoction of the leaves boiled with cardamom powder in half a liter of water mixed with sugar and organic milk lowers the temperature.

Basil leaf juice can be used to lower fever. Extract of its leaves in fresh water should be administered every 2 to 3 hours. Meanwhile you can continue sipping cold water. In children, it is very effective in reducing the temperature.

2. Tos

Basil is an important component of many Ayurvedic cough syrups and expectorants. Helps mobilize mucus in bronchitis and asthma. Chewing the leaves relieves colds and flu.

3. Sore throat

Boiled water with basil leaves can be taken as a drink in case of a sore throat . This water can also be used to gargle.

4. Respiratory disorder

It has benefits in treating disorders of the respiratory system. A decoction of the leaves, with honey and ginger is an effective remedy for bronchitis, asthma, flu, cough and cold. A decoction of the leaves, cloves and sea salt also gives immediate relief in case of influenza. They should be boiled with half a liter of water until only half the water remains and drink.

5. Kidney stone

Basil has a strong effect on the kidney. In the case of kidney stones, the juice of basil leaves and honey, if taken regularly for 6 months, can cause them to be expelled through the urinary tract.

6. Heart disorder

Basil has a beneficial effect on heart disease and the weakness as a result of it. The level of cholesterol in the blood is reduced .

7. Childhood diseases

Common pediatric problems like cold, cough, fever, diarrhea, and vomiting respond favorably to basil leaf juice. If chickenpox pustules delay their appearance, the leaves taken with saffron accelerate them.

8. Stress

Basil leaves are considered an “adaptogen” or anti-stress agent. Recent studies have shown that the leaves produce significant protection against stress. Even healthy people can chew 12 basil leaves twice a day to prevent stress. It purifies the blood and helps prevent several common elements.

9. Mouth infections

The leaves are very effective for ulcers and infections in the mouth. A few chewed leaves can cure these diseases.

10. Insect bites

The herb is a prophylactic or preventative and curative for insect bites or stings. A teaspoon of juice from the leaves is taken and repeated after a few hours. The fresh juice should also be applied to the affected parts. A paste of fresh roots is also effective in the case of insect and leeches bites.

11. Skin disorders

Applied locally, basil juice is beneficial in treating ringworm and other skin diseases. It has also been successfully tested by some naturopaths in the treatment of leukoderma.

12. Tooth disorder

The herb is useful in tooth disorders. Its leaves, dried in the sun and made into powder, can be used for brushing teeth. It can also be mixed with oil to make a paste and used as a toothpaste. This is very good for maintaining dental health, counteracting bad breath, and for massaging the gums. It is also useful in pyorrhea and disorders of other teeth.

13. Headaches

It is a good medicine for a headache. A decoction of the leaves can be given for this disorder. Crushed leaves mixed with sandalwood paste can also be applied to the forehead to get relief from heat, headaches, and to provide general freshness.

14. Eye disorders

Basil juice is an effective remedy for eye pain and night blindness, which is generally caused by vitamin A deficiency in children . Two drops of black basil juice are put in the eyes every day at bedtime.

How to propagate basil

If you want to regularly include basil in your dishes, growing it at home is an excellent idea. Once you have everything set up, it’s actually pretty easy. And just a few basil plants will prove to be more than enough for a small group of people, so you won’t need a lot of storage space.

One limitation of basil cultivation is that it is not very cold tolerant. So if you live in a very cold region, you will only have a short time to plant basil. You need to plant it in the summer after the frost is gone.

The following is a way to spread it easily.

Step 1 : Find a stem that has 6 or more leaves on it. The longer it is, the better.
Step 2 : Cut the stem from the rest of the group 
with scissors .

Step 3: Cut the top leaves or the flowers and bottom leaves right at the point of origin or where it joins the stem.
Step 4 : Place in a jar with water.
Step 5: Wait and you will be surprised to see that your stem will gradually start to give roots that grow in about a week.
Step 6: Transplant it into a pot with soil and enjoy basil all year round!

What is basil for

This delicious and aromatic herb is better known for its culinary than medicinal uses. And that is not surprising, it is one of the herbs that most flavor foods and produces a cozy effect while they cook. Dried basil can easily be added to just about any dish, but fresh basil will add a fresher, more elegant touch to whatever you prepare. At the market, choose basil with bright green leaves and avoid those with black, brown or yellow spots.

Here are some of the ways that basil can be used in cooking to produce the best recipes.

Basil pesto

If you have a basil plant, the best way to use it is by making pesto. This mixture of basil, garlic, walnuts, cheese, and olive oil is one of the most versatile seasonings. If you have any left over at the end of the week, the pesto will freeze wonderfully for months when the basil is less filling.

Accept infused

Inject your favorite olive oil with finely chopped basil. It only takes a few minutes!

Appetizers

Do you have any more guests? Stir simple foods using fresh basil leaves with your fingers.

Vegetable Soups

Make a batch of vegan summer soup – add chopped basil for a more seasonal flair.

Salads

Brazil pairs very well with a wide variety of seasonal vegetables. Just cut and add to your favorite salad.

Pizza

Toss whole basil leaves into your favorite pizza when it’s hot out of the oven. Delicious!

Fish and seafood dishes

Tomato and basil are a perfect match in seafood heaven. Pair with shrimp or halibut for a delicious entrée.

Accompaniment

Use aromatic basil to accompany your everyday dishes.

Frozen desserts

Basil also goes well with fruits like watermelon, lime, lemon, mango, and strawberries. Combine for a variety of delicious frozen desserts.

Cocktails

Don’t forget your cocktails! Mix the basil with lemon or berry-based drinks to balance the sweetness.

How to store basil

Once you get home, place the cut stems in a bowl of water and keep them on your windowsill for about a week. The water should be changed every two days. You can also store the basil wrapped in a damp paper towel in the refrigerator drawer for up to 4 days.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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