Basil

leaves basilBasil — Inflammation

Basil is one of the best herbs around to help fight inflammation. The eugenol compound found in basil gives it its distinctive flavor and aroma, as well as its inflammation-reducing properties.

 

Basil — Protects DNA and has Antibacterial Properties

Basil has the ability to protect the DNA and it also has antibacterial properties. The active flavonoids found in basil helps protect the body’s cells. In addition, the two water-soluble flavonoids found in basil (orientin and vicenin) have been proven to protect cell structures and chromosomes from radiation and from oxygen-based damage. Also, basil has been proven to restrict the growth of a myriad of bacteria, including listeria, staphylociccus, and E-coli.

 

Basil — Cardiovascular Health

Basil is a rich source of vitamin A, and it also is a good source for beta-carotene and other potent antioxidants that help protect the cells against free radical damage. These nutrients also help prevent the free radicals from oxidizing cholesterol in the blood stream, thus helping the body maintain a healthy cholesterol level. In addition, it also contains magnesium and promotes cardiovascular health by relaxing the muscles and blood vessels to improve your blood flow. Lastly, basil can also help lower your cholesterol levels and blood glucose (protecting you from diabetes).

 

Basil — Stress

Basil has round, often pointed leaves that resemble those of peppermint. This herb is highly fragrant and its leaves are sometimes used to add seasoning to various dishes. This herb is often used in stress relief due to it containing phytochemicals, which studies suggest may reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Basil’s aroma is also thought to elevate your mood. Thus, if you’re feeling tense, add some basil to either your water or iced tea.

 

Basil — Make Your Skin Glow

From stress relief to promoting heart health, basil is packed with some serious health benefits. Aside from being used as a stable ingredient in your home, there are other uses for this herb as well; such as making your skin glow. Here’s how basil can do it:

  • Chop/Crush fresh basil leaves
  • Mix it with lemon juice

Make this concoction and apply it on your face to help even out your skin tone, as well as disinfect acne-prone or oily skin.

 

Basil — Settles the Stomach, Improves Appetite, Natural Disinfectant, Common Colds, Headaches, Stomach Disorders, Inflammation, Heart Disease, Various Forms of Poisoning, Malaria

 

As a culinary herb, basil settles the stomach, improves your appetite and is a natural disinfectant. It’s known for its different types, many with distinct fragrances that came from the different qualities in their essential oils contained in the leaves. Here are some of the variations:

  • Sweet Basil: The strong clove aroma it expels comes from eugenol
  • Lemon Basil and Lime Basil: The citrus scent it emits comes from a higher portion of the aldehyde citral and limonene (this gives the actual lemon peel its scent)
  • African Blue Basil: It has a strong camphor smell due to it having camphor and camphene in higher proportions
  • Anise Basil: This contains anethole (considered to be the same chemical that makes anise small like licorice)

Whatever culinary delight you may be coming up with, be it pesto or a simple sandwich, the burst of aroma that emanates from fresh basil has an almost magical ability to make you feel happy for no reason at all.

This herb, native to India and having spread outwards to Europe and the Western World in the 16th century, is often used in traditional ceremonies. It’s used in ayurvedic medicine to cure problems like the common cold, headaches, stomach disorders, inflammation, heart disease, various forms of poisoning, and even malaria.

This is all possible due to the antibacterial properties of basil. Last but not the least, it can be used as a good insect repellant.

Author: Serena

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