Scientific Name: Ocimum Basilicum
Family: Mint Family
Basil plant may grow as tall as 2 to 3 feet, it has a tiny white or purple-tinged flowers. The leaves look a little like peppermint, since they belong to the same plant family.
Basil’s highly fragrant leaves is best used when fresh, as a seasoning, when used in cooked dishes it is generally added when the food is almost cook because the heat can easily destroy its flavor.
Health Benefits Basil:
- Basil tea is taken to relieve cramps, constipation, indigestion, flatulence, heart problems, itching, nausea, ringworm, alcoholism, fever, colds.
- Basil leaves poultice can help cure wounds, snakebite, and arthritic pain.
- Basil can help remove warts, just rub leaves on the wart daily and cover with bandage or boil 4 basil leaves to 4 cups of water and drink as tea.
- Basil protects cell structures as well as chromosomes from radiation and oxygen-based damaged.
- Basil tea has anti-inflammatory effects, making it an ideal food for those people suffering from arthritis.
- Basil is a rich source of Beta-carotene, this help protect epithelial cells (lining of numerous body structures including the blood vessels) from free radical damage.
- Basil is also a good source of magnesium, a mineral that makes the muscles and blood vessels to relax, therefore improving blood flow and lessening the risk of irregular heart rhythm.
Medicinal Uses of Basil Oil:
- Basil oil has anti-bacterial properties. Studies have shown the effectiveness of basil in restricting growth of numerous bacteria that has become resistant to commonly used antibiotic drugs.
- Basil essential oil when used as skin and hair moisturizer can help enhance the luster of dull looking skin and hair.
- Basil essential oil is effective in treating skin problems like acne and psoriasis.
- Basil essential oil when used in aromatherapy can provide a calming effect; it is therefore effective in stress related problems like migraines and depression. If use regularly can give mental strength and clarity.
Basil Varieties: There are many varieties of basil, all of which differ somewhat in appearance and taste. The most commonly used variety in Italian cooking is sweet basil, and the Thai basil or holy basil is used in Asian cooking. Other famous varieties are lemon basil, anise basil and cinnamon basil all have flavors that subtly reflect their names.