The Benefits of Basil.
by Kobie Babb
Basil is one of the most common and loved culinary herb for many reason. Basil uses ranges from settling stomachs to improving appetite, and it can even be used as a natural disinfectant. What are the benefits of basil leaves? The benefits varies because there are so many different types of basil. The variations can range from as small as eight inches to as tall as four feet tall. How many different types are there? That's debatable, but there is believed to be from 50 to 150 different species of basil. Most being variations of ocimum basilicum. Sweet basil is the most common type, and it's the type you will most likely run into at the supermarket. Basil, the word, comes from the ancient Greek "basilikhon", which means royal. It's native to India, Asia, and Africa, and was considered a sacred and noble herb.
Basil contains many vitamins and minerals, and is full of antioxidants such as lutein, zeaxanthin, beta carotene, and beta-cryptoxanthin. Sweet basil contains eugenol, and lime and lemon basils have limonene. Their essential oils and these antioxidants along with others such as anthocyanin are responsible for a lot of basil's health benefits. They help to fight free radicals that could cause cell damage and increase your risk of health problems such as cancer, heart disease, arthritis, and diabetes. It helps to regulate blood sugar levels, which is good for diabetics. It's good for heart disease prevention. Eugenol aids in blocking calcium channels, which helps to lower blood pressure. It helps to lower cholesterol and triglycerides. The magnesium it contains helps muscles and vessels to relax, which aids with blood flow. Its essential oils are also anti inflammatory, which helps with conditions such as arthritis, heart disease, and bowel issues. It has antibacterial properties as well, which can aid with respiratory, urinary, and skin infections.
Now lets talk about the benefits of basil leaves for your skin. It has impressive antiseptic and anti-aging properties. It even helps with treating ringworm infections. Basil has been used to aid with acne breakouts. It helps eradicate skin problems, soothe skin, and improves circulation. It helps reduce wrinkles, improves skin complexion, and clears out pores. Its anti-inflammatory properties help with skin irritations, small wounds, and sores. These properties also reduces the swelling of pimples by alleviating the inflammation. Basil leaf's soothing effect helps to deal with eczema, while its vitamin C content boosts skin cells metabolism and elasticity.
Basil leaf also has benefits for your hair. It is extremely beneficial with hair growth. It is very good with dealing with dandruff. Oil infused with basil can be used to improve scalp circulation, which stimulates hair follicles and promotes new hair growth. Not only does it does it promote hair growth , but it also helps with hair loss.
There are many ways to use basil leaves. The most common is to cook with. What is basil good for in cooking? Simply put, flavor. I put this in almost every meal. It is most commonly used in Italy, but its popularity is world wide. What good is a tomato sauce without basil? There are tons of basil recipes. Well, at least recipes that contain basil. How to use basil leaf is really up to you.
Now on to the side effects. As with anything else, too much of just about anything is no good for you, and basil is no exception. Not only that, but if you are taking any medication, you may want to consult a physician to make sure that basil doesn't interfere with it. Basil might lower your blood pressure, so if you're using blood pressure medication, be cautious. It also lowers blood sugar levels, so if you're diabetic, use caution. Basil compounds slows blood clotting, which may increase the risk of bleeding during surgical procedures. It contains compounds that in large dosages can cause problems, but in normal dosages, basil for the most part is safe with very little side effects.
We recommend that you consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.
*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. For educational purposes only.