Basil (Ocimum basilicum, also commonly known as Thai basil, sweet basil) is a bushy annual plant and it is originally native to Iran, India and other tropical regions of Asia, as this natural ingredient grows best in warm, tropical climates. Besides its culinary uses, basil is a medicinal herb and both its leaves and seeds are used for such purposes. Basil is an excellent alternative as a treatment for many minor illnesses.
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- Basil leaves have several essential oils such as eugenol, citronellol, linalool, citral, limonene and terpineol and these compounds have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.
- As for this second property, fresh leaves of basil, when applied to wounds, may eliminate infections.
- Basil used in your cooking can also help to combat common viruses like colds and flu. This herb is a common ingredient in cough syrups and expectorants. Also, it can relieve mucus in asthma and bronchitis.
- Besides, many naturopathic doctors recommend the use of basil in the treatment of some conditions such as diabetes, respiratory disorders, allergies, impotence, and even infertility. This happens probably because basil contains cinnamic acid, which improves circulation and breathing and stabilizes blood sugar.
- Basil is also very high in antioxidants, especially when you use it as an extract or oil. And because it has antioxidants, it can protect your body against damages associated with aging, some skin conditions, and even some forms of cancer.
Steam with basil to alleviate a headache
- 1 tablespoon dried basil leaf.
- 2 cups water.
- Add the dried basil to the boiling water in a pot.
- Lean over the pot, cover your head with a towel and breathe in the steam for 5-10 minutes, until a headache starts to disappear.
Basil for respiratory disorders
- Basil leaves, honey, ginger, ½ gal water.
- Or basil leaves, cloves, a pinch sea salt, ½ gal water.
- Boil the basil leaves with some honey and some ginger for treating asthma, bronchitis, cough, cold, and influenza.
- Boil the basil leaves and the cloves and add a pinch of sea salt in some water. It will give you a rapid relief of influenza.
- Boil them in about ½ gallon of water until only half the water remains.
Basil for a cough
- Chew fresh leaves of basil or make a calming tea of dried basil to calm coughing.
Basil for stings and bites
- If you get bitten by an insect, rubbing the bites with juice can relieve the itching and swelling.
- If you prefer, you can make a paste with the root and treat the bites with it. Basil can be also used as a preventive. Take a teaspoon of basil leaf juice every few hours.
Basil oil for ear infections
- As it is antibacterial, add a couple of drops of basil oil in your affected ear and they will relieve your ear infection.
Basil bath for stress
- Add 2 cups of strong basil leaf tea to a warm bath to help reduce stress. You can also chew 12 basil leaves twice a day to prevent stress.
Basil for kidney stones
- The juice of basil leaves mixed with some honey and taken daily for 6 months will help you to expel them through the urinary tract.
Heart problems and cholesterol
- Basil can be used to strengthen those people who are weakened by heart disease and it can also reduce your cholesterol.
Basil tea or juice
- When consumed regularly, it can help you to level out your blood sugar.
- You can take basil tea as a tonic or use it as a gargle when you have a sore throat.
- Another property of basil tea is that it helps to relieve nausea.