Basil is used across the world as both an herb and spice. Much research has been done on this aromatic herb that has many health benefits and many chemo-varieties. It is a powerful antioxidant with strong antimicrobial action and can help with wounds, lowering blood sugar, and reducing anxiety. It can be protective to the cardiac, digestive, and nervous systems. It may also help ward of insects, parasites, and inflammation. More research is warranted as well as human studies on the different chemovarieties of basil.
In many Eastern Orthodox churches, basil is used in holy water.
Over 100 research articles have been catalogued on basil. Reviewing the species and chemovariety in each study is recommended. Much research has demonstrated both the antioxidant and antimicrobial activities of various basil species. It reduced certain cancer cells and showed neuroprotective and hepatoprotective activity in vitro. It may also be protective to the digestive and cardiac systems and lower blood sugar levels, improve wounds, fight inflammation, and insects. It also has shown an anxiolytic effect. Human studies are warranted. Click the button below for a detailed review of research.
Latin Name: Ocimum basillicum
Basil is a common green, leafy herb. There are over 100 varietes of basil, and many chemotypes.
Leaves are prepared fresh or dried. For making a tea, steep 1 Tbsp of dried herb, or 2 Tbsp of fresh herb in 2 cups of boiled water for five minutes. Strain and drink.
Steam distillation of the leaves, flowers, and buds creates a thin, watery, clear to pale yellow oil. The aroma is uplifting, fresh, herbaceous and has a camphorous undertone.