Welcome to the Monthly Herbal Profile! Today we are going to talk about Basil herb, my absolute favorite garden herb!
Sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum) is used in culinary preparations around the world. It provides a balance between sweet and savory, with hints of mint, anise, and pepper. I personally grow loads of basil every year in my garden and dehydrate it to use throughout the winter.
My favorite garden scent is fresh basil. I use fresh leaves in meals, salads, sandwiches, soups, and more. It is very common to find me by the basil in the garden running my hands over the tops of the plants to release their divine scent!
While basil herb is versatile in the kitchen, did you know that it is also medicinal in nature as well?
Basil herb has properties that can help reduce oxidative stress.
High in antioxidants that help to fight free-radical damage to our bodies, consuming basil on a regular basis is a smart move! Basil also contains flavonoids that boost our immune system function, protect our cell structure from damage and help our bodies to fight against the effects of aging.
It may help to inhibit cancer cells
There are many types of basil (over 30 species!) and one of the most popular for medicinal applications is Tulsi Basil, or Holy Basil. In a 2013 study, basil showed promise as an effective treatment for certain types of cancer.
It’s good for digestive health
Because it contains eugenol, a chemical compound that has anti-inflammatory properties, basil is a good herb to add to your meals to promote good digestive health.
Basil can help with acne and overall skin health
Basil has Camphene in it, which is like a natural toner that cleanses, and removes excess oils and dead skin cells. It also has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that make it effective in combating acne.
Adding Basil herb to your diet can help balance blood sugars
Multiple studies have pointed to basil to help support the body in the processing of sugar and counter health complications of diseases like diabetes.
But wait there’s more!
Basil is amazing and its chemical properties are multi-faceted. According to the research, basil has radio-protective activity, anti-microbial activity, anti-inflammatory effects, immunomodulatory activity, anti-stress activity, anti-diabetic activity, antipyretic activity, and anti-arthritic activity, anti-oxidant activity, as a prophylactic agent and in cardiovascular disease.
God designed many of our foods to function as medicine within our bodies
When you begin to study herbs, you realize that many of them serve more than one medicinal purpose. God in his wisdom, put so many properties in the plants that He created with a dual purpose- food AND medicine.
What’s so special about consuming these foods is that they are broken down synergetically by the body and used where they are needed when they are needed. Our bodies are intelligent enough to know how to use them. We just have to consume them!
So get you some Basil!
Whether you grow it in the garden, buy it at the store, or use it as an essential oil application, this herb is a must-have in your home!
If you want to try Basil Essential Oil, this is my favorite company to buy from.
Some facts to know about using Basil:
- Basil essential oil should never be used on children under the age of 2
- For maximum benefit, consume fresh basil leaves when possible
- Always research, or consult with a knowledgeable professional, about the proper dosages if you are using basil medicinally.
- Too much of a good thing can go awry, basil has been known to have laxative qualities when consumed in large amounts
- Try different varieties of basil in your cooking for different flavors. Sweet basil is your typical Italian dish flavor whereas lemon basil adds brightness to many Asian dishes! Have fun exploring this amazing plant!