Basil is one of the herbs people know and use today. With the scientific name Ocimum basilicum, it is also called great basil and Saint Joseph’s wort. Other people call the plant “royal herb” or “king of herbs.” As an herb, basil has multiple health benefits.
Basil is rich in vitamins and minerals. According to World’s Healthiest Foods, basil contains vitamins A, B, C, and K. Vitamin A is good for the vision and integrity of the skin and the mucus membranes while vitamin B is vital for nervous function, which includes learning, thinking, memory, and sensation. Then, vitamin C raises the body’s defenses against infection and sickness. It also promotes the action of the substance collagen, which acts as cement to connect cells and tissues; this property makes skin firmer and younger, a reason why collagen is taken as a supplement. Then, vitamin K assists in wound healing via blood clotting. In the process, the clotting mechanism also reduces the risk of infection and promotes conservation of body fluids.
In terms of minerals, basil contains copper, manganese, calcium, magnesium, and iron. Copper and manganese work together for the growth and development of cells and tissues. Calcium is essential for promoting bone health while magnesium plays a role in neuromuscular health. Then, iron aids in adequate oxygenation of the body’s cells and tissues.
Basil as Anti-Infective
Basil can combat infection. According to Dr. Axe’s website, the essential oils found in basil helps protect the body from bacterial growth. As per the publication, studies have shown the capacity of basil’s extract in fighting bacterial strains that are resistant to antibiotics. A case in point is the study conducted by the researchers from the Medical University of Lodz in Poland. They tested basil’s antibacterial efficacy against known bacteria like Escherichia coli, which they obtain from patients with infections. The findings revealed that the herb was able to inhibit the growth of the bacterial strains, inhibiting their growth.
Basil as Pain Reliever
Basil can suppress pain, such as headache and stomach ache. According to Wellness Mama, a person may perform facial steam, which alleviates the headache. The person just has to add a dried basil leaf on boiling water. Next, he mildly leans over the pot, covering his head with a towel. Then, he breathes in the steam for five to ten minutes, until the headache starts to subside. In terms of stomach ache, basil is said to have a soothing effect, relieving indigestion and bloated feeling. The person just has to add half teaspoon of dried or fresh basil leaf in water.
Basil can be added to various meal recipes, such as Best Steak Marinade in Existence. According to All Recipes, the ingredients include three tablespoons dried basil, one-third cup of soy sauce, half cup olive oil, one-third cup of fresh lemon juice, one-fourth cup of Worcestershire sauce, one and a half tablespoons of garlic powder, one and a half tablespoons of dried parsley flakes, one teaspoon of ground white pepper, one fourth teaspoon of hot pepper sauce, and one teaspoon of dried minced garlic.
To prepare, as per the publication, the basil, garlic powder, parsley, soy sauce, lemon juice, olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, and pepper are placed in a blender. Next, the garlic and hot pepper sauce are added. Then, they are blended on high speed for 30 seconds until they become thoroughly mixed. After that, the marinade is poured over the beef and the mixture is covered and refrigerated for up to eight hours. Finally, the meat is cooked as desired. In this meal, a good practice is to use an aluminum foil to keep the food moist, cook it thoroughly, and make clean-up faster.
Basil is a healthy component of various meals. Adding it to different recipes will not only add flavor, but also boost a person’s total health and wellness.