With its distinct aroma and leafy good looks, basil is one of the most widely known and grown herbs in the world. Often associated with Mediterranean cooking, basil is native to India and Asia as well as parts of Africa. Sweet basil is the most common variety of the herb, but dozens of other varieties exist, including lemon, cinnamon, and Thai basil.
Basil has square, branching stem that can grow from 1 to 10 feet in height. It also produces black seed which called nutlets. Basil flower may vary in color. The part that commonly use in basil plant is the leaves.
People are not even aware of what basil dose to their body, as most of us consume it just for the taste it gives to our meals. Here are some of the benefits that regular consumption of basil brings:
- Prevents diarrhea
Studies report that basil has highly potent anti-bacterial effects. The phytochemicals components in basil leaves can fight the infection of Staphylococcus aureus; the main cause of diarrhea. Adding some basil leaves into your meal can help cure and prevent this unpleasant experience.
- Prevents arthritis
Basil contains high amounts of beta-caryophyllene. A study conducted at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology revealed that this compound is highly effective in arthritis prevention, as well as in treatment and managing the symptoms of this condition.
- Protects the liver
A recent study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food found that basil extract is able to significantly increase the production of detoxifying enzymes which help our liver perform better and more effectively. The same enzymes are also responsible for reducing the buildup of fat around the liver; an issue known to obstruct the liver function.
- Treats ear infections
Basil leaves are rich in essential oils with anti-inflammatory effects, which helps clear any ear infection. Just use it as you would aloe vera; by squeezing a few drops into your ear, or by using the essential oil you can find in most health stores.
- Lowers cholesterol levels
Considering the fact that basil targets metabolic stress, it is no wonder that it is also helpful with balancing your cholesterol levels, as well as with weight loss. Essential oils and minerals found in basil are proven to lower stress-induced cholesterols, as well as the genetically occurring variety.
- Protects the heart and entire cardiovascular system
Basil is known to be rich in Vitamin B6 and magnesium, both of which improve the strength of our cardiovascular system and prevent heart attack in the long run. Vitamin B6 is also responsible for preventing the accumulation of toxins in and around our organs and cells.
You can introduce basil into your daily life in multiple way, even though the most effective way is by learning how to cook with it. The fact is that basil goes well with basically any dish, which is good news for those who are new to cooking. Here are some simple recipes with basil:
- Chop some basil and add some lemon juice to it. Add some water and sugar cane juice, then freeze the mixture into ice cubes. Once frozen and you’re ready for consumption, just blend the ice cubes and serve with your favorite ice cream.
- Heat a few teaspoons of olive oil in a pan, then add some garlic to it. Fry until garlic becomes soft, then add some chopped basil. Add green basil sauce, pine nuts, and parmesan cheese to taste. Serve with pasta.