Basil is a common name for a culinary herb Ocimum Basilium. It belongs to the mint family and is also known as Saint Josephs Wort in English speaking countries. This herb has its roots in India and Iran and these lands have been cultivating for more than 5000 years. The word basil comes from the Greek word basileus meaning the king. It was also said by a herbalist named John Gerad that people stung by a scorpion would feel no pain if they ate basil. Due to its distinct flavour and wide usage in many cuisines it is also known as king of herbs by many culinary experts. There are a wide range of basil leaves available and they all belong to different cultivar. Lemon basil has a strong lemony smell and a distinctive taste it is widely used in Indonesia.
- Anti aging properties.
- Rich in antioxidants.
- Basil include iron, calcium, manganese, magnesium, vitamin C and potassium.
- Protection against unwanted bacterial growth.
- Reduce inflammation and swelling.
- Anti-bacterial properties.
- Free radical damage.
- Prevent heart attacks,stroke and atherosclerosis.
- DNA protection.
- Excellent healing properties.
- Basil leaves form good germicidal and a Natural Disinfectant that protects the body against all types of viral and bacterial infections.
- Treatment of sore throat.
- Relief from frequent vomiting.
- Relief stress and sharpen the mind.
- Aid in weight loss and curb laziness.
|Principle||Nutrient Value||Percentage of RDA
|Total Fat||0.64 g||2%|
|Dietary Fiber||1.60 g||4%|
|Pantothenic acid||0.209 mg||4%|
|Vitamin A||5275 IU||175%|
|Vitamin C||18 mg||30%|
|Vitamin E||0.80 mg||5%|
|Vitamin K||414.8 µg||345%|
Rightly known as ‘Holy herb’, basil is an annual bushy plant that is also grown for its medicinal use. In India basil’s is popularly known as Tulsi which has religious sentiments of many Hindus across the world attached to it. This herb has chemical component that is known for preventing chronic ailments promoting a healthy body. A low calorie and no cholesterol herb is rich in vitamin A and is also a house of many minerals and vitamins essential in our daily intake. Vitamin A is known to be rich in antioxidant properties preventing the body from aging and various disease processes. The leaves are excellent source of iron and it helps in building haemoglobin inside red blood cells. It is used for its medicinal properties in Ayurveda a traditional method of healing and medication of India, also Siddha a traditional medicine hailing from South of India.
It is a beauty hack for everyone with a troubled skin. Staying true to its anti-bacterial trait it helps in removing blemishes from the skin. It is soaked in water for 10 minutes and then churned into a paste is to be applied to the blemished skin and the results are visible from its very first application.
How To Enjoy Basil
It is popularly used in Italian and Mediterranean cuisine as part of their salads, soups pastas, quiches or even as a pizza topping. It is an annual plant but is available round the year at various supermarkets. People who don’t prefer the fresh basil go for the dried version and stock it for daily use. It is also used to flavour Iranian tea, a fact that is lesser known to the world.
This beneficial herb contains oils and flavanoids that protects the body from illness and infection and increases immunity. In India tulsi is added to tea during winters to prepare the body for the weather change, keeping the system warm.
The cultural aspect of basil cannot be ignored. In Europe a basil leaf is kept in the hands on the dead to ensure a safe journey, where as in India its kept in the mouth of the deceased so that they reach heaven. In certain regions of Mexico basil is considered to bring fortune to the house, hanging a bunch of basil on the doors of a house or a shop is believed to bring in prosperity and good luck.
Basil is an herb that has its own medicinal, culinary and cultural value that makes it stand apart from the rest of the herbs.