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Scientific Name: Ocimum basilicum

Popular Names: Holy Basil, Spice Basil

Parts used: Leaves, Flowers

Uses: Liver problems, gastric issues, food poisoning, stomach cramps, indigestion, flatulence, hemorrhoids, intestinal worms, urinary tract infections, asthma, diarrhea, atherosclerosis, toothaches, hair loss, menstrual irregularity, cuts, wounds, boils, fatigue, insomnia, depression, skin infections, anxiety, epilepsy, headache, migraine, whooping cough. sinus congestion, cold and flu

Description

Basil is an annual aromatic herb that grows up to 60cm tall with purple, white or pink flowers. Some varieties have square stems and others oval stems. It blooms from July to September, and is a native plant of India.

Basil has been cultivated around the world for thousands of years for its strong aromatic taste and wide range of medicinal properties.

Habitat

Grown all over the globe, basil prefers sunny areas with well-drained moist soil.

Purple basil flowers with bee.jpg

History

In India, basil is thought to have a protective power during life and after death. Krishna, a popular Hindu deity wore basil garlands. Holy Basil is considered an earthly manifestation of the Goddess Lakshmi. Many Hindu use a little basil on their chest before sleeping, believing the plant will guide them to heavenly lands while asleep.

Romans and Greeks considered basil to be the herb of fertility and love, holding festivities and rituals to celebrate its blooming. Greek Orthodox priests use basil in the process of making holy water that is used to purify and clean negative energies. In Romania, there is an ancient folk tradition that during a special time of the year, girls can sleep with basil under their pillow to dream of their future lover.

Pliny the Elder, a famous Roman naturalist, recommended basil for its aphrodisiac properties.

Basket with many types of basil

Basil Varieties

There are many varieties of basil, some of the most common being sweet basil, holy basil, lemon basil and purple ruffles basil.

Plant Name Meaning

The latin word ''Ocimum'' comes from the Greek verb "okimon" meaning "to be fragrant."

The "Basil" name comes from the old Greek word "basileus" meaning "king." It is thought that the ancients regarded basil as the "king of herbs" for its many medicinal and culinary benefits. Another interpretation suggests that basil was the preferred herb of kings since it was used to make perfumes for the kings.

There are also stories linking basil with a mythical snake-dragon "basilisk" having the power to kill anyone that glanced at it. Basil was thought as the only cure for the basilisk bite.

Basil herb

Medicinal Benefits of Basil

  • Febrifuge (reduces fever).
  • Antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic, antispastic.
  • Immunity booster.
  • Mildly sedative.
  • Tonic for the nervous system.
  • Boost daily milk production for young mothers.

Active elements

  • Volatile oils: estragole, linalool, cineole.
  • Tannins.
  • Beta carotene, Vitamin A and C.
  • Antioxidants.
  • Zinc, Iron.
  • Proteins.

Emotional and Spiritual Support

The elevated energies of basil purify the human being on all levels, clearing subtle channels and allowing the energies of the being to flow freely. It's also beneficial for quieting the mind, relaxing the heart, bringing clarify, lucidity, and for helping to achieve a state of harmony with the surroundings. It helps energize the body and bring power and stability while providing protection and immunity from subtle energetic attacks.

 

Natural Remedies using Basil


1. Basil Paste for Skin Problems

Fresh basil paste for skin problems

Benefits for Skin

This simple basil remedy helps fight stubborn boils, skin infections, treats acne and can even relieve itching. It will also be used as a beauty treatment to maintain natural healthy skin.

Basil Paste for Skin Use

  • Mash 5-10 basil leaves with a little water to create a basil paste.
  • Apply the basil paste on the skin.
  • Wait for 15-20 minutes or until the paste dries.
  • Remove using water.

Tip

  • The basil paste can also used as a face mask to purify the skin and keep it beautiful.
  • Drink one teaspoon of fresh basil juice daily for added benefits.

2. Fresh Basil Herbal Tea

Basil herbal tea

Medicinal Benefits

Drinking this tea is a simple and effective way of using basil to boost the immune system. It helps with a broad spectrum of issues including digestive problems, coughing, bronchitis, common cold and flu, anxiety and hyperactivity.

Infusing Basil Tea

  • Bring 1 cup of water to a boil in a stovetop pot.
  • Turn off the stove once the water starts boiling.
  • Add 1 teaspoon of mixed chopped fresh basil flowers, stems and leaves.
  • Allow 15 minutes for the basil to steep, then strain, and drink.

Directions

  • Drink 1-3 cups per day.
  • Drink for at most 7 days in a row. Follow with a 7-day pause, and then re-start the cycle.

 

3. Hot and Cold Basil Infusion

Young woman drinking basil tea

More Benefits by Infusing

The mixed infusion has a stronger effect than a simple hot infusion because the extraction process is much more efficient. The active ingredients in basil are also preserved better this way.

How to Infuse

  • In the morning, add three teaspoons of a mix including freshly chopped basil leaves and flowers into a cup.
  • Add a half cup of water on top.
  • Wait for 8-10 hours until noontime.
  • Strain the mixture, keeping both the infused water as well as the leaves for later. The water will be used at the end.
  • Boil a fresh batch of a half cup of water, and pour it on top of the leaves strained in the previous step.
  • Cover, and allow the hot infusion steep for 20 minutes.
  • Once cool, filter the warm mixture and pour the warm basil infusion over the cold one that infused during the day.

Directions

Drink 15 to 30 minutes before dinner.

4. How to Use the Essential Oil of Basil Internally

Basil essential oil battle

Oil Must be Safe for Internal Use

Basil oil is obtained by extracting the essence of the plant using hot water vapor. The extraction process must be done in a clean manner so that the oil can be used for internal purposes. Since not all oils are processed cleanly, it's very important to find basil oil that is labeled "For Internal Use." If this label is not present, do not use internally.

Basil Essential Oil Uses

Method 1 - Using Honey

  • Add 1-2 drops of basil essential oil to a teaspoon of honey.
  • Mix well with another spoon or fork, and then consume it straight from the spoon.
  • Follow with a drink of water or juice as needed.

Method 2 - Using Water

  • Add 1-2 drops of basil essential oil to a small glass of water.
  • Drink slowly and swish the mixture around so that the oil does not stick to the sides of the cup.

Directions

For Adults

  • Take the 2 drops using a method shown above, 3 times daily for 5 to 14 days in a row.
  • Pause for a week, and then start again if needed.

For Children (8-12 years old)

  • Take the 1 drops using a method shown above, 3 times daily for 5 to 14 days in a row.
  • Pause for a week, then start again if needed.

Cautions When Using Basil Essential Oil

  • Not safe to use for children under 8 years old.
  • Keep out of reach of children.
  • Avoid eye contact and any other sensitive area.
  • Wash hands well after coming into contact with basil oil.
  • Always consult a physician before taking basil essential oil internally, especially if you are a pregnant or nursing woman, or on a treatment under doctor's supervision.

5. Basil Powder under the Tongue

Teaspoon of basil powder

Use Basil Anywhere

The following remedy is easy to prepare and use anywhere. Get all the benefits of basil at home, work, even when travelling.

Grinding

  • Grind dried basil flowers and leaves using a coffee grinder.
  • Sift the powder through a sieve (like those used for flour).
  • Store in a dry container.

Basil Under Tongue

  • On an empty stomach, place a teaspoon of basil powder under the tongue.
  • Hold for a few minutes. This helps the body absorb the active ingredients of basil better and faster.
  • Swallow it with a little spring water.

Tip

  • Only grind as much basil as needed for 2 to 3 days. Freshly ground is always better because once ground, it will lose its potency faster.

6. Therapeutic Basil Bath

Basil aromatic bath

Health Benefits

  • Helps the immune system to run more efficiently.
  • Provides immunity against diseases including the common cold.
  • Dissipates stress and calms the nervous system.

Preparing the Bath

  • Bring 1 liter of water to a boil in a pot and add 25 basil leaves.
  • Turn off the stove, and allow steeping for 10-15 minutes.
  • Fill the bathtub with hot water, and pour the strained basil infused water in the tub.

Directions

  • Bathe for 15-30 minutes for the best benefits.

7. Fresh Basil Leaves for Lack of Appetite

Basil leaves for lack of apetite

Boost Appetite Easily

To boost appetite, chew four or five fresh basil leaves every morning on an empty stomach. Be sure to chew slowly, savoring the aromatic taste for a few minutes. Chewing quickly will not allow enough time for the beneficial compounds to be absorbed.

Tip

  • Growing basil plants at home ensures a fresh supply of basil leaves that can be picked and chewed at any time!

8. Basil Tea for Chronic Flatulence

Basil tea

Basil Improves Digestion

Excess gas is usually a problem when food isn't digested properly, allowing it enough time to ferment. Basil helps to improve the entire digestion process, aiding to reduce fermentation and flatulence. 

Preparing the Tea

  • Bring 1 cup of water to a boil in a kettle.
  • Pour the hot water over 1 (one) teaspoon of dry basil flowers and leaves in a teapot
  • Let the infusion boil for 15 (fifteen) minutes.
  • Let it cool down for 3 more minutes, then strain the tea.

Directions

  • Drink 2 cups of tea every day for one week.
  • Pause for 2 weeks, and start drinking again if needed.