In the last century the use of antibiotics has reached its highest level, unfortunately this still continues even today. Antibiotics have been the biggest breakthrough in medicine that saved millions of lives, but in the last decades they have been overused by many people. Even for a simple infection or influenza people turned to the use of antibiotics which made our body resistant to their use. So, when we shall have the highest need of their use they will not be effective anymore.
Mother Nature has offered so many products that can be as powerful as the antibiotics, and because of that we should start to use them again before turning to the use of antibiotics. One of those natural remedies is for sure the basil.
Basil is widely used in the Italian and Southeast Asian cuisine due to its amazing taste but as well as for its powerful health benefits. This herb originates from Asia, but today is available everywhere in the world. It is high in fiber, potassium, calcium, zinc, magnesium, and vitamins A, C and K. It contains powerful components like linalool, cineole, estragol and eugenol which reveal strong antioxidant, antitumorigenic, antiviral and antibacterial properties.
Health Benefits of Basil
- Antibiotic effect
It can act as an antibiotic as per a conducted study which revealed that the basil essential oil has antimicrobial properties against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, yeasts and molds.
- Antioxidant properties
This herb has in its content flavonoids, phenolic acid and rosmarinic acid, which work in synergy with the vitamin E. They are so powerful that can neutralize the damaging effect of the free radicals which are sources of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and aging-related diseases. The potency of basil was confirmed in a study developed by the Tropical Herb Research and Development Laboratory in China which showed the extremely high antioxidant effect of a basil residue fraction.
- Boosts the immunity
Basil enhances the work of the immune system and battles against winter diseases like colds or flu and balances the digestive system. This is a result from the rich content of vitamin C, namely in 100 grams of basil leaves there are 14.5 milligrams of vitamin C.
- Lowers bad – LDL cholesterol
Basil contains an active component known under the name of eugenol which lowers the level of blood lipid and therefore cholesterol. Thanks to its ability basil can protect the body from a heart disease.
- Protects from cancer
It has been revealed that the anti-cancer properties of basil may be linked to its antiviral activity.
- Relaxing effect
The use of basil can lower anxiety and muscle spasms due to the content of phenolic and terpenoid components.
How to use basil?
Primarily, you need to opt for good basil which means the one with green and strong leaves. If you have bought a bunch of it you can still keep it for later use. For that purpose, you should nicely chop the leaves and then place them in olive oil with coarse salt. Keep them in an airtight container in a cool place like your fridge. You can as well as freeze it by first crushing the leaves and then adding olive oil. Pour the resulting mixture into ice cube trays.
How to consume basil?
For optimal effects of its consumption, they need to be taken fresh like an addition to your salad or soup. It can be drank as tea and for that purpose you should infuse 1 tablespoon of basil leaves in a teapot filled with boiling water, for around 10 minutes. This tea can act as a sedative, digestive agent and can prevent the appearance of cold.
However, in order to obtain the most of its benefits it needs to be combined with a healthy and balanced diet.
This herb is high in vitamin K, which is a vital part in the blood clotting, and for that reason basil is not recommended for people on anticoagulant drugs.