Basil is an herb thought to be indigenous to India and has been cultivated for over 5,000 years. Basil comes in a number of varieties, including Thai basil, lemon basil and holy basil; these varieties of basil are prevalent in Asian and Southeastern Asian fare. Sweet basil is typically used in Italian cooking. It is often dried and crushed or used fresh. Essential oils of basil are readily available, as well.
Basil has a strong aroma and bold, often slightly sweet flavor that is unmistakable, but while it is a delicious herb to keep in your kitchen, the associated health benefits make it just as attractive as it is tasty.
Basil is rich in Antioxidants
Antioxidants are important, disease fighting compounds that can perform a number of functions in the body. Anti-oxidants help protective against oxidative stress, which is a key component of aging. In this regard, basil can help protect against premature aging.
Orientin and viceninare are two key antioxidants in basil thought to protect immune cells and the DNA of all cells. In this regard, basil can help protect against cancer; basil also may be helpful in preventing further cell damage for those already undergoing cancer treatment via therapies like chemotherapy or radiation.
Basil is a powerful Anti-Microbial Agent
Antibiotics are important at times, but their overuse can cause a variety of problems. Importantly, they can eliminate good bacteria in the digestive tract, paving the way for virulent yeasts to take over. While sometimes they are necessary, we encourage people to try more natural antibiotics when possible. To that end, basil has proven effects against harmful bacteria, even bacteria non-responsive to prescription antibiotics.
It’s antimicrobial benefit does not stop there, either; basil’s essential oils are known to be effective against viruses, yeasts, and mold, making it an excellent, broad-spectrum addition to your supplement cabinet
Basil can help you Detox
In our toxic world, we can all use a little help getting rid of the array of pollutants, toxins and chemicals that build up in our bodies. The liver is our body’s detoxifying organ; basil can assist the liver in producing enzymes and eliminating the fat that causes liver disease.
In addition, basil may assist in ridding the body of parasites. As an anti-fungal, basil may be effective in eliminating harmful yeasts from the gut. It is also thought to assist in alkalizing the body and restoring the pH in those who may be slightly acidic, which is thought to promote disease.
Basil Benefits the Heart
Basil is thought to assist in blood flow and promote proper blood pressure. It’s antioxidant content might also be helpful in preventing heart disease. Basil is also thought to lower levels of harmful cholesterol.