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Basil Health Benefits, Nutritional Value and Uses

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What is Basil?

Basil is a common aromatic herb in the mint family, the same plant family as other nutrient-dense, beneficial herbs, including mint, oregano and rosemary. Basil, of course, is used to add flavour to a variety of recipes, but what may surprise you is the many benefits of basil that make it well-known for its immunity-enhancing properties. Basil extract, or basil essential oil, is proven to help prevent a wide range of health conditions, which makes it one of the most important medical herbs known today.
Basil belongs to the family of Lamiaceae, in the genus: Ocimum. Its scientific name is “Ocimum basilicum.”

Health Benefits of Basil

Heart Disorder:Basil is very beneficial in combating cardiac disease and the weakness resulting from it. It reduces blood cholesterol levels.

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Relief From Headache: Basil leaves are considered a great medicine for headaches. A facial steam of dried basil leaf is effective in alleviating headache. For this purpose, add a tablespoon of dried basil leaves to 2 cups of water in a large pot. Covering your head with a towel, carefully lean over the pot and breathe in the steam for 5 to 10 minutes. You can also apply pounded basil leaves mixed in sandalwood paste on your forehead to get relief from heat and headache as well as cooling effect in general.

Prevention Of Acne And Pimples: Basil leaves prevent the outburst of acne and pimples as they purify your blood by removing toxins. They contain antibacterial and antifungal agents and you can apply a paste of these leaves mixed with sandalwood paste, neem paste or rose water to prevent inflammation

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Eye Disorder: Basil juice is an effective remedy for sore eyes and night blindness, which is generally caused by lack of Vitamin A. Two drops of basil juice can work wonders for the eyes. It soothes eyes and reduces stress.

Help to Get Rid Of Bad Breath: Bad breath can be detrimental to your self-confidence. Basil leaves can be a healthy substitute to special toothpastes and chewing gums to ward off bad breath. You can chew a handful of basil leaves to prevent bad breath.

Aids In Weight Loss: Basil leaves taken with home-made fresh curd help in reducing excess weight and fight laziness by renewing your energy levels and facilitating new blood cells formation.

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Uses of Basil

  • Fresh or dried basil leaves are being used in the preparation of soups and dishes.
  • Chopped fresh sweet basil leaves impart richness to vegetable (Italian panzanella salad) as well as fruit salads.
  • A kind of flavor drink made of Basil seeds is popular in some Asian countries.
  • Italian large leaf basil is one of the main ingredients in ‘pesto’, a green sauce that is added to soups, vegetables, fish, and pasta dishes in Mediterranean cooking.