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Basil | basic characteristics | health benefits | Use as a seasoning

Basic characteristics of basil

Basil (Ocimum basilicum) is an annual plant that grows on sunny, protected place and requires a lot of water. 

Basil is one of the spices, but it proved to be an effective natural remedy in the treatment of many diseases.

Types of basil that are grown today are green, purple and dark basil. The flowers are white to pink and have green leaves that grow along the entire stem.

History of basil

Basil is an ancient plant that was knew even in ancient Egypt. 

Word basil comes from the Greek word basilicon, which means royal. 

Romans tied basil for protection, love and loyalty, and thought that if a man gets a twig of basil from a woman he will be forever loved. 

In India, basil donated as welcome to guests.

Today many churches, especially Christian, used basil during ceremonies, as it is believed that basil has a divine power, and that refines the area from evil spirits.

Nutritional Value of Basil

Basil (Ocimum basilicum) is an annual plant that grows on sunny, protected places and requires a lot of water. Basil is one of the herbs, but it proved to be an effective natural medicine in the treatment of many diseases.

The chemical composition of basil looks like this:

• Vegetable fibers   
• Glycoside
• Essential Oils
• Camphor
• Mineral Salts
• Tinol-lineol
• Cineol

Essential oil of basil makes up most of this aromatic spice plant and it stored in leaves, where there are also a bitter substances and saponins. 

Essential oil of basil is significant because it contains antiseptic substances that act as a food preservative.

Health Benefits of Basil

1. Natural tranquilizer, relieves anxiety, insomnia, headaches and depression

2. Enhances appetite and secretion of gastric juices, improves digestion

3. Breastfeeding mothers should be used basil because it stimulates milk production.

4. Basil is very effective in the inflammation of the urinary tract and kidneys

5. Removes cough, clear the sinuses

6. Basil is good for woman because it reveals menstrual pain

7. Fresh basil has the property as antirheumatic drugs, so it is used for the treatment of diseased and swollen joints because it contains eugenol, which acts anti-inflammatory

8. Basil is a powerful antioxidant and prevents damage to cells and creating tumors

9. Strengthens the heart and blood vessels and prevents heart attacks

10. It is used as a preservative for food

Because of the sedative effects, basil isn't recommended for pregnant women at first period of pregnancy, as well as babies younger than six months.

Application of basil

In the treatment of diseases and ailments it could be used tea made from basil (basil doesn't take long to stand in hot water!) 

It can be also applied as a coating for various skin diseases.

Oil of basil has found application in inhalation.

Basil as a seasoning

As a spice, basil gives a taste to food, improve digestion of heavy food and keeps food from spoiling. 

Chefs recommend it as a condiment to potato, corn, cauliflower and eggplant. 

It is mostly used in Mediterranean cuisine for the preparation of sauces and toppings for dishes with pasta.

Basil perfectly complements the taste of garlic, thyme, lemon and tomato.

Dried basil has a stronger flavor than fresh so add it to stews and many other dishes of vegetables, especially peas and beans, various salads and spreads.


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