Basil is a native to India and holds a sacred place in the Hindu religious customs. Indians worship basil every morning and evening, and if you see the medicinal properties of this holy herb, you will also understand its significance. Here’re a few health benefits of basil.
A Brief History of Basil
Before we share the 15 health benefits of basil, let’s discuss a brief outlook of its history. This herb was first used in tombs in Ancient Egyptian times and it was a symbol of mourning and a magnificent herb. Basil was also recognized for its medicinal qualities which also explains why it was kept with mummies.
Its medicinal and spiritual benefits carried through history. The Jewish folklore believed it added strength to their bodies during fasting moments, and Portugal loved to gift a basil plant to a loved one on a holiday as a symbolism of love. Now, it’s become a popular and healthy herb to use in cooking.
15 Health Benefits of Basil
1. Heals Fever and Common Cold
Possessing anti-bacterial properties, basil leaves are highly effective in the treatment of various fevers, including malaria, dengue and chronic fever. Tender leaves of basil, boiled with tea, can reduce the effect of these ailments to a large extent. In case of the common cold, the juice of basil leaves must be imbibed to get a quick relief.
2. Treats Respiratory Disorders
A decoction of basil leaves with ginger and honey is an excellent remedy in treating various respiratory ailments, like cold, influenza, asthma, and bronchitis. This decoction opens the lungs blocked due to mucus, and helps the sufferer to breathe properly.
3. Cures Sore Throat
Gargling with lukewarm water mixed with the extracts of basil is extremely helpful in getting rid of sore throat.
4. Good for the Heart
Capable of trimming down the cholesterol levels in the body, basil also tops the list of being one of the healthiest herbs for the heart. It prevents the danger of cardiac weakness and strokes.
5. Anti-stress in Nature
It is recommended for everybody to chew at least twelve leaves of basil in a day to get good health. Basil is also an anti-stress herb, which significantly protects your body and mind from the menace of stress and depression.
6. Strengthens the Kidneys
Basil is an extremely efficient herb that maintains the health of kidneys by fortifying them. Moreover, basil is supportive when it comes to kidney stone, as well. It has been suggested to imbibe basil juice with honey for six months to dispose of stone from the body.
7. Cures Mouth Infection
Leaves of basil are excellent for treating mouth ulcers and infections. Simply chew a few leaves of basil to get a quick relief. It is also a good mouth freshener.
8. Curative against Insect Bites
A spoonful of basil juice or paste of fresh basil roots is very helpful in curing insect stings and bites. Fresh juice can also be used directly on the affected parts to get fast relief.
9. Maintains Teeth Health
For those, who suffer from the problems of gum bleeding, bad breath and tooth decay, basil can prove very effective. The anti-bacterial and antibiotic properties of basil can aid in preventing such oral ailments. Sun dried and powdered basil leaves can be mixed with mustard oil and it should be used daily to give your teeth a healthy massage.
10. Excellent for Eyes
Basil has vitamin A in it, which is superb in upholding the health of the eyes. It averts diseases, like night blindness and sore eyes. To treat sore eyes, even a few drops of basil juice can prove miraculous.
11. Protects DNA
Basil leaves contain an array of fantastic phytonutrients and antioxidants, which protect the cells from getting damaged from ultraviolet rays and oxygen-based harm.
12. Relieves Frequent Vomiting
To get immediate relief from frequent vomiting, imbibe basil juice with honey and ginger juice.
13. Prevents Cancer
Basil contracts the blood vessels that nurture cancer-causing tumours, and is helpful in treating a number of cancers, including breast cancer. The anti-carcinogenic properties of basil also inhibit the growth of oral cancer.
14. Cures Lung Disorder
Vitamin C, Eugenol, and camphene, which are found in basil, are effective in curing lung congestion and damage caused by T.B., smoke, etc.
15. Helps You Quit Smoking
Basil helps a lot in quitting the habit of smoking. Eat fresh basil leaves whenever you feel the urge of smoking. It will curb your urge.
The Best Ways To Store Basil
After reading the above 15 health benefits of basil, you’re probably eager to purchase this herb and improve your eating habits.
One of the most effective ways to keep basil fresh for longer is by storing in a glass filled with water. Before doing this, trim the ends and store the entire thing in a refrigerator so the basil remains fresh for up to one week. One of the biggest concerns is the amount of space basil can take up. Though, feel free to cover the herb in a clear plastic bag to fold it in more and leave more space for other refrigerated items.
Another strategy is to lay down the basil and place it flat on paper towels. Roll up the paper towels around the leaves and place in a plastic bag. Store in the refrigerator to keep the leaves fresh and lasting longer than ever.
Finally, if you need basil to last longer than a few days, don’t be afraid of storing them in the freezer. One of the most effective ways is to rinse the basil leaves under clean water and place on a baking sheet. Freeze the basil leaves in a plastic bag. Once you remove the basil from the freezer, place the frozen leaves in boiling water, followed by quickly dunking in ice-cold water. Doing this will retain its natural flavor and take it back to a fresh green color.