Basil for Your Pesto, Basil for Your Health


Basil is a popular herb commonly used as a spice in the dishes. It is a great addition to a couple of pasta recipes. Characterized by round but slightly pointed shape, basil leaves are fragrant, making it the perfect ingredient for pesto. For those who are not familiar, pesto is a mixture of basil, parmesan cheese and pine nuts.

Basil for Your Pesto, Basil for Your Health

Aside from giving some of your meals a savory taste, did you know that basil is also beneficial for your health? In fact, The World’s Healthiest Foods deem it one of the most nutritious herbs since it contains high level of vitamin and mineral. The website also lauds its health-protecting effects as a result of the flavonoids and violate-oil content in the herb.

The outlet revealed that half a cup of chopped fresh basil leaves contain 98% vitamin K based on the %DV. It is also found to contain 12% manganese, 9% copper, 6% vitamin A and 5% vitamin C. It also has 4% each of calcium, folate and iron and 3% each of magnesium and omega-3 fats.

Basil for Your Pesto, Basil for Your Health

Flavonoids are active constituents that provide protection for the body on the cellular level. Basil contains 2 types of water-soluble flavonoids: vicenin and ortenin. These two types are found to be beneficial for white blood cells. Studies also found that water-soluble flavonoids can also help protect the chromosomes in the body from the danger posed by radiation and oxygen.

Apart from that, a study in the journal of Microbiology Methods published in 2003 found that essential oil from basil can effectively inhibit breeding of some species of pathogenic bacteria that have mutated into becoming resistant to antibiotic medicines. Among these bacteria are those under the genera Enterococcus, Staphylococcus and Pseudomonas. Though they may be considered as rare, these bacteria still represent risk since they have developed high resistance to antibiotic medications.

In the subcontinent of Indian, basil had been used as a part of their ayurvedic medicine and traditional Tamil medicine, while the Jewish believed that consuming the leaves of this plant provides strength during fasting.

A quick trivia for Medical News Today revealed that basil may actually be named as such because it may have been used for some “royal unguent, bath or medicine”. With that said, the International journey of Agronomy and Plant Production claims that the name “basil” actually came from the Greek term “basileus” which means “king”. This was echoed by the French, who called basil “l’herbe royalle” or “the royal herb”.

To make it short, below this there’s a couple of benefits this herb provides:

  • Reduces swelling and inflammation. Study shown at an annual event of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society deem extracts from the Holy basil, scientifically known as O. tenuiflorm, can lessen swelling by as much as 73% with 24 hours following the treatment.
  • Calms upset stomach. Italians have been adding into almost every dish they prepare for good reason. Some people think that basil has a calming effect. In fact, they believe that half a teaspoon of dried or fresh basil leaf soaked in water can help ease indigestion.
  • Treatment for coughs and colds. Some Amish people use basil leaves to alleviate coughs and cold. Simply combine a tablespoon of dried basil leaf with 2 cups of boiling water and inhale the steam coming out of it for 5 to 10 minutes.

Relief for bites and stings. Like plantain, basil leaves can be used to relieve stings and bites from insects. All you have to do is chew up a couple of leaves and apply to the infected area. This would not only ease the pain from the bite or sting, but would also draw out the venom from the area.

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This article is for informational purposes only, and is educational in nature. Statements made here have not been evaluated by the FDA. This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please discuss with your own, qualified health care provider before adding in supplements or making any changes in your diet. PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.

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