Basil (Ocimum basilicum) has many varieties which differ in appearance and taste. The most commonly used basil is sweet basil and holy basil. Basically native to India and Asia, basil has been cultivated all around the world. Ayurvedic medicine has been using holy basil (Ocimum Sanctum) or basil oil from more than 5000 years. It has been mentioned in Rig Veda as Tulsi which means in Sanskrit “the incomparable one” . There are two cultivars of holy basil :
- Krishna Tulsi or Shyama Tulsi (dark leaves)
- Rama Tulsi (light leaves)
Basil is also mentioned in Charaka Samhita (ayurvedic text) as “the elixir of life”.
How to use Basil Leaf ?
Basil can be used in a variety of ways. Its fresh leaves can be made into a poultice, or the seeds can be ground and added to meals. Basil also has antiseptic properties, and when its leaves are rubbed onto bug bites they can help reduce itching. Another outstanding use of basil is as an insect repellent. The herb is often made into tinctures as well. Basil is an expectorant, and thus it can help fight bronchitis and coughs. Basil is good for a wide variety of lung ailments, and when it is combined with elecampane and hyssop, it can be brewed into a tea that helps fight head colds. When consumed as a hot tea, basil can either be taken internally or inhaled.Basil Oil is often found in a variety of aromatherapy products.
Basil Leaf for Cold and Cough
- The juice of basil leaves helps to treat common cold and cough. When you are suffering from cold and fever, you can just chew some basil leaves.
- Cough is not a sign of any serous health problem, it is a normal mechanism of our body to clear mucus as well as irritants like smoke or dust.
- Any discomfort during cough can be cured by an expectorant. Basil leaves are good expectorants due to the presence of various phyto-constituents.
- You can take 5 to 6 cloves and some fresh basil leaves in a bowl and add a cup of water. Boil this solution for about 8 to 10 minutes and add a pinch of salt to it. Then let it cool and drink it to get relief.
Basil Leaves for Acne and Black Heads
- Acne is a common skin condition caused by bacterial infection.You can use basil as a home remedy because basil has antibacterial properties. It can also prevent the swelling of cystic acne due to its anti-inflammatory effects.
- You can take 6 to 8 basil leaves and boil in a cup of water for 5 minutes. Then cool and strain this solution. Now use a cotton ball to apply this liquid to your face and leave it for few minutes. Rinse off your face.
- Blackhead is another common skin problem caused by clogged skin pores with dirt and oil. Then this oil gets oxidized and turns black.
- In order to remove these black heads from your nose, chin and cheeks, you need to take some basil leaves and wash them. Then you can crush these leaves and apply it on the affected areas and leave it for 5 minutes. Then wash it off with lukewarm water, basil juice and all your blackheads will go away.
READ MORE ABOUT TULSI
How to use Basil oil ?
With a naturally sweet, warm, spicy and herbal smell, basil oil can be used in multiple ways both internally and topically. After analyzing multiple different isolated basil oils, have been classified into four major essential oil chemo- types of basil that are responsible for most of its health-promoting activities:
- Methyl Chavicol-rich
- Methyl eugenol-rich
- Methyl cinnamate-rich
Basil Oil Benefits include:
- Fighting bacteria
- Fighting infections
- Reducing disease causing inflammation
- Fight free radical damage
- Fighting viruses
- Relieving congestion
- Increasing urine output
- Stimulating the nervous system
- Stimulating the adrenal cortex
Basil Oil for Cough and Cold
- Basil essential oil (Ocimum basilicum oil) is safe for consumption only if its 100%
therapeutic grade and high quality. You can add a drop of oil to a cup of water and
it. You can also add a drop to your juice or smoothie as a dietary supplement.
- You can also consume basil oil topically by diluting it in 1:1 ratio in a carrier oil (coconut oil) before use. Then you can place one drop of this diluted oil in your palm and rub it on your chest, forehead and nose to get relief from congestion in chest due to cold and cough.
- You can also use basil oil to make facial steam when suffering from nasal blockage. You just need to pour 2-3 drops of this potent oil into boiling water and lean over to breath in the steam. To avoid escape of this steam you can use a towel to cover.
How to use Basil Tea ?
Basil tea has anti-inflammatory, anti oxidizing (eugenol, camphene, cineole), digestive, stimulant, and stress-relieving properties, among others, which make it a very effective and popular beverage for those interested in natural healing and natural remedy for these .
Basil Tea Preparation
Fresh basil leaves or dried leaves may be used to make tea. Following are steps to make basil tea :
- You can take a few fresh leaves of basil or 1 tablespoon of dried basil leaves.
- Put these leaves in a tea pot and fill up the pot with a mug of boiling water.
- Then you have to steep these leaves.
- Basil has strong and spicy flavor but you can steep it for 10 minutes and then sweeten it.You can try to flavor your basil tea’s strong taste by adding sugar, honey, lemon juice. You can also gargle with unsweetened tea to clean your mouth.
Benefits of Basil Constituents
- Vitamin B6 : It rejuvenates and energizes your body and improves the functionality of your metabolism.
- Iron : It increases the levels of hemoglobin in your blood.
- Calcium/ Iron/ Manganese : These salts improve your bone health, help speedup your liver function and eliminates toxin to detoxify your body.
- Fiber : Fiber aids your digestion by stimulating peristaltic movement and helps in maintaining gut health to increase your nutrient uptake.
- Linalool/ Thymol : It is an antioxidant which boosts immunity and free radicals.
- 1,8 Cineole : It acts as an analgesic, anti-inflammatory agent and is anti-plasmodic in nature.
- B-caryophyllene :It modulates body’s response to irritation.
- Omega-3 fatty acid : This is the good cholesterol which improves your heart health helps in preventing artheoclerosis ,and balances your cholesterol levels along with reducing inflammation.
- Eugenol and Methyl-eugenol : It is known to have antioxidants like antiseptic, local anesthetic, anti-inflammatory, rubefacient (warming and soothing), carminative and anti-flatulent properties.
- Methyl-chavichol : The anti-spasmodic properties of the Methyl Chavicol are useful for muscle tension and pain, including stomach cramps. Also soothing for the digestive system particularly when stress or nerve related