Basil (Ocimum basilicum)

Basil is an annual herbaceous plant, which originates from India and Iran. Nevertheless, nowadays basil is cultivated worldwide, being one of the most famous herbs. It was also cultivated in Mediterranean since ancient times. Romans were using it as a love potion, for Egyptians it was one of the ingredients that they used in mummification and Galatians in purification rituals. It is said that Alexander the Great brought basil from India. Of course, basil was used in cooking in these times, too.

The healing properties of this herb are numerous and it can be used in many forms. Moreover, basil is used from modern pharmaceutical and cosmetics industry. At last, basil is a great natural insect repellent.

In cooking, basil is one of the classic herbs used in Mediterranean cuisine. Especially, Italians do excessive use of it. It can be added in soups, salads, eggs, seafood (and) white meat and in many sauces. The most famous use of basil is in the traditional Italian sauce, pesto. Finally, it has some uses in distilling industry as well.

Health Benefits of Basil

Learn AboutBasilBenefits Health Benefits Basil leaves hold many notable plant-derived chemical compounds that are known to have disease preventing and health promoting properties. Contains many polyphenolic flavonoids like orientin and vicenin. These compounds were tested in-vitro laboratory for their possible antioxidant protection against radiation-induced lipid per-oxidation in mouse liver. Basil leaves are composed of several [...]

Mythology – Basil

Learn AboutBasilMythology Hippocrates regarded basil as beneficial to the heart and prescribed it for treatment of constipation and as an anti-emetic (to prevent vomiting). Pliny suggested vinegar scented with basil would help prevent fainting. Dioscurides believed basil to be soothing for the stomach and abdomen, and useful as a diuretic and a galactagogue (e.g., an [...]

Side Effects of Basil

Learn AboutBasilSide Effects Basil is possibly safe when used by mouth for short periods of time, up to six weeks. It is not known if long-term use is safe. Special Precautions & Warnings: Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of basil during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid [...]

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