Besides the many basil benefits, it has a pleasant aroma and is highly appreciated as a seasoning plant.
Basil Scientific Facts
- Scientific Name: Ocimum basilicum L.
- Other Names: Common basil, sweet basil, St. Josephwort.
- French: Basilic.
- Spanish: Albahaca.
- Environment: Native to India and Indonesia, it has grown in Europe since ancient times. Basil was spread in tropical and subtropical regions in America and worldwide.
- Description: Herbaceous, vivacious plant of the Labiatae family, which grows up to 50 cm high, with lanceolate, light green leaves, and white or pink flowers growing in terminal bouquets.
- Parts of the plant used medicinally: The leaves and flowers.
The entire plant contains an essential oil rich in estragol (like tarragon), eugenol (like the clove tree), and linalool and terpenic substances. To this essence, the plant owes the following properties:
- Antispasmodic – Basil calms nervous, digestive disorders, such as digestive spasms (stomach nervousness), aerophagia (excess of gas and burps), and nervous dyspepsia (slow digestion caused by nervous tension). It also eases migraines caused by or associated with lousy digestion.
- Nervous and cardiovascular system invigoration. It is recommended for asthenia, nervous exhaustion, fatigue, and arterial hypotension (low blood pressure).
- Galactogenic – Basil increases the production of milk in breastfeeding women.
- Emmenagogue – The plant eases menstruation and the pain caused by uterine spasms or congestion.
In high doses, basil essence, when internally applied, can cause narcotic effects, and externally used, it can irritate the mucous membranes.
How to use Basil
- Infusion with 20 to 30 leaves and flowers per liter of water. Drink a hot cup sweetened with honey after every meal to enhance its effect.
- Essence – The recommended dose is from 2 to 5 drops three times a day.
- Invigorating lotion with the essence.
- Baths – Adding the essence to the bath water to take advantage of its stimulating effects.
George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. “Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants.” George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants. Ed. Francesc X. Gelabert. Vols. 1 San Fernando de Henares: Editorial Safeliz, 2000. 368. Print. [basil benefits]