, author: Ermakova M.

Basil: Delicious Taste and Health Benefits

The plant has antispasmodic, digestive, diuretic, sedative and antioxidant properties. It may even help you lose weight. We will tell you about the properties of basil, how to use it, and also share delicious recipes with this unique aromatic herb.

Photo source: 123rf.com

Basil, a plant native to Southeast Asia, is often used to treat many ailments. It has high nutritional value and includes vitamins A and C, minerals such as calcium, zinc, iron and chlorophyll.

Basil is rich in essential oils such as geraniol, eugenol and linalool, and has antispasmodic, digestive, diuretic, sedative and antioxidant properties. In addition to its many health benefits, basil helps fight anxiety, depression, and insomnia. It is also excellent for treating migraines, ulcers and sore throats. However, one of the most consumed forms is tea.

Properties and health benefits

An infusion prepared from basil leaves is valued for its numerous therapeutic properties and benefits to the body:

  • Reduces possible breathing problems. Bioactive compounds in basil improve breathing and reduce cold and flu symptoms.
  • Helps regulate stress and anxiety: As an adaptogen, it can balance hormones such as cortisol.
  • Improves dental health: its components reduce plaque and protect against periodontal disease.
  • Stimulates and revitalizes the body: It is rich in antioxidants, which can detoxify the body and protect it from toxic chemicals.
  • Protects against infections and helps heal wounds: its properties accelerate wound healing.
  • May prevent diabetes symptoms and lower blood sugar levels.
  • Helps lower cholesterol levels. By combating metabolic stress, it can lower so-called “bad” cholesterol (LDL) and increase levels of “good” cholesterol (HDL).
  • Relieves inflammation and joint pain. As an adaptogen with anti-inflammatory properties, it may help people with arthritis or fibromyalgia.
  • Protects the stomach: May counteract ulcers caused by stress and enhance the stomach's defenses.

Tea with basil.

Photo source: 123rf.com

How to use basil

Used parts of basil include leaves, stems and seeds as a base for dishes such as sauces, salads and juices. Other ways to use basil are as a tea, to season food, in essential oil, or as a poultice.

1. Tea with basil. Place 10 fresh or dried basil leaves in a cup of boiling water. Cover it with a lid and let it brew for 5-10 minutes. Strain and drink up to 3 times a day.

2. Basil essential oil. Add 1 drop of essential oil to an aroma diffuser up to 3 times a day; inhale the oil for 2-3 seconds or dilute 1 drop of essential oil in 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil (jojoba, coconut or avocado oil) and massage into skin.

3. Poultice with basil. Add 2 tablespoons of fresh basil leaves to a bowl, mash them to form a paste and apply directly to the wound or insect bite.

4. Bath with basil. Dilute 18 drops of basil essential oil in 3 tablespoons of milk and add to a bathtub filled with water. Take a bath for 20 minutes.

Recipes with basil.

1. Pesto sauce.


2 cups fresh basil;
½ cup walnuts or pine nuts;
100 g Parmesan cheese;
2 cloves of garlic;
1 ½ cups extra virgin olive oil;
Salt to taste.

Wash and dry the basil leaves thoroughly and set aside. Peel the garlic cloves and place them in a food processor. Add olive oil, walnuts and Parmesan cheese and crush well. Add basil leaves and grind everything to a smooth paste. Season with salt and use on pasta, chicken or as a salad dressing.

Pesto sauce.

Photo source: 123rf.com

2. Basil and mango juice.


8 fresh basil leaves;
¼ mango;
3 ice cubes;
100 ml filtered water.

Wash the mango, peel, cut into cubes and beat. Wash the basil leaves and place them in a blender. Add ice cubes and water and stir well.

3. Caprese salad.


2 mozzarella;
5 ripe tomatoes;
3 sprigs of basil;
Olive oil to taste;
Salt and black pepper.

Wash the tomatoes and basil leaves thoroughly and dry. Cut the tomato into 8 equal pieces and set aside. Cut the mozzarella in half and cut each half into 3 pieces. Place tomato slices interspersed with mozzarella pieces on a plate. Season with olive oil, salt and black pepper and finish with the basil leaves. Serve with toasted bread or as a side dish for fish or chicken.

Caprese salad

Photo source: 123rf.com

Side effects and contraindications

Side effects of basil include allergic reactions, and it is contraindicated in high doses during pregnancy, children under 2 years of age, and while breastfeeding.

It is best to consult your doctor when incorporating any herbal medicine into your diet, especially if you are taking any medications or have a medical condition. An herbal remedy may not suit everyone or produce the same results. And if you experience allergic symptoms or discomfort while using the product, you should immediately stop using it.

How to plant basil

Basil loves the sun and does not tolerate extreme cold, the ideal temperature is between 15 and 25 ° C. Planting seeds requires fertile, deep and airy soil that does not accumulate water. It can be planted in pots or directly into well-fertilized soil. It can be sown perfectly in garden beds.

This plant should be watered regularly directly under the roots without wetting the leaves, in addition to this it should be pruned every 15 days to help it grow better.

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