Latin name: Ocimum basilicum
Other name: sweet basil

What is Basil?
Basil is an herb native to India that has been cultivated in Asia for more than 5,000 years. The famous ingredient in pesto, basil is known for its sweet flavor and is used as a fresh ingredient in a variety of Italian and other ethnic dishes. The medicinal properties of basil are abundant in the plant’s essential oils.

What are the health benefits of Basil?
Basil essential oil has been shown to have significant and potent antioxidant properties. It is used to combat the effects of aging, to protect against cancer, and to defend from certain viral organisms. It is known to reduce anxiety, enhance concentration, and aid problems with digestion, flatulence, nausea, respiratory conditions, asthma, coughs, and bronchitis. The oil is also known to serve an antibacterial function against bacteria such as salmonella and E. coli. When applied topically, basil essential oil is used to repel insects and kill insect larvae.

Are there any precautions for taking Basil?
The use of basil oil is not recommended for pregnant women or children under 12. It has also been known to irritate skin when taken in excess. As with all herbs, it is best to consult a licensed practitioner or physician.

Where can I find Basil?

Basil essential oil can be found online and in natural health food stores and groceries.

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This entry was posted in Herbs, Natural Health Dictionary.