Basil is a common aromatic herb in the mint family. It is one of those herbs that can be overlooked when you are talking about natural or holistic medicine. In fact, most individuals consider the herb as use for adding flavor to recipes.
Did you know that basil extract is used to create perfumes, household cleaners, and dental-care products? Is there any use for the herb as a natural medicine? The truth is, there are several benefits that have proven to help prevent a wide range of health conditions.
Basil has proven to be a anti-bacterial and anti-microbial agent that fights germs and bacteria. It is also a good source of beta carotene, calcium, and vitamin-C.
In fact, James Dillard, MD, author of The Chronic Pain Solution says, “Each herb has its own scientific database of evidence."
Let's examine some of the science based medicinal benefits of basil.
Proven Benefits of Basil
Amy Rothenberg, ND, a naturopathic physician in private practice in Enfield, Connecticut says that basil oil has a long history as a home remedy for relaxation of muscles, and tension headaches.
The British Pharmaceutical Conference in Manchester, England reported that concentrated extracts of two types of basil taken orally reduced joint pain and swelling by up to 73% in just 24 hours.
According to research conducted at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, basil contains (E)-beta-caryophyllene (BCP), which has shown to be useful in treating arthritis and inflammatory bowel diseases.
For reducing pain, use essential basil oil applied topically to the area of pain, as a tea, or taken in capsule form.
Enzymes are essential regulators and modulators that are needed to respond to stresses in the body.
Enzymes help our bodies respond to the inflammation by working to provide protection.
Basil can be consumed as a tea, food, or capsule form to help reduce inflammation.
You can even mix basil with various other herbs that help fight inflammation, like turmeric or ginger.
Holy basil has demonstrated the ability to affect the immune system in several ways, including:
- changing the levels of certain cytokines such as IL-2, IL-4, and IFN-γ, which in turn stimulate specific types of immune cells and processes
- enhancing the immune system’s antibody response to infection
- reducing inflammation by suppressing the cell-mediated immune response
Medical research has hypothesize that the effects of Holy basil is achieved through some constituent of the herb affecting the receptors of GABA, an inhibitory neurotransmitter.
As the herb helps in strengthening the body’s immune system, it can help it to fight off over growth of candida, and including viruses and MRSA staph infections.
You can add basil to your daily juice or smoothie as well to help keep your immune system boosted.
Keep in mind, basil is like many other herbs used for medicine. And the herb blends well with many other essential oils that include: lavender, ginger, lemon, and fennel oils.