BASIL, Ocimum basilicum


Latin name: Ocimum basilicum

English name: Basil, Sweet basil

Sanskrit name: Barbari, Bana tulasi, Tungi, Berbery

Indian name: Bawari bawai

Medicinal part used: Seed, Leaves, Flowers and Roots

Basil is a soft plant having peculiar smell. It attains a height of 8 to 18 feet. Stem nodules contain hairs on it. Leaves are 1 to 3 inch long, spear shaped and dentate. Flowers are white to light purple in colour. Seeds are black in colour and oval in shape. The genus Ocimum has approximately 150 species, many of which are also grown as “basil.”

Basil is originally native to Iran, India and other tropical regions of Asia.

Recently, there has been much research into the health benefits conferred by the essential oils found in basil. Scientific studies have established that compounds in basil oil have potent antioxidant, anti-cancer, anti-viral, and anti-microbial properties. In addition, basil has been shown to decrease the occurrence of platelet aggregation and experimental thrombus in mice. It is traditionally used for supplementary treatment of stress, asthma and diabetes in India.

Therapeutic use:

  • It is a good digestive agent due to its light properties.
  • It is a good heart stimulator and also acts as good blood purifier.
  • It also cleans up the respiratory tract as it is a good antitusive agent.
  • It is good in relieving from burning sensation in the body.
  • It is also a good aphrodisiac agent.
  • Due to the emmenagogue properties, it is often used to relieve scanty periods and normalizing menses.
  • It helps to minimize uric acid in the blood, thus relieving gout.
  • It is useful in arthritis as well and when used on the skin, it helps to control acne.
  • In general it refreshes the skin and can also be used on insect bites.

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