20 Fantastic benefits of basil for health and beauty
Basil is probably best known as a herb used in Italian cooking, but it has also been used as a herbal medicine for centuries. Basil is a leafy herb that comes from the mint family and it comes in a variety of different forms. Each type can taste quite different, and they include lemon basil, cinnamon basil and clove basil. What it is that makes basil a bit special in the world of herbs, is its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties which, along with its high nutritional value, has made basil a popular herb in both cooking and for medicinal use. Basil is also a herb that you can grow easily in your own garden, so you can have your own plentiful supply of basil for adding to cooking. Here are twenty of the fantastic beauty and health benefits of basil.
1. Use it as toothpaste
In some countries, dried basil leaves are used as toothpaste. Sun dried basil leaves are ground down and mixed with mustard oil and the anti-bacterial properties of the basil leaves effectively help fight gum disease and the build-up of plaque on the teeth.
2. Headache relief
Another one of great health benefits of basil is that basil leaves are also used to relieve headaches. If you have a headache, try mixing a teaspoon of dried basil leaves in a bowl of hot water and holding your face over the steam, with your head covered by a towel, for about ten minutes.
3. Treat stings and bites
If you get stung or bitten, while you are out in the garden, then reach for a basil leaf to relieve the pain and irritation. Crush a fresh basil leaf and rub it onto a bite or a sting, and it will quickly reduce that inflammation and soothe the pain.
4. Treat a fever
Next one of great health benefits of basil is that it is said to be very effective at bringing down a high temperature and basil is used in some parts of the world as a treatment for malaria. To treat a fever, brew down young basil leaves in boiling water to make a tea and drink it every two to three hours until the fever subsides.
5. Good for the eyes
Basil leaves are very high in Vitamin A, so adding them to your diet can help to keep your eyes healthy and ward off macular degeneration. Basil leaves can also be applied topically to the eyes and they are said to help reduce redness and puffiness. The leaves are also used to treat eye infections, such as conjunctivitis.
6. Cures bad breath
Next one of fabulous health benefits of basil is that, thanks to the antibacterial properties, basil is an effective cure for bad breath. If you do notice your breath isn’t quite as fresh as you would like, chew on a few basil leaves and that will soon leave your mouth clean and fresh again.
7. Can be used as an aid to quit smoking
People who are trying to quit smoking say that chewing on basil leaves helps to alleviate the craving for nicotine. Basil leaves are a lot cheaper than nicotine patches, or gum and, the high levels of antioxidants that they contain would also help repair some of the damage caused by smoking.
8. Calms the stomach
Another one of great health benefits of basil is that it has a calming effect on the digestive system. If you have indigestion after eating a big meal, try drinking a glass of water with half a teaspoon of dried basil added to it (or make a smoothie that contains fresh basil), and it will quickly calm indigestion and make you feel less bloated.
9. Relieves coughs
Basil can also be used to relieve chesty coughs and it is often used as an ingredient in cough mixtures. To make your own homemade cough mixture, boil ten basil leaves and three cloves, and allow the mixture to cool. Basil has the same effect as a decongestant and it will loosen phlegm in the chest.
10. Boosts the immune system
Health benefits of basil are very numerous and here is another one of them: eating fresh basil has also been proven to help the immune system work more efficiently. Some studies have suggested that compounds contained in fresh basil leaves can boost the body’s ability to fight off disease and infection by as much as twenty percent.
11. Prevents blackheads
Basil leaves are also used by some people to prevent blackheads from forming in the skin. If you wet a basil leaf and place it on the skin for about five minutes, then you wash your skin afterwards, you will get a much deeper cleansing action that will help prevent and remove blackheads from the skin.
12. Prevents hair loss
Health benefits of basil go hand in hand with its beauty benefits. If you add some basil leaf paste to your hot oil treatment, it will help to increase the circulation in the scalp and fight any fungal infections. This will reduce itchiness in the scalp and promote healthy growth of hair.
13. Reduces stress
Another one of amazing health benefits of basil is that it is thought by many to be a great natural way to reduce the symptoms of stress. Studies have shown that chewing on basil leaves does apparently significantly reduce stress and leaves a person feeling much calmer and feeling more relaxed.
14. Treats acne
You can also use basil leaves to treat acne. Apply crushed basil leaves to the affected areas of skin and the anti-bacterial ingredients of the herb will kill the germs that cause acne and help to clean the pores out, without drying up the skin.
15. Breaks down kidney stones
The chemicals in the juice of basil leaves will break down kidney stones and promote the healthy functioning of the kidneys. To treat kidney stones, drink fresh basil juices, mixed with some honey, every day. Within a few months, the kidney stones should be gone.
16. Good for the heart
Next one of fabulous health benefits of basil is that it is believed to be good for the heart in a number of ways. It is said that consuming basil helps to control blood pressure, and an antioxidant that is found in basil called eugenol, breaks down cholesterol in the blood and helps fight free radicals.
17. Anti-ageing properties
Anti-ageing is another one of health benefits of basil. If you add basil to homemade face packs, then you will gain the benefits of some of basils rejuvenating and anti-aging properties. Basil contains antioxidants that will fight off the wrinkles that can be caused by free radicals and it is also said to tighten and the firm up the skin, making it look more youthful and fresh.
18. Cures dandruff
To use basil as an anti-dandruff treatment, mix a few drops of basil oil with some coconut oil and massage the mixture into the hair and scalp. If you leave it on overnight, when you wash it off in the morning you should find that your scalp is less itchy and, after several applications, dandruff will disappear.
19. Soothes a sore throat
Another one of fabulous health benefits of basil is that it can help soothe a sore throat. Drinking a tea made by boiling basil leaves in water will help you to relax and to soothe the pain of a sore throat. The antibacterial properties of the tea will also help fight the infection that is causing the sore throat.
20. Relieves nausea
A mixture of basil leaf juice, ginger and honey will provide rapid relief form the feeling of nausea, and it is said to be a great treatment for children who suffer from travel sickness.
Do you know other health benefits of basil?